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Old 12-03-2016, 06:58 PM
429 posts, read 249,356 times
Reputation: 1169


How about a card, even if home made, saying why I/we are thinking of you and why you are special to us?
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:58 PM
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,764 posts, read 21,813,668 times
Reputation: 27835
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
Long ago I had a friend who didn't have enough money for all the presents he was supposed to buy for his nieces and nephews. He was a chef so he made cookies for them. They COMPLAINED.

Most kids today are too spoiled and they get brainwashed by all the commercialism. They see ads on tv and they HAVE to have that item. You just can't keep up with that.

So if it's for kids, send them a Christmas card to let them know you're thinking of them. Even a gift card won't do it. I tried that but they don't appreciate it. Not unless it's for about $100 or more--and I bet they still won't appreciate it.

For little kids maybe you can make something. My husband and I don't bother for each other but we make a few special pies. The grandchildren live in England and it cost well over $50 last year in postage to send a LIGHT WEIGHT box, not counting the cost of the contents. But for a birthday I sent something they couldn't get there--an inexpensive child's bracelet made by natives in South America. I then printed out a world map and drew lines showing where the bracelet came from and how it went over the sea to England. Did the same thing for the little boy--just a plastic lobster from Maine with lines drawn showing its journey and a printed note about lobsters (along with a suggestion that the claws are very good for nipping someone's nose! LOL) Their mother thought those were great presents! Better than the expensive box of Christmas presents with the high postage.

So I guess I'm saying to either make something--knit, crochet, sew, build, construct. For an older kid, make a little cookbook of favorite family recipes. Or do something educational that they can learn from or use in school. I've also thought of drawing up their family tree for them with pictures of them and their mom, dad, grandparents. You can find templates online, print it out, and fill it in, keep it simple. Put it in a frame that you buy at a thrift store.
They didn't like cookies? I would have hidden them in my half of the bedroom I shared with my sister.

I cook, bake, knit and sew. I don't do that at Christmas. Well, sometimes I make baked goods for a couple of people. Many don't want to eat food that others have made.
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:03 PM
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,764 posts, read 21,813,668 times
Reputation: 27835
Originally Posted by Hedgehog_Mom View Post
My kids' all time favorite from my parents is an egg carton with different kinds of rocks, and my dad's old jewelers loupe to examine them with.
My kid loved that sort of thing.
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Old 12-04-2016, 09:56 AM
518 posts, read 668,519 times
Reputation: 962
For the grown ups it might be fun to make a soup in a jar. My daughter made me a mason jar with layered dried beans and a spice bag. It looked pretty in the cabinet and was very helpful one week when we were using pantry items for groceries.
I've gotten pancake mixes, hot chocolate mix, layered candies... I think it can be quite nice. I'm a big fan of no fail fudge in a dollar store Christmas box.
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Old 12-04-2016, 03:17 PM
Status: "I am in preparation mode!" (set 12 days ago)
5,515 posts, read 5,511,850 times
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Don't spend any money.
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Old 12-04-2016, 03:47 PM
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While I agree with not spending if you dont have it...but the holiday season is the same time every year.

Its never a surprise.

Save a buck or 2 a week for your childrens' Xmas.

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Old 12-04-2016, 04:30 PM
1,156 posts, read 1,572,240 times
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Learn to suffice with less. This is one of the problems with Christmas anymore, too much materialism. My wife and I look forward to spending time with family, and while we do get gifts for our son it's not a lot and we don't make a big deal about it. Grab yourself a few cards to hand out, simple things. If someone drops you off a guest list because you can't afford things to hand out, it probably wasn't worth being around them in the first place.

Is it nice to get things for Christmas? Sure it is, but it isn't needed to enjoy the season. Enjoy the time of year, enjoy the company of friends and family, and if you do only get a small gift, be thankful. If you can't do this without, "stuff," you're doing it wrong.
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Old 12-04-2016, 05:04 PM
Location: SW Florida
9,130 posts, read 3,948,162 times
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Originally Posted by chattyneighbor View Post
Unemployed, sick or otherwise struggling - without money for gifts, fro frau or any of the holiday nicities - people dropping you off the guest list and gift lists -

What's a poor person to do over the holiday season?

I've come to hate Christmas for this very reason. It's all about the material things for most people. One year we did Secret Santa and one year we said we were only buying for children under 18. A few years ago I crocheted scarves for everyone except the little ones.

Last year right after Christmas I opened a Holiday fund at my bank. They automatically take $30 out of my account on the first of the month when I get my pension check and put it into the holiday account which can't be touched. I know it won't help this year but you might see if your bank does something like this. It can be $10 a month or whatever you feel comfortable with.

If people are dropping you off the guest lists then poo on them. Consider yourself lucky. Christmas is supposed to be about celebrating the birth of Christ (if you are a believer) and getting together with loved ones, it's not a competition to see who can spend the most or buy the best gift.

Merry Christmas Chattyneighbor or Happy Hanukkah, whichever you celebrate.
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Old 12-04-2016, 08:39 PM
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,764 posts, read 21,813,668 times
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It's almost Christmas, but it's not just Christmas. Many are aware of the homeless, underemployed during this beautiful but cold season.
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:11 PM
473 posts, read 284,924 times
Reputation: 324
Salvation Army emergency services centers frequently have a nice holiday dinner. Check out churches or newspaper, sometimes it's VFW posts in smaller places. If you are in need of warm coats, hats, gloves, etc., you can pull the social worker aside and just ask. Frequently they have a few coats left over from the formal coat give aways you have to 'be in the know about' to use. Salvation Army emergency services' (usually in same location at the homeless center, not the thrift stores) social workers are in the know about all help available in a community and do give referrals. These are the people to know if you ever need help...Sometimes the Red Cross will not help some for unknown reasons and is better to just quietly go down the road than face what may happen for taking the complaint to the media....If in this kind of situation, better to ask Salvation Army for bus ticket to relative/friend who will take you for a while to restart....Community will discriminate badly sometimes if you choose to speak out about Red Cross, maybe even keeping you from working...

Sadly, some of the mental cases are attracted to working in social work or non-profits, if you find a bad egg is better to keep quiet. GAWD complex comments don't matter as almost no-one oversees this stuff and gives a damn, politician is just taking care of his cronies and rake in the $$$.
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