Posted by: Robin~AllThingsHeartandHome | December 3, 2008

Cutting Back this Christmas…

 Christmas and budgets! Think those words don’t go together? Think again! You can still do both with some mad planning skills. I have been wishing I could take the focus off the “stuff” in Christmas for years. This year, thanks to our pay-cut in August and the shenanigans on Wall Street, my wish has come true! You’d think I’d know to be careful what I wish for!

 We’ve decided to impose Christmas Budget Cuts in our extended family. I sent out an evite in October giving everyone a heads up. The consensus has been really positive so far. Mike and I talked about our kids and decided to cut waaaaay back. We’ve tried to keep up their belief in Santa Claus over the years by heaping tons of presents on them on Christmas morning and holding the goods hostage until they came over for Christmas Breakfast. The tradition has been: all of us sitting in a circle for an hour or more and opening one thing after another…

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Well this year, when they each have one small present (I mean small, think of tinker bell size gift here) and their stocking to open, what the heck are we going to do with the other 50 minutes? The Husband and I have been brainstorming. Here’s how it went…

Me: “Play games?”

The Husband: “We do that on Christmas Eve and who wants to play games early in the morning?”

The Husband: “Watch a Movie?”

Me: “By Christmas morning, we’re pretty much over Christmas movies and besides that everyone would just fall asleep.”

Neither of us actually said this…”Go around the room and give “spiritual gifts” to each person”…(Just kidding) Uhhhhh, that was from arguably the worst Christmas movie I’ve ever seen. (Four Christmases) But I digress…

Me: (I want credit for this) “What about getting some snippets (yes I most certainly do use the word “snippets”!) of some old home/vacation movies from when the kids were young and watching them? That would be good for a few laughs.” Annnd we have a winner! 

So my job is to go through some of the old movies and find the fun parts and get together a little montage’ for Christmas morning.  I know this won’t work for everyone so I’d love to hear your ideas.

Are you going to do anything different this Christmas in light of the financial crisis recession?

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Responses

  1. we’ve been in this mode for a few years, since our pay cut occurred almost 5 years ago now! we have stopped exchanging gifts among the adults–hallelujiah!–and only buy for the nieces and nephews on each side. since we only have 2 on my side and 3 on my husband’s, this really helps with budgeting.

    both my parents and bob’s parents can’t STAND not to give us gifts, so they still buy for us. for us, part of our gift is being present in IL and IN! we are the only ones on either side who live away from everyone, so there is very little understanding of the cost involved in traveling 800 miles one way for the holidays. we would certainly be sad if we weren’t able to go, but it is costly regardless.

    long ago, we decided that our son would only receive 3 gifts from us, like the 3 wise men gave Jesus. this also helps us keep things in perspective. boys and their toys get more expensive each year though!

    i LOVE the idea of viewing home movies! your kids and their SO’s will too! we have done that during other family gatherings, with great success.

  2. Jenn~ We got a paycut around August and it’s amazing how much we didn’t need!!!! When the “financial crisis” hit, we were already in cut back mode so it didn’t hurt quite as much. I love the 3 gift idea!!! :)

  3. “Our shift” in how we celebrated Christmas came a few years back when our kids entered the family scene. I suspect with the addition of a new grandbaby you will find a shift in perspective as well. As a daughter it was a even a little bit of a relief to be able to tell my mother to focus on the grandkids and not get carried away with the rest of us!

    I think the home movies clips are an excellent idea! Even at the young age of our children they love looking back to previous years!

    Blessings!

  4. Wow! I love the new header! Kudos on figuring it out!!! I’ve been crossing my fingers and holding my breath for the big reveal. BRAVO!

  5. love the family video idea!! how fun and your kids will love it. hope you understand my sentiment when i say this… but you really keep me excited about the enjoying the future with my children as adults, especially since lately i’ve been having a hard time with my baby growing up!

  6. I can’t wait to watch the movies!! We drew names among our siblings for the first time this year. Instead of buying for all my brothers and their others, Steph and I will buy just for the names we drew… 2 gifts instead of 4. For the extended family on my parent’s side, we do a white elephant gift swap so we only have to buy 1 gift for that. There are so many people without jobs this year, so I’m thankful to be able to give any gifts at all. Love the header!

  7. Your more creative than I, I was going to suggest sleeping in 50 extra minutes.

  8. Look at you, girl… all tickled by joy!!!! :) I love it!!!!

    We’ve been doing lean Christmases for awhile now, mostly because I have no money (read: in debt forever and unable to work). Usually I buy for my nieces/nephews and godchildren, but they are either very inexpensive or I make them something. My parents and my sister Janette who is also single usually exchange, but I emailed this year and suggested we just have supper and watch a movie and skip the gifts. My parents are having their farm sale tomorrow and things are just too stressful to worry about money when we should just be worrying about each other. I personally love the fact that I had everything done before Advent … and none of us need anything.

    I can’t wait until after Christmas when I can post about what I did for the kids this year. :)

    love you to pieces, girl. If you want to come see me for a Christmas present I totally won’t stop you :)

  9. for the extended family (cousins etc) the last several years we have done the each person bring a $10-$15 real gift (Target, Starbucks gift card or something) and then we draw numbers and do it like a white elephant, just with nicer gifts.
    It works out really well, and not that expensive at all.
    However, this year we are not even doing that.
    Jon and I aren’t buying any gifts for anyone. The only thing we did was a Christmas card we are sending out. We took the picture on Thanksgiving and Jon designed it and we had it printed at Walgreens on their .10 print day $5.00 for all 50 and we mailed them out. ALL of it for under $25.
    I am pleased, even though I am sad about not being able to buy gifts, I know that just a little thing can mean so much more, especially because we don’t live by any of the family.

  10. The Tickled by Joy banner really rocks Robin. I love it. I think your idea is going to be a hit. I went through my photo box the other day and the kids found a thirty minute movie of Alexa snippets. She was two or three when it was made. We did it for the grandparents but Alexa loved it so much I couldn’t take it away from her. I hope I sent Nanny and Papaw a copy.

    Now all three kids are loving this movie. They watch it at least once a day and they ask questions about why she sang certain songs, what the real words are to the nursery rhymes she rattled off, and umm…the other two want to know where their movies are. 8P

    This year, instead of our 4494 traditional ornaments (some of which Mom and Phil made before I was born!), we bought one cheap box of new ornaments and we are making the rest from scratch. A little bit of me would like to have the ornaments on the tree so I feel the closeness from years past, but I also want to feel sane. So for now the plan is to leave the box stored and have the craftiest December of our lives!

  11. We’ve decided to do gifts for children only this year with our families. There is really no need to just exchange gift cards and such with each other – we are going to focus on our time together and all go do something fun instead of spending the money on gifts we don’t really need. The memories made will be way more valuable than anything we can give each other.


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