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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's time once again for Christmas shopping.

Problem is (if you could call it that) we don't need anything!

I've been racking my brain trying to figure out what to get hubby and kids for Christmas. This year, it's hard. Both of the kids are beyond being easily pleased with inexpensive toys.

Daughter doesn't want toys at all. She's almost 13. She says all she wants is clothes, but she wants to pick out her own, so she wants a gift card for the mall. I don't like the idea of shopping at the mall, but maybe I'll get her a gift card for a treat. Then she can figure out how to spend it instead of begging me to buy this or that.

She likes curling her hair, so I'm going to get her a hot rollers set. Beyond that, I have no idea. She has a cell phone, has an MP3 player, what more does a 13 year old need?

Son, 10.5, is in love with Legos, so there's an idea. But like his sister, he's got a cell phone and an MP3 player. He's got a DS, we've got a Wii and a Gamecube and he hasn't been asking for any new games.

They've got the bikes, scooters, skates, trampoline, pogo stick, baseball pitchback, bow & arrow, and even the "you'll shoot your eye out" BB gun.

They need nothing!

Hubby doesn't need much either. I asked him what he wanted, and he said new tires. Now, that's a real special present. :) I am getting him a flat-bed hand truck and a Magellan GPS for the car because he's horrible with directions. I found it more than half-price at Kmart.com. Already got him a T-shirt with a German Shepherd on it (he loves his dog) and a book from Ancestry.com about the family name. I think that's plenty.

As for me, what do I want?

I'd like one of those Harbor Freight greenhouses, but that's asking for a lot, and with our solarium I don't really need it. I just need to make sure my seedlings get covered up on cold nights if hubby leaves the door open too late for the dogs. :) Hm...I don't know. I don't need anything either. He'll probably buy me a new LCD computer monitor because my old one croaked and I had to go back to a conventional 14" monitor.

The things I really want don't come in a box that you can gift-wrap, you know? And to be honest, the things that are really useful are too expensive for Christmas gifts. For example, hubby wants a log splitter. I want a snow thrower and a good garden tiller. I also want to replace our kitchen floor and rehab our master bathroom. Try wrapping that. :)

I wish we could just have a nice low-key Christmas with minimal gift purchasing. The only other people we exchange with are either set for everything too (my FIL) or totally broke (my SIL). So it'd be nice if we could just exchange homemade trinkets - would be so much better than dollar store junk or guilt trips. SIL is an artist. I'd be thrilled if she'd just paint me something to hang on the wall. I'm easy to please.

What I plan on giving my kids this season, most of all, is time. When their school vacation starts, I'm all theirs. No client work, no homework. We'll make stuff (salt dough ornaments, thanks for the recipe! and we've got a Gingerbread house kit I got on clearance), play games, maybe go see some Christmas displays. Just take it slow and easy. Make cookies.

And give to charity. I want to integrate that somehow. We do too little of that, at least hands-on. We always end up buying stuff for church projects and what not, but this year I'd like to show the kids just what it's all about.

Well, that's my musing for the night (or early morning). I had a turkey-induced nap and now I'm up late. Done rambling now. :)
 

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Wow !! You folks seem pretty much set in the "things" department. when hubby asked me what I wanted for Christmas I said..50 bags of goat feed and finish installing plumbing for my wringer washer and sink to be used in the "laundry" (dog, cat, chicken ) room. You must have been very good last Christmas !!! But yes, I know what you mean about needing things..what do we really, really need for ourselves in this country. We are very fortunate.
 

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After thinking a few more minutes and having a cup of coffee while watching the sun come up here...got to thinking. How about a family vacation over the holidays or sometime afterwards. You could plan it together and have something to look forward to over the next few months. Cruises are not expensive and all the family would love that !! also how about looking into having perhaps a bee hive. You can have one of those within a small area and it would teach the family how to provide honey for family and friends. Personally, I would push for the cruise !!:cool:
 

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1/2 bubble off plumb
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How about a memory? Instead of spending money on "stuff" they don't need go do something. Take them to the local "city" and do a play, hockey game, museum, etc. A weekend retreat type thing. No MP3 (OK, maybe in the car on the way and back), DVD's, TV , but just kids and parents doing X. Take a camera then when you come home spend time putting the pictures together (anther weekend memory). Be sure there are the goofy shots, they make some of the best memories.

