Christmas Dilemnas

I know, I just started the Halloween features, but Christmas is fast on it’s tail. I like to know exactly who I’m buying for by October 1st. I do this so that I can check my stash and keep an eye out for deals on items for specific people.

My husband comes from a large family. Many of them do not see or speak to each other, which makes holidays difficult. We feel obligated to purchase gifts for them, as they always send gifts to us. The problem? They struggle dearly and we do not. We bargain shop, and they do not. I feel terrible about someone who cannot afford it purchasing my child a $25 gift when I pay a few pennies for theirs, even if the gifts I purchase are worth hundreds. What’s worse is that just a couple of us get together, so gifts are handed down at gatherings until they eventually make it to the intended party- months later.

The hubby says that we should only purchase for one of his nephews (they are very close). Of course, he’ll change his mind between now and then if the rest of the family doesn’t jump on board. Skipping in-law gifts will knock 16 names off of my list. At the $5 limit I set for myself, that’s only $80, but if it keeps the rest of the family from spending $400, it’s worth it.

I don’t like to see everyone else struggling to make ends meet and spending a fortune on gifts for my kids. I don’t mind to spend it on them, but I want to know NOW!

Do you guys have any ideas? Is this a problem for your family?

I don’t like drawing names and setting limits, because in order for me to hit a spending limit, one child will receive substantially more gifts than another. And, one sister holds the majority of the kids, so many that she would be purchasing for her own if names were drawn.


  1. k2save says

    This is a good year to cut back for everyone; the economic downturn can be your scapegoat. One side of our family has stopped buying Christmas gifts entirely, but instead buy for birthdays so that it's spread throughout the year. We still get together and enjoy a huge meal, but now put the focus on being together and remember the Reason for the season. Another side of the family has started choosing a couple of families from the Share Your Christmas tree and buying for them instead. It makes everyone feel great to know we're helping someone less fortunate. By doing this, we're only buying for our immediate family (spouse & kids)….sure works for us!


  2. Lavonne says

    I have to agree with K2save. Times are tough for all most everyone and Christams has become so commericalized anymore that many people tend to forget the real reason for the season. We buy for our most immediate family and for our parent's I send a money order made payable to the electric company as well one for their favorite store so if there is something they actually "need" they can get it (ie…groceries,prescriptions or those incidentials that we all use) One could also put together food baskets for family members that are struggling and perhaps a small toy for the child/children. It feels good to give and it does comes back to those that give with a open loving heart :-)


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