October 8, 2013

Cutting Back the Christmas Budget - Part 1

Sunday, I spent almost 2 hours online Christmas Shopping, then ended up not buying anything except for 2 small things for Mr. Ripples.  I realized that I was just buying stuff because there were good deals again and not really buying things because they were something that I had planned to buy.  I want to be more purposeful in my shopping this Christmas.

We have a large family to buy for.  I always wish we could tell everyone that we don't want to exchange gifts but I don't want to be the scrooge of the family.  With as many relatives as we have, it leaves us with a small amount to spend on each person.  I would love to just hang out with family and then spend our Christmas Gift money on our kids.  We already quit buying for our sisters and brothers and just buy for their children.  But there are 8 nieces and nephews that we buy for.  We had told them that when they turn 21, we wouldn't buy them Christmas presents anymore since they would then be adults.  But only 1 is 21 and I feel bad that she would be the only one not to receive a gift.

We also have 6 winter birthdays that I include in my Christmas shopping budget.  And I also buy for my one friend's kids.  She has 3 kids and the dads are losers.  She's always struggling financially and all her kids birthdays are in the fall/winter (3 of the 6 birthdays I mentioned above).  I usually buy them each 1 gift for their birthdays then send my friend 1 or 2 gifts for each of them to give them at Christmas.

Over the next couple of days, I am going to be working on a specific list of what I want to buy for each person.  I have to try really hard not to get suckered into buying things just because they are a good deal.  If I have a list, then I'll know exactly what to look out for and can price shop to get the best deals.

I was able to knock $15 out of the Christmas budget already for wrapping paper and gift bags.  I save gift bags to reuse and have a lot of Christmas ones already on hand.  We have a little wrapping paper left over from last year and I bought some really cheap on clearance after last Christmas and at Garage Sales.

To Be Continued...


  1. Regarding the nieces and nephews, I would just say that you prefer to stop buying gifts as it is too much. I bet everyone would be equally relieved.

  2. I think I agree with ND. You may be feeling the pinch and don't want to be the scrooge, but I think others would be just as happy to jump in your boat with that idea. The economy affects everybody. But you know your family more than anyone, so I'd gauge it from there where to stop the line. Maybe the whole family should do a secret Santa, so that 1 person can focus on one or two at a time?

  3. Gift giving should not make you feel this way. I suggest you stop. I doubt the nieces and nephews would even notice. Chances are, they are inundated with stuff on Christmas as it is.

  4. for the last couple of years I've been giving movie baskets as a family gift. A movie for everyone to enjoy paired with some microwave popcorn and mini bags of candy. After Halloween you can get great deals on the treats. Everyone loves them. Most people I know with kids find they have too much stuff, and since most of the gift is consumable the parents love it.

    1. This is a great idea. I might do this for my friend's family.