Posted by: Robin~AllThingsHeartandHome | October 9, 2008

Christmas Budget Cuts…start early!

We’re finally gonna do it!  Change our focus this Christmas! (Thank you Wallstreet!) The current economy is forcing us to do something we’ve talked about forever.  This year the presents won’t be the center of our family gathering.  (Or the focus of all our spare time in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.) 

 My sister and I have been brain-storming about how to keep our celebration budget friendly.  We get together on the Sunday before Christmas.  We take pictures, play a couple of games, eat a lot and open loads of gifts.  There are only 27 of us but with everyone giving everyone else a gift it’s just ridiculous.  Last year we made some changes. In an effort to take the focus off of the “stuff.”  We drew names and set a dollar limit.  When it was time to open the gifts it was fun to see who got who’s name and see what everyone chose to give. 

Some of the crazy present opening in ’07!

Still, a lot of money was spent. And this year, throughout the family, we have more on our financial plate. Here are a few of those things: 3 new home purchases, 1 newborn, 1 pregnancy, 2 new puppies, $200,000.00 (plus) in lost retirement, 4 weddings coming in ’09, 1 HUGE paycut (this one’s mine! & Mike’s!), and a partridge and a pear tree! So we decided to stop-drop-and roll. 

Here’s what we’re doing instead of buying a bunch of presents: We are having a Carpe Giftum!  (Seize the Gift) I’ve posted part of the evite I just sent out -( We’ve got more ideas I’ll post later!  And any ideas anyone else has would be oh so appreciated!)

Carpe Giftum!
(Seize the Gift!)
Hey Fam~ This is a head’s up for you early shoppers! This year we are going to take some of the pressure off this holiday season!  As opposed to drawing names we will be doing a Yankee Swap.(Kinda like a White Elephant Gift Exchange EXCEPT the gift shouldn’t be a gag gift…just a little something you like!)
The gift should be $10.00 or UNDER!
The gift should be wrapped!
I just wanted to give a heads up to the early shoppers.  No worries this year! Just keep your eyes open for a little something YOU LIKE!
(You can also bring a small gift for the children…Ava, Stacie and Kalie if you want to!)
More later!



  1. Robin that’s a great idea. We know a family who does $1.00 gifts which are left in a stocking while everyone else is out of the room. They try to guess who bought what, etc. They love it. I am trying to think of something different this year. Our first year without my big brother. If we can all keep breathing…whew! I know your husband is facing a similar mountain, but without the few more months we have.

    It was surprising to me to find out that everything hurts. The change of seasons even hurts. Why? I don’t have the words right now. It’s just hard. But God will get us through it. He has been so Faithful, so Good.

  2. hello i see you blog very nice and i think you feture better post

  3. […] 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 […]

  4. This is a really good way of dealing with what we are all dealing with now. We don’t get together with the entire extended family anymore so gift-giving is a little haphazard. I have some relatives that mail or drop buy loads of stuff on us and others that are okay not exchanging gifts unless we are actually spending Christmas together. That’s my rule for birthdays; generally you aren’t obligated to give a gift unless you are physically there celebrating the birthday with them. Cards are just fine.

    BTW, persnickety Latin moment: Carpe Donum! Seize the Gift! But your version is cuter. 🙂

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