Tell everyone the idea now and then decided on what the parameters are for the activity. Then put a jar or hat out so everyone can put in suggestions. On Christmas (or the week before) draw out the ideas and decided. If you do it the week before it might give you an idea for a related trinket item to un-wrap on Christmas.
 

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I like Ohio Dreamer's idea.

A couple of years ago we did something similar. Dh and I decided that instead of getting the kids a bunch of things they didn't need for Christmas, we would take them somewhere. A mini-vacation for the family.

What we ended up doing was taking them for an overnight at one of those indoor waterpark/lodges. I think the oldest one was about 14 or 15, and even he had a great time there. The suite we got had a microwave, minifridge, fireplace and a tv with dvd player. So we arrived the first evening, did the waterpark for about 4 hours, went to the room and micro'ed dinner (frozen chicken strips and veggies--not the greatest food, but something we never eat, so it was a 'treat'), then let the kids unwrap a new dvd dh and I had bought just for the event. Watched the dvd, had micro popcorn, lit the (gas) fireplace, played a board game we'd brought from home. The next day we spent about 6 more hours in the waterpark before heading home.

It was actually cheaper to take six of us to the waterpark place than what we normally spent buying presents for the kids at Christmas (and we don't spend much compared to your average family). We had several small things for them to open and use there (the dvd, a package of oreos, a box of micro popcorn) and then 2-3 more little things for each child to open on Christmas at home. Everybody had a good time and it gets brought up often by the kids as one of 'the best Christmases ever'.
 

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I have always wanted to rent a cabin in a Local state park for a Christmas and spend the Christmas and eve, there.With fire in fire place and cocoa and popcorn.Sled riding or what ever with the kids. NO One want to do that but me.Its on my Bucket list, But now I have Grand kids.So Maybe Grandma will take off with the Grand babies and do her woodsie Christmas.

Last year I asked to for concrete blocks to make a new raised bed.This year I asked for Cattle panels to fence of section from goats for my new apple trees we grafted.
 

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wife,mom,taxi driver,cook
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we don't "need" anything either. Well 17yo would like a laptop but that is not happening. the best gift any of us could get this year is for dh to find a job.
 

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well how about a nice little painting for them to hang on their wall? I have a painting my great grandma was given for christmas one year. You say your sil is an artist. Ask her to do the painting. Then you'd atleast be putting money in her pocket and not some big corp. who wouldn't apprecaite it as much.
 

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Kris- I love your idea. My 16yo nephew is coming to visit after the holidays. He loves to visit, but there is absolutely nothing for him to do around here. I always run out of ways to entertain him after the second day. I think this year I will take him and hubby's two nieces, maybe a few of the 15yo's friends, up to Brainerd, where they have one of those water park hotels like the one you described.

One year I had three of my nephews over their xmas break and we took them to a ski/snowboard/tubing hill. They all loved that!

As far as gifts, hubby and I have already decided not to exchange gifts this year. There is nothing that we need, and we have had three fairly extravagant Christmases since we married four years ago. I think we are just about set for life at the moment, as far as material things go! We will buy a gift for each of hubby's nieces, and we drew names yesterday for the gift exchange amongst adults, but other than that we will forego gifts this year.
 

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edayna ~

Oh! I hear you! :D It sounds like you really are on the right track as far as making it a simple, low key holiday. I think no matter how large, or small a family is, moving past the "gotta have xxx" this year in favor of simplicity is difficult. I agree, it is a wonderful "problem" to have. :D

DH and are not "doing gifts" for Christmas anymore. Instead, we'll focus on enjoying our time together, seeing our friends, and doing more in our community. I do have craft projects I'll be working on for a few folks, but that's more of a gift from the heart, and I'm okay with that.

I talked to my sis in Chicago about this whole concept a few weeks ago... Interesting. She's also very earthy - but married to a *huge* credit card junkie. I let her know that there would be some very small gifts for my nieces and nephew, a donation to Heifer Int'l, and some craft things from me. We chatted about consumerism and all that. Very nice. Until the end, when I could hear her DH in the background. She comes back with "Well, I tell you what. Why don't you forego the gifts, donation and craft stuff. Just send us a Visa gift card for what all that will cost and we'll spend it out here?"


