what ever happened to real presents?

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by Speciallady, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. Speciallady

    Speciallady Well-Known Member

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    Everyone seems to be buying gift cards to give to their kids and family and friends. Aren't presents less expensive to buy? And aren't gift cards less impersonal. Gift cards are great if they are for gas or groceries, but other than that I like to have something to open.
     
  2. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    All part of the modern day outlook. No effort. No one gets hurt or offended. All very PC. And leaves one guiltless.

    Try giving grand kids handmade woden toys. What a downer for them. So I don't give them nothing. Xboxes x16 is a lot o money
     

  3. TheBlueOne

    TheBlueOne Well-Known Member

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    Gift cards happen because everyone already has too much stuff. No one in my family needs anything, and if they do they go buy it. Which reduces Christmas to everyone giving each other things they they didn't need and probably didn't want and most of the time, don't have room for. Gift cards allow them to wander around and find their own things they didn't need which saves me time & stress.
     
  4. tooltime

    tooltime Border Ruffian

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    There is actually quite a market for wooden toys. During the winter and my off-time, I make wooden helicopters, motorcycles, dump trucks, cars and trains. This year, I had about 300 made up. My wife and my Mom have a booth at a big holiday craft fair in Rochester on the weekend after Thanksgiving. This year, all the toys were gone by noon on Saturday. Either kids like them, or there is going to be a bunch of disappointed kids.

    When my nephews were younger, I always gave them homemade wooden toys. One year, I made them a new fair box for when they show cattle at the county fair. They helped me build it, and my wife painted it.

    When my nephews who live in the "big city" come back home for the holidays, they want to spend all their time in the shop. The oldest is going to turn a bowl on the lathe this year.
     
  5. connie in nm

    connie in nm Well-Known Member

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    I do give occasional gift cards if I think the family members will use them.

    However, a patient came into the office yesterday and was telling me she read that 85% of gift cards are are never redeemed. I don't think this is true, but I do think there are alot of "balances" left on cards that are never used. Say you get a $25 card to a restaurant and only used 22.78. Maybe it is too expensive to go back to just use up the small balance. People may use them once and then they get misplaced. etc..

    If this is true, no wonder they are pushing gift cards. It is pure profit for them if they are sold and never redeemed. Maybe cash is better??
     
  6. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Your a lucky man.:) One set of grandkids came here in the summer. got out of the car, walked into the house with their game boys, or whatever, and set there the whole day. i had ropes tied in trees and was gonna help them build a tree house. not a chance. Had to lock the door to keep them outside :)
    How is your profit margin on the toys. I enjoy making them but what i have seen down here you have to willing to work for about 3.00 and hour. i probably should make some and keep them anyhow. Few more years i'll be senile enough to play with them :)
     
  7. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

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    We've really reduced who we buy for for Christmas. Basically it is immediate family, mom and dad and very young nieces & nephews. EVERYONE gets gifts, no cards. We actually considered a gift card for my dad though because he is at Lowes almost every day. My SIL sends gift cards to my kids for Old Navy every year. They actually have a BLAST redeeming those. We always hit after Christmas sales and those are almost the only new clothes my kids ever buy. My kids always work to get the best bang for their buck out of those cards. Maybe it is also because they don't get all sorts of junk tossed at them all the time to try to keep them happy. For DH's coworkers last year we made granola and soups in a jar that you just added water and cooked. They were very well recieved so we will probably do that again. Inexpensive, useful, appreciated and home made. That's my kind of giving!
     
  8. tooltime

    tooltime Border Ruffian

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    Herm,

    Rochester, MN is a city of 100k and strong economy, plus some people come to this craft fair from the Twin Cities. It helps bring people to the booth where my wife and Mom sell some crochet work and homemade jams. The tains I barely break even on, the helos I probably make $3/unit on, the motorcycles maybe $2.50, but I need to make more dump trucks; I think my profit was close to $8/truck on them. (Figuring my time at $15/hr.) I clear around $750 bucks, but that's not counting my wife's and Mom's time. Certainly not enough to quit farming and running the repair shop. Just a little money for my wife to put back, and the work keeps me out of trouble.

    Two years ago, one of my nephews decided he didn't want to work in the shop and went in to play his gameboy. We were out there building bird houses, cars from scrap wood, and turning "souvenir bats" on the lathe. We were taking a break with hot chocolate and Christmas cookies when -- lo and behold -- there was "game boy" in the doorway of the shop. Guess he decided giving your thumbs a workout wasn't as much fun as hanging out with the rest of the boys.

    I'm not one to think the whole world is going down the crapper, but I think the electronic toys have taken away some of kid's creativity and ability to use imagination. When I was a kid, we could spend hours with simple little wooden toys Gramp made from scrap wood, we'd built forts, try our hand at making rafts, or spend all day tromping through the woods. In winter time, my brothers and I would get home from school, do our outside chores and then take the sleds out on the big hill below the silo shed. We didn't think we were poor cuz we didn't have electronic games; we figured we were lucky son-of-a-guns to have that big hill to sled on.
     
