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My Christmas Gifts List EXPLODED!

Okay, so my husband and I didn’t make many friends until about 3-4 years ago.  That’s when we met (sort of re-met) Ivy and Isabelle.  Then a year or two later, our group started growing.  It’s been great to build up a support network of people who can all depend on each other.  But that also means that we all like each other, so our Christmas gifts list has become a small issue for all of us.

White Elephant Gift Exchange

In an effort to keep this cheap for our group as a whole, we decided that our next potluck will have a White Elephant gift exchange.  Anybody who brings a $15 or less package to the party can participate, and we’ll run it classically.  First we’ll draw numbers to see what order we will go in.  A person will choose a gift.  Then the next person can choose to “steal” a previous gift or open a new one.  If your gift is stolen, you choose again.  No one gift can be stolen more than three times.

Personal Christmas Gifts

This is great for the group as a whole and will make a fun side event for our next potluck, BUT there are some people who are closer to each other than others.  They will be exchanging personal gifts on their own time.  Most of the group has made it clear that I am on their list.  And they are on mine.  So despite the excellent White Elephant idea, I still have a pretty long Christmas list.  Including grandparents, close family, and close friends, there are 25-30 people…

General Gift Options

When I want to spread holiday cheer, these are my general options:

  • DIY- Do something craftsy.
  • Cooking – Bake little care packages.
  • Gifts – Buy individual gifts.
  • Activities – Do something with each of them.

Laziness Won

This year, I am extremely lazy.  Sometimes I will get the baking bug and just take care of mostly everyone, but that has not hit me.  The only activity will be the potluck with the White Elephant exchange.  I am also doing photo gifts for the grandparents and close family, so that’ll cover my “craftsy”.  They’ll also be getting printed copies of both of my online books, with personalized messages in each one.  So that’s the extent of my “DIY”.

But I’m buying something for everyone else.  My husband’s list is a little shorter, but he is planning on buying stuff too.  I’m generally done, and my gifts range from $8-$18 per person depending on what screamed their name.  It seems my overall Christmas spending will be around $300 including the photo gifts and book printing.  My husband will probably spend around $200.

Not Stressing

Overall, we can totally afford this $500, so I’m not worrying over it all.  I’ve been in a funk lately anyway, so I really just want to take some deep breaths and use the holidays to be thankful for our friends and family.  I refuse to go nuts over a Christmas budget.  We won’t spend ourselves broke, and that’s good enough for me.

As for the funk, I am trying to figure out if it’s because of ongoing allergies or what…I just feel “blah”.  Boogers.

I just hope our more broke friends stick with something cheaper like baking.  Crystal loves her some Christmas cookies…

How are your holiday gift giving plans going?

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6 comments to My Christmas Gifts List EXPLODED!

  • I used to have a pretty long gift list, due to having to buy for some relatives who I really didn’t care much for. And it was frustrating because while I would put effort into getting them nice, meaningful gifts, they would usually buy the first and cheapest thing they could for me (read, $5 bottle of red wine when i don’t even drink red wine and rarely even white wine). Then a couple years ago there was a falling out and now my part of the family no longer speaks to that part of the family. Problem solved!!!! Now I take the money I would have spent on them and use it to get even nicer gifts for those I care about. I don’t mind buying a lot of gifts, but it is always better when you buy for people you truly care about instead of just out of an obligation. It sounds like you have a lot of close friends in your life and that makes gift buying fun!

  • My gift list is long due to having kids. That means we have school teacher gifts, dance teacher gifts, etc. This year I made homemade vanilla extract to give as gifts. Supplies are only about $3 to $4 per bottle. It was easy and only minimally DIY, only taking about 15 minutes total.

    http://familygonehealthy.com/recipes/simple-homemade-vanilla-extract/

  • MikeS

    I think our gift fund is slightly over-funded this year, so I’m not sweating it much at all. I think there are a few more people this year since my daughter started school, but we should be able to cover it. We probably still spend way more than we should, but we’ve already set the money aside and it won’t negatively impact our budget. It certainly takes some the stress out of the holidays.

  • $500 isn’t too bad considering there are two of you. I read somewhere that the average amount per PERSON is over $1,000. Good luck!

  • Dee

    You like baked goods?? MWHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHA I have someone I can bake for!! That long Christmas Break is suddenly going to smell so much better!!

    I can’t keep sweets at home but I sure do love the smell of them baking. Oh and candies… I can make candies…. excitement!

  • @Denise, glad the money can go to a better use!

    @Courtney, great idea!

    @MikeS, it really does help to have a budget.

    @Debt BLAG, HOLY MOLY! That’s nutballs. The most we’ve ever spent on Christmas included a flat screen in 2007 for ourselves…that was a $1750 year total. But if you don’t count treating ourselves to something we saved for specifically, it’s generally $400-$750 total.

    @Dee, yay cookies and candy!!!