October 23, 2013

Cutting Back on the Christmas Budget: Part....What number am I on Now???

I'm at a loss on how to cut back the budget anymore. There's a whole list of people I still have to buy for including 6 parents, 4 grandparents.

Grandparents in Florida - We just send them a card with a family picture in it.  I might have the girls draw a picture to send also. This won't cost me any extra as I already send cards with pictures to everyone anyways.

Grandma in Nursing Home - We usually get her some flowers and a card.  Budget: $15

Grandma: She's another hard one.  She doesn't drive and her sight is really bad so she doesn't go out much.  Budget: $15

My dad and step-mom in California - It's so hard to know what to buy them.  I don't talk to my dad much and never talk to my step-mom.  We get along great when we are visiting in person, we just don't ever pick up the phone and chat.  I usually send them some type of food gift.  One year I sent them 2 giant fancy caramel apples.  It's easier to just order something online because it ends up costing me so much to ship something to them and then I have to deal with the post office. Budget - $30

My in-laws - I budgeted $40 for each of them.  My mother-in-law helps out with the girls a lot so I try to spend a little extra and get them something nice.  But all she ever wants is gift cards.  That's no fun.

My mom and Stepfather - They help us out tremendously with the girls with babysitting when there isn't school to taking them overnight so Mr. Ripples and I can have a date night.   I budgeted $40 for each of them but again, they only ever ask for gift cards.

Total: $220  My goal will be to get creative and see if I can come in under budget by 10%. 


  1. Put a note in your dad and stepmom's card that you would rather take them out for lunch when you're there than buy them something they probably don't need.

  2. I found that older, far away (but close) relatives ie: grandparents, really mean it when they say they don't want anything. I have sent bulbs to plant, and seed packets. They also love pictures of the kids. I put them in. .50 thrift shop frames. I also have sent nice Advent calendar greeting cards. (Easily found nonlinear. About $2.50 each, shipping to you, then you just need a stamp.) Honestly, even at my age, I am not looking for more stuff. My family only exchanges cards....sometimes even missing that if our years are crazy. The feeling if gift giving obligation /entitlement is the very antithesis of Christmas (my opinion) I would be very upset if a family member felt he had to break the budget yo give me a gift for fear I would be upset.