Xmas and why I suddenly feel like the grinch!!

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Ema, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    It wasn't long ago that the topic about how much money to spend on Xmas gifts on the kids came up in our family, via livechat cam (we live far from the family so we get to see each other this way and chat). The topic was started by my sister in law, which was very surprising to me and my husband since of course we know they have fallen on hard times like many other people we know. and even us, things are quite tight.

    Anyhow I had already had a short discussion with my dh in regards to xmas gifts for my kids, something I posted on another thread on xmas frugality. But as my family began to share how much they are planning on spending on each kid I began to feel inadequate. Even more when they asked me what we were planning. So I told him, this year, both kids combined, just 100 dollars, not counting a few stocking stuffers which is budgeted to 25 and under. GASP....was I serious...that is the looks I got!!!! They are prepared to spend between 300 to 400 per kid!! They said I wouldn't have much under the tree and the kids would be disappointed :-(

    I have been going over board for years in buying them toys and other things they barely touch, so this year my dh and I decided its time to teach them what xmas is really about. we are buying them a bunch of craft items, colouring books, paints, blank canvasses etc...they love to paint, and colour and do crafts, build things etc...so instead of buying all those action figure toys that will lose its luster within the first day we agree don something they use on a daily basis.

    We also agreed at least one gift will have to be hand made, so for my little guy who loves chalk we are making a wall chalk board, and for my daughter we are making her a jewellery box for all her costume jewellery she had laying around. these 2 items will cost us nothing as we already have those supplies laying about, the chalk paint was bought in spring, as I was going to put a board outside but it rained soo much I never got around to it.

    Even the kids have to make a gift if they want to put something under the tree for mom and dad. I will help them make their dad's gift and dad will help them with mine. I explained to them I want them to know its not about how much people spend on them, its about the gesture and the thought, and spending time together as a family doing things.

    I told my dd that this year she and I can make xmas cookies and place them in nice xmas tins we have and give those out for gifts to her teacher and principal as well as her bus driver and the mail people, this I shared with my family and they said that while it was thoughtful its just had CHEAP spelled all over it.

    I mean my sister in law, she makes less money than I do, I am full time at my job and she is part time at her job, and still she rather not pay her bills and spend a couple hundred dollars on each kid. I mean there is nothing wrong with spending more if you have it to spend, but when you don't, you just don't.

    so I was livid over this, my family thinks changing my ways for xmas is just being a grinchy cheapo!!!

    but it doesn't end there, I brought it up at work and the girls at work apart from 2 of my closest coworkers think the same...everyone around me is prepared to skip out on household bills just so they can spend that 200 to 400 bucks per kid. I rather pay my bills and provide them with a stress free holiday throughout and not worry about having my hydro cut or telephone etc... or having to deal with the bank over late mortgage payments (which I do not have, but my family members do, and 3 of them are already behind on their hydro by a couple months)

    Am i being a grinch?? I don't think I am, but now I feel bad and doubtful that my kids will enjoy xmas day gift opening. This is why I moved 16 hours away from them, I should have just avoided the conversation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. caspernc

    caspernc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Z town NC
    FYI...The chalk board paint is the bomb! BUT..... if it has set for any lenth of time get it shook up again at the store. It has sediment metal tiny bits in it and it really needs to be mixxed well. [​IMG]
    I think you will have a great Christmas, by the way.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2011
  3. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    You are not being a grinch at all!!!! A grinch STEALS the spirit of Christmas, and it seems like your relatives may have at least lost that spirit. We too are tight this year. We also have three new grandbabies to buy for, thankfully they are BABIES! [​IMG]

    Tonight we asked, "what do the babies want this year?" And we were met with silence. So they are gonna get what can afford. When my son was growing up, I never went overboard, though I cannot say the same for his grandmother [​IMG] I am more concerned with getting something for Robert that will occupy him. He is 4, and living with our daughter now. And she just had a baby. He is jealous, but being very good about it, just goes around asking if we love him. [​IMG]

    Elena = NOT a grinch.
  4. MaggieRae

    MaggieRae Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2009
    North Texas
    Of course not! As far as I can see, you're being responsible, while retaining the spirit of the holiday.

