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Jude's avatar

For those of you who celebrate Christmas (and give gifts), because of the economy and money being tight for some, how would you feel about just getting together with family over the holidays and no gifts?

Asked by Jude (32198points) November 22nd, 2011

I’m doing some grad school work (which isn’t cheap) and I’m broke as a joke. I don’t have a lot of people to buy for (my Dad, my niece, my g/f, and one of my siblings (we draw names for a gift exchange)). I would much rather get my partner a little something and leave it at that. I don’t care if I get any gifts.


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36 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

That’d be fine by me. Christmas is about getting together with loved ones. The kids in the family like the gifts, but I could care less. We exchange ornaments with siblings in my family. No other gifts.

john65pennington's avatar

You are the type person that the stores on Black Friday hate to hear about. You, like I, are low on Christmas funds.

I agree that the spirit of Christmas is surrounded with ones family and not how much you paid for a gift for Aunt Matilda. The adults would understand this, but the children are another story.

If all family members are in agreement, then go for it.

cazzie's avatar

The way things are going, I would be happy to call off Christmas this year. I will try to do something for my little boy and my older step-son, but that’s it.

Jude's avatar

The niece is getting a ticket to see Wicked the play.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t care about gifts. We often skip them.

Seek's avatar

I love the idea of a frugal holiday. Honestly, I’d rather spend the money on an awesome dinner.

Stores can make bad jokes about handmade gifts (that eBay commercial really pisses me off, to be honest. Know which one I’m talking about?) but I remember a thoughtful inexpensive gift much more fondly than something someone ripped off the sale rack when they were bombarding the Black Friday stores.

That said, I’m usually a Black Friday shopper, but I only shop for myself then. Hey, I need a new coffee pot for $5 more than my brother-in-law does.

Judi's avatar

We give gifts to the kids, and the adults do the gift exchange game with a gift between $25—$30.
On leaner years we have an “Aunt Edna” Christmas.
When I was little, Aunt Edna used to give strange gifts with funny notes. I got a used manicure set with someone else’s name written inside in ink once. It is a fun tradition to do an aunt Edna the gift exchange, but the gift has to be something used or cost under $1.00. (Maybe now we would up it to $5.00)

comity's avatar

To me, holidays are about getting together with family. Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, we’re a melting pot in my family. We don’t live near each other and to me the greatest present of all is spending time with one another. I do buy a little something for each of my 3 grandchildren, and spend what I can afford. Speak to your family about your issues and possibly getting a little something for your neice, but no other exchanging of gifts. I’m sure they’ll understand.

FutureMemory's avatar

I usually tell my family not to buy me anything since I can’t afford to buy them anything. Usually they enthusiastically agree. Even so, I still try to buy my mother something. Because…she’s my Mom.

Judi's avatar

@FutureMemory, I felt the same way about my mom. I lost her between Christmas and New Years last year. I wish I was able to give her a gift this year. It just won’t be the same. :-(

Jude's avatar

@Judi My Mom was all about Christmas. It’s hard not having her around during the holidays.

Big hug for you.

Mat74UK's avatar

We as a family by one £5 boys gift and one £5 girls gift and put them under the tree for the adults that way everybody gets something and the remainder of our cash goes on the kids gifts.

Coloma's avatar

I agree that Xmas is more about sharing the day with loved ones more so than gifts.

You can always bake some pies or cookies as a token offering.

I go by what’s happening in the present moment.

If I can afford to give a lot of gifts I do, because I enjoy giving, but, if I can’t, I don’t.

This year I am keeping my budget to around $500 including Xmas dinner.

I also only buy for 3 people, and do not miss the days of giant, extended family with 17 people to buy for.

I make my famous cranberry/apple relish for friends and neighbors and give out jars of that.

Infact, putting one out for my trash guy this morning :-)

I do splurge a bit on my daughter and her boyfriend who are young and sharing their 1st apartment.

Bottom line, do what is comfortable and within your means.

lonelydragon's avatar

That would be fine with me, if my family were willing.

OpryLeigh's avatar

Actually I would welcome that idea. I am really strapped for cash and I worry about buying Christmas presents for my loved one. My sister and I have already made a deal not to bother buying presents for each other.

downtide's avatar

I would love to do that but I don’t think the rest of the family would like it. Honestly I’d prefer to do nothing at all. The bigest expense for me is always the travelling and I hate having to waste £100 on visiting relatives I hardly know and only see once a year. But they wopuld all be offended if I didn’t turn up.

tinyfaery's avatar

Hell to the no. Those people need to bribe me with something so I’ll spend time with them. With me and the wife that would be fine. Though she would never allow it. She loves to buy me presents.

Coloma's avatar

P.S. Don’t forget you can print out your own “gift certificates” too, for babysitting relatives kids, a dinner party, picnic, etc. Get creative!