Ah, Christmas! :angel: Let it begin!
 

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I haven't read all the posts but if you have everything you need and you have the extra monies, why not 'adopt' a family for Christmas?? Have your children shop for both food items and small gifts, cook, wrap and help deliver all the goodies.

Or purchase staples such as corn meal, flour, canned goods, dried beans, rice and take it to a food bank...

Merry Christmas and I hope you find something to give....QB
 

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writing some wrongs
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the great ideas!

I like the idea of a trip for Christmas. A cruise might be a little much for the budget (we're planning a bigger trip this spring and have a couple weekend trips coming up for DD's cheer competitions) but a smaller one might be fun. The indoor water park is a good idea; we'd planned on maybe doing an overnight there anyway - got a Great Wolf nearby. We go snow tubing at Perfect North in Indiana every year, that's another winter tradition.

WIHH you are so right about the spirit of the season. I don't want it to seem that we do no charitable giving already - my kids are already getting some experience with that. They did the lemonade stand thing for the animal shelter last summer and ended up raising a couple hundred bucks. We've got a needy family to buy gifts for through her cheer squad, and we took a couple of those charity cards from church. Last year they helped wrap gifts at a church-sponsored "free store." But we could always do more.

I laughed at your statement, WIHH, about buying groceries even when you don't need any just because it's shopping day. Actually YES, I would. It's called stocking up. ;) If I had a couple hundred bucks to spend on groceries but didn't need any (like that will ever happen!) I'd still like to go and get some nonperishables, just in case I need them someday!
 

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what a great opportunity! Now you can give what you WANT to GIVE rather than what you feel you HAVE to give. Homemade goodies from the heart! Notes of appreciation. A real Christmas rather than the false ones that Christmas can become.
 

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Well, for Christmas this year there won't be much material wise :D but maybe we can go for a drive and spend some time in Philly at a ice rink or something with the kids (DD17 and DD2). I got the surprise/early gift from the hubby--the treadle sewing machine (we stopped buying for each other a long time ago).

If we are able to, I am sticking to the three gift rule--the kids were blessed with a few gifts last year from us, friends and even the landlord :sing:. This year, DD17 has some basics she wants--art supplies and the like that I can manage to get. The baby, DD2, is into trucks, baby dolls, and her tool set. We will do what we can for the other three (DD16 and DS14 live in Oregon, DS19 lives on his own). I think the oldest will get a gas card and a huge box from the store with the stuff no one thinks of that they will need--paper products, snacks, etc. for his apartment. DD16, I really don't know...and DS14 will get a swift kick in the behind if he doesn't straighten himself out :D .

As part of our taking care of others, I will be giving my "five" at church and knitting some hats, mitten and doing some sewing. The other ladies are taking care of the food, and some of them are handling store bought gifts.

But through all this, I know I am blessed and am happy for what I have now--the hubby, the kids and my renewed faith in God :angel:
 

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We did the trip thing that was suggested earlier. We took the family 1,000 miles away to visit Grammy. We rented a cabin in a Jellystone Campground with a fireplace. We had an absolutely wonderful time there...what memories were made! Plus we got to celebrate Christmas with new and exciting people whom we never had met (grammys "sitters") and it was wonderful! Almost wish we could return again this year, but can't due to cash flow restrictions. Plus the kids said it was a "Great one-time thing" they want to stay home for Christmas now on.
 

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We keep asking the boys what they want. Because they dont need anything. Neither of them can tell me what they want then thats what they are going to get. s-ds made the comment how his other mother goes the the dollar store and buys him alot of presents, so he will have alot under the tree. Goodie,, I am not wasting my money on stuff so the tree looks full. If he cant tell me anything he wants, then he doesnt need anything. Same goes with the other 4. grandchildren have told me what they would like, and they aren't expensive which is a Blessing. My dd has a new baby coming in March, so I can wait til then for those gifts. Christmas isnt about how many presents are under the tree, or how much you spend. Dh and I arent exchanging gifts we are fixing up the house,, thats wonderful and means more to me than any gift. Spending quality time is so much better than buying their time,, Have a wonderful Holiday, no matter how you celebrate it
 
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