Changes In Christmas?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Annie, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I enjoyed some of the exchanges we had on Thanksgiving, I hope everyone had a great day, with or without political banter. My day turned out very nice, I'm still full! As the party was winding down, those of us that will be together at Christmas drew names for a 'grab bag.' In our family it's simple now, as the 'children' graduate high school, they join in to the grab bag. Before that they get gifts from everyone. Last one graduated in June! Yeehaw!

    My brother and his wife have done an 'Open House' on Christmas Eve since they got married. I always had Christmas at my home, so going out really didn't work well. So I had my parents, my children, and one of my friends, her husband, and their two children over for the past 20 some years. I had that menu down cold, heck I've even bought some of the things I thought I'd need.

    The years have brought change, my folks have both died within the last 5 years. My friend's daughters have married and have kids now, so they are now doing Christmas Eve with the grandkids, though we all get together at midnight Mass and on the 26th. My own kids have boyfriend, girlfriends and don't necessarily wish to be 'home' for the entire evening, especially as I start making the appetizers for the next day! :lol:

    So with my nephew undergoing radiation, a double dose on the morning of Christmas Eve, my brother and SIL were disappointed that they were going to have to cancel what's become a big tradition for them. Somehow last night my mouth opened and said, "Hey I can help with that, I'm off on the 19th, you can let me get things started, when you get back from Rochester, take over." I don't know who was more shocked, me or them? They were relieved though, I think they've had way too many changes this year.

    So there is one big change for my Christmas this year. I think that my kids were sort of relieved, they were like, "We'll help, then go out and meet you at church. It'll be great!" My niece was thrilled, as all of her friends stop by then.

    This is the first year I've really cut back on gifts in a significant way. It's a burden relieved. I'm already calmer than usual on the day after Thanksgiving. My shopping, of which there wasn't any outside of my laptop is done. Total for 3 kids and grab bag, just over $400. That's not bad, though I wish it were less. It's taken a few years to realize that the kids can and do buy what they want, one gift for each that they might not want to put the cash out for was good. They are happy that I'm less stressed.

    I'm finding that I'd like to simplify in other ways, so I have more time for others while becoming less intense on myself. Anyone else finding the years, economy hitting them like this at all?
     
  2. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    I may buy my son a tangled spool of yarn this Christmas.

    Only if he's good, of course.
     
  3. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Is your son a kitten? ;) How old?

    I'm wondering if with the economy we won't get back to simpler times and more family things, rather than as much commercialism?
     
  4. random3434
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    random3434 Senior Member

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    We have been drawing names in our family forever it seem, as we grew and grew and grew....

    We drew the names yesterday, as we always do at Thanksgiving. It's a relief, you are correct.


    I also have my daughter's grandparents, my fiancee, his son, my mother, his mother, and of course my daughter to buy for. Scaled back from past years for sure. Picture frames with my daughters pic and candles are always good bets, and I always try to find something unique for each person too.
     
  5. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    After the divorce I told my friends that we needed to stop exchanging gifts between ourselves and kids. That was a relief. Now I only buy for my children and the one $25 grab bag, which all of us just do gift cards. I've got my nephew's wife, I just need to find out her favorite store and send one of my kids for that. I hate malls at Christmas. I love entertaining and have friends and cousins over between Christmas and New Year's. (Great way to get rid of the appetizers and cookies). The other day when I ran to Costco, they had Korbel Brut on sale at $7.99, I grabbed a case. ;)
     
  6. random3434
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    random3434 Senior Member

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    So that means you have enough to make mimosas for ALL of us!


    :woohoo::bowdown::booze:
     
  7. Cecilie1200
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    Cecilie1200 Gold Member

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    I can't say that I ever looked on giving gifts as something I needed "relief" from. I enjoy giving people presents, and would hate it if my family started celebrating Christmas where I could only buy one present for one person. On the other hand, I often make the gifts I give to people, so it's not a huge financial and last-minute shopping thing.

    This year, my husband and I are financially tight because we have a baby coming in late January, and my mom and brother just bought a new house and moved into it, so discretionary income is short. My mother has decided that her Christmas gift to me will be to come over and help me deep-clean my house - since being eight months pregnant means I can't do it alone - and get it ready for decorating. I will probably find something in a similar vein to give her, possibly organizing all of her craft patterns into a neat, cross-referenced file, since I was an administrative assistant for twenty years, and my mother hates clerical work.

    My husband and I discussed the situation, and he plans to give me an art projector purchased from e-bay, which I will then use to give my son his gift, which will be to paint a huge mural of a fire-breathing dragon on two of his bedroom walls. He's been begging for me to do it for two years. I also plan to use the projector to decorate the nursery, so as you can see, this is quite the structured gift plan. ;)

    I also plan to make several shirts for my son to wear in our medieval recreation society, and a new cloak with fur lining. There's a wonderful fabric store in town that sells huge remnant pieces by the pound for incredibly low prices, and it makes projects really cheap. My husband wants a new tabard to go over his armor, and my best friend needs both a warm cloak and a hooded sorceror robe (that last is just because he's weird, I think). I am also painting a picture depicting said best friend as the Grim Reaper, because I know he'll be thrilled (I mentioned he was weird, right?)

    That's not my comprehensive list, but you get the idea. In addition, my kitchen will be going into overdrive with cookie and cake baking and candy making, to give gifts to all of the people I want to acknowledge, like the next-door neighbor who is a retired mechanic and helps keep our cars running and my husband's boss and my best friend's family.
     
  8. WillowTree
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    WillowTree Diamond Member

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    I hate shopping and don't do it. We have everything we need and so do our adult kids. The grandkids will get money. And I don't drag out all the decorations and trim the house from stem to stern either. Just a few of my favorite objects to obtain the look of christmas. I like the stress free life too. We'll have a big dinner on Christmas day.. Thanksgiving worked out well with the seafood for dinner instead of turkey,, yeah! I didn't have to cook!
     
  9. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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  10. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Some families certainly are spread out. While I'm not the crafter or sewer that Cecilie1200 is, I'm planning on some special get togethers and things for my family and friends. Where we used to meet up in restaurants a lot of the time to exchange gifts and celebrate, I think 'home' more now seems good. Where in the past it was often 'me and my friends' I'm planning more on including spouses and kids that are home.
     

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