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.
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.
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?
FYI: I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year. I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $80,000-$100,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home. If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!). I even have all of my favorite tools on a resource page - I hope they help you too. Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!