  9. TNnative

    TNnative Well-Known Member

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    I will probably be buying gift cards for my husband's 3 granddaughters, 11, 8, & 4. I would prefer to buy them a gift to open, but we only see them once or twice a year. Not enough to know what they like, collect, or what size they wear.

    Last year I got lucky and found some of the cutest little purses, just right for a preteen girl, and filled it with lip gloss, nail polish, etc, all that girly stuff. Those seemed to go over well. This year is a dry year, so it's gift cards, unless I can get in touch with my husband's daughter and get some suggestions.
     
  10. belladulcinea

    belladulcinea Well-Known Member

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    One of the reasons for gift cards in our family is the after christmas sales. But money works for that too. When we were working a building project we got Lowe's cards and those really came in handy. The niece and nephew will get a gc from a fast food place because they both asked for them. One travels with a band and the other is a college kid, this will come in handy when they are short on time and money.

    We will do 3 gifts, 2 off the lists we make up and 1 handmade gift or second hand gift. It works well for our family.
     
  11. QBVII

    QBVII Well-Known Member

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    I'm jealous, wish my son had a grandpa.
     
  12. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Maybe we should do a toys for tots for single hometead moms :)
     
  13. Wildwood Flower

    Wildwood Flower Halfway, OR & Wagoner, OK

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    Hey ToolTime!!! You're AWESOME!!! :dance:
     
  14. DocM

    DocM Well-Known Member

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    My kids prefer money. I give them the amount I would have spent on them, they hit the after xmas sales and get twice as much "stuff". We're all happy, so why should anyone else care? I prefer cash or gift cards myself. I'd much rather spend it on something I want or need, than what someone else thinks I want or need. Seems to be the same with everyone I know. Maybe it's a liberal thing.
     
  15. knbquilts

    knbquilts Well-Known Member

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    I give gift cards to my grankids when they are not coming for Christmas. 3 of them are in Alaska and by the time I wrap everything and pay postage, it's cheaper to send Gift Cards. I send a list and my daughter shops, wraps, and puts thme under the tree for me.
    The years they get to come, I load them up with all kings of good stuff (quilts, clothes, all kinds of handmade things). They each usually have to bring an extra suitcase with them.
    That's my ressoning anyway.

    Nell
     
  16. Irene texas

    Irene texas Well-Known Member

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    Special lady, I practically scream at my grown kids and grandkids who are also getting old, please a gift card. I have tons of stuff now, and who is going to go through all of this stuff when I die. I need to weed the house out now. I told my daughter to give us a gift certificate to a nice fish resturant. And the other daughter a gift certificate from the local theater. We cannot afford these luxuries any more on retirment pay. So gift certificates are great for old folks. Love Irene
     
  17. Peacock

    Peacock writing some wrongs Supporter

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    I LOVE gift cards. I would like to get clothing or sewing supplies for Christmas, as that's what I need the most -- but nobody can pick out the clothing I want and it would take psychic ability to figure out what I need from Joann's. :)
     
  18. beaglady

    beaglady Well-Known Member

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    I like gift cards too. My first choice for gifts this year was to do away with the exchange, but no one else is agreeable. No one in my family needs anything, including me. I'd be perfectly happy to just get everyone together for dinner & exchange inexpensive silly gifts.

    I'll give my parents a gc for dinner & a show somewhere, just like every other year. Brother & his new wife will get one for dinner, or else we will go along with them & pick up the tab. Thay both work lots of crazy hours, so scheduling dinner together is vary hard. Grandaughters will get savings bonds. I doubt we will see them this year. And so on.

    My parents will buy us dumb stuff that we don't want, doesn't fit etc. At least they spend less on the dumb stuff than they used to, and supplement with gc's from Lowes. We can always use those.

    I hate the gift thing. Whe asked what I wanted, I asked them to make a donation to Heifer International on my behalf. We'll see.
     
  19. Melissa

    Melissa member

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    I think gift cards are fine in many cases. I buy a few of them every year.
     
  20. Lizza

    Lizza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, some things really can't be picked out. My Mom just got my sister a gift card for sunglasses for her birthday (yesterday). It just wasn't something my mom could pick out for my sister. I had her get a gift card to the whole mall though and it ended up being a "visa" gift card, so she could actually use it anywhere. My sister is going to use it at the sunglass store but it's nice to have the option to use it anywhere or use the balance anywhere.

    My MIL also sends gift cards every year. Last year she got my husband a Sears card because she has no idea what tools he needs and couldn't afford to send them even if she did but wanted to get him tools, so there ya go :). She also sends other little gifts along with the cards though.

    Anyhoo, I do think gift cards have their place.