That’s the most fun of giving, finding/creating really unique expressions of your caring! :-D

dappled_leaves's avatar

I haven’t bought gifts in years; I like to give baked goods or preserves. They’re more personal, people will actually use them, and they don’t break my bank or feed the corporate holiday machine.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Most of the people in my life really get the idea that gifts aren’t even remotely the point. Some years I’m lavish, others I’m frugal. Some years I give all to charities in people’s names, some years I only make fruitcakes stop rolling your eyes, people, my fruitcakes are really really good and give them with little packets of coffee. Spend the time, share a nice meal, everybody should understand…

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

It may be shameful to say, but it would be disappointing if gift-giving went away in our family. It doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, re-gifting is okay in my book, as long as it is given with the receiver’s interests in mind.

For example, a young nephew is into music, so passing on my CDs would be a hit. He’d also be thrilled with a package of gummy worms. Another nephew is excited to unwrap a present to discover a package of turkey jerky. My sister loves to cook, so a cuisine magazine subscription is a gift that keeps on giving.

If you know your family members, it’s pretty easy to come up with a gift that doesn’t cost much, if anything, and it will be a home run.

Coloma's avatar

Another relatively inexpensive gift idea is to give gifts for peoples pets.

I once gave a really cool, faux, alligator skin leash and collar to my ex father-in-law for his Pug.

It matched the dogs coloring perfectly and he was thrilled to take “Moose” out and show off his new accessories. lol

Yesterday I left a package of ” Smelly cat” treats on my daughters windsheild as a little surprise gift for her kitty. Then , I called and sang the old song ” Smelly cat” from Pheobe on the show ” Friends” into her voicemail. hahaha

rojo's avatar

Several years ago we implemented a drawing for each family member over 18 (between families) and each person got a gift for one other. Kids were exempt, they got something from everyone.
Over the past few years, we have even gotten away from that. Best wishes and cards for all between families and a family get-together for dinner in which everyone participates.
Parents still give to their own children regardless of age and vise-a-versa and the little ones make out like bandits.

Jude's avatar

My Dad is a man who has everything that he needs. One year, I purchased a 100 gift certificate where he could go and make his own wine. He would end up with 10 bottles of vino. He told me a few months earlier, that was something that he’d like to do. I gave him the gift certificate for Xmas and he never used it.

Sunny2's avatar

Our family stopped exchanging gifts years ago. No problem. It’s the love that counts and that’s abundant.

wundayatta's avatar

I’d love it. No one wants gifts any more, except the kids. No one ever gets anyone something they want by accident. It’s only if you ask a person and then they tell you exactly what they want. Where’s the charm in that?

But no. Never gonna happen. We are monkeys, after all, and this is grooming behavior, and without it, our families will fall apart. First we give up gifts, and then we wonder why we travel, and then we wonder why we talk, and the next thing we are without each other forever.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’m fine with not receiving gifts but I come up with stuff year round to put aside for others and I look forward to giving them out. Someone would have to ask me in their own home not to give gifts for me to refrain.

cazzie's avatar

I used to be really into gift giving. I would work hard at thinking what the person would like and spend ages looking for the perfect thing that fit in my budget. I was really really good at it. I could find the perfect sweater, earrings, antique book, perfect music…. but I realised it was a very lonely one way street all of a sudden. It has become a special time to connect with my step son’s mother because we always celebrate together, as an extended family and she has another son, 10 years older that our shared son, so he is there as well. I know she tries, so I do too. But for the most part, now, I concentrate on getting the kids right and enjoying them enjoy Christmas.

wonderingwhy's avatar

For our families it’s mostly about getting as many of them together as possible and the feast that ensues – which is where the cash that would’ve been spent on gifts goes. It’s also taken on a little more “specialness” as it doesn’t always come together every year so when it does we tend to go big.

I personally like giving and getting gifts but that’s become more of a thing between myself, my SO, a couple very close friends. Even then, it’s really more about time alone together for a few days and being able to reconnect without the rest of life’s distractions.

jonsblond's avatar

Many of our family members have been struggling the past few years. None of us have exchanged gifts for several years now. It will be the same this year. We have a great time visiting with each other and eating all the food everyone brought. No big deal for us. Our parents would rather we use what little money we have on our children instead of everyone else in the family.

MilkyWay's avatar

@FutureMemory Your response literally made me say ‘Aww’. That’s so sweet!

EmptyNest's avatar

My children are all grown up and out of the house. I have three grandchildren. One from each of my three kids. I only buy gifts for them and no one else. I’m not going to stress myself out.

MilkyWay's avatar

Sorry, back to answering the question.
No, I wouldn’t mind not getting gifts at all. It’s the thought that counts. :)

YARNLADY's avatar

We’ve been doing that for years. Most of our family members aren’t Christian, and as the kids became teens, the gifts consisted of a card and some money. Many of the (now adult) kids have their birthdays in December, and that has always been an issue with the expense.

They all understand the economic situation, and are OK with it.

tedibear's avatar

I WOULD LOVE IT!!! I am tired of giftmas in so many ways. Although I must say that @tinyfaery‘s answer has a great deal of merit. :D

amujinx's avatar

I’ve had a standing rule for years now that I only buy gifts for family that is 15 and under. The best part is that I only take about an hour to shop for 4 boys and 2 girls, and more often then not my gifts are the most popular. My parents and siblings get kind of annoyed by this since they spend stupid amounts of time shopping for their kids/grandkids and I put in minimal time and reap the greatest results.

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