    I personally love the idea of making homemade gifts. Every year I choose some homemade gift to make for everyone (like cookie mixes in a jar or my great-grandmother's hot chocolate recipe) and supplement them for the people who are really important to me (outside of immediate family). I also try to make cards for them. Better for the budget, but heartfelt.
    My parents firmly believed in the $20 rule... I didn't, though. I loved to buy my parents and close friends stuff. I'd save up and spend more, but I didn't have a bunch of bills to pay. [​IMG]

    Really, Christmas should be about family, friends, and spending time with loved ones, not money.
  5. Barred Babies

    Barred Babies Red Roof Farms

    Sep 20, 2009
    Pride, La.
    No you shouldn't feel like a grinch and you shouldn't let anyone tell YOU what YOU should spend! Let them get behind on their bills and what not and trust they'll be SO sorry they did come January and you won't be!! I feel it's an individuals choice on what they spend. I'm so suprised on people actually telling you that! I would never presume to voice my opinion on someone elses finances!!

    Trust me I've been there on both sides!! I spent $10,000 one year buying a car and a 4 wheeler for my daughter & son and I've also have had years that a couple of hundred was the most I could spend. I no longer use credit cards so that's no even an option to get myself in a bind!! I spend what I feel is right for us and never think better or worse because someone spends differently!!

    I know you'll have a wonderful christmas and it sounds like your kids will be happy with what they receive!! [​IMG]
  6. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Christmas has become too commercial - it shouldn't be about how much you spend. And most of all, your family should understand your wishes.

    My family gets cookies in tins every year for the past 20 + years. The only year I didn't do it was the year my oldest was born as he was only a week old that Christmas. (they complained but understood) This year they are getting some jam too.

    We have cut back with our kids too - with all of my family and DH's family here, the kids just get too much. 6 years or so ago, wemade a rule that each family can only give 1 toy to our kids. (they can give other presents, just not more than 1 toy) My mom would go way overboard and it was ridiculous how many toys they had.

    Maybe if more people focused on being with family instead of buying gifts, they wouldn't run you over for a parking spot. I do most of my shopping on line, I can't stand dealing with the holiday rudeness.
  7. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    You are definitely not the grinch but you ARE apparently the only one in the bunch with brains!

    I love the idea of the gifts you have planned and I'm sure your kids will not be disappointed at all. And for those folks to say that making and giving out cookies etc. is "nice but cheap"? I guess it is completely lost on them to consider the time, effort and consideration that go into such a gift. One of our customer's makes homemade goodies and delivers them every Christmas and I am always so touched that she includes us on her list! She is a busy lady and I know how much time she spends doing this every year. That kind of gift makes some quickie store bought gift pale in comparison.

    To some people only the dollar amount spent on a gift matters and you'll likely never convince them otherwise. Fools will be fools. So, ignore them, carry on with your plans and be smugly happy in January when you not only pay your bills but have no mountian of Christmas debt to pay off!
  8. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    It is foolish to go into debt or to use bill money to pay for Christmas gifts. That's ridiculous.

    "Santa" brings my nieces three gifts. As they explain it, the wise men brought Baby Jesus three gifts. If it works for the Baby Jesus it is certainly enough for them. One of the Santa gifts is a little bigger, then they get one gift from Mom and Dad. Of course, they get gifts from the rest of the family, but even we are scaling back. They have too many toys as it is. I have started giving books for birthdays and something handmade for Christmas. This year is probably going to be matching nightgowns for them and their baby dolls.

    Stick to your guns. Your kids will be better for it in the end.
  9. enjoyin' my chickens

    enjoyin' my chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 13, 2011
    Hinesville, Ga
    Stick to your guns. Teach the children the true meaning of Christmas. It is not, I repeat, NOT a competition over who can spend the most money on gifts. I agree fully about making sure that the bills are paid first. Keep your feet on solid ground.
  10. hemet dennis

    hemet dennis Chillin' With My Peeps

    hey Ema is your family in congress ? it sounds like they spend money they don't have like congress does.
    do i have to buy each of my chickens a gift ?? maybe I'll just buy myself some more chickens.
    may all your chickens lay 2 eggs per day [​IMG]

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