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Old 09-04-2012, 02:33 PM   #1
littleangelmommy3775
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Christmas help

So I need advice. We are running on a very low income right now. I have asked my family to minimize Christmas this year. Last year they had to borrow a truck from my fathers work to bring Christmas gifts because there were so many while I was only able to give everyone one or two things. They are completely against it. They said that you are only a kid once and its all about the kids. It is just embarrassing when the kids get more from grandma and grandpa then they do from "Santa". Also we do not have the room for all of the extra crap. Do you ladies have any advice for a solution to this problem??

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Old 09-04-2012, 03:27 PM   #2
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Re: Christmas help

Well, I would tell you to tell them how they are ruining Santa for the kids, but if they are like my parents, they'd just say well then make these gifts from Santa.

I have had similar issues but have dealt with it over time to improve it. First, I told them they could only open three presents on any given day, because otherwise it was too overstimulating for the really young kids. That made them put more effort into what they chose, after a year or two of not getting to see them open some of their gifts since visits were only so many days. Then I ruthlessly followed the one in one out rule, and when they saw presents go out they just bought for their birthdays the month before, they started to tone it down more. Now they clear most of the gifts with me because they hate the idea of their gifts being donated so quickly.

HTH. I've been there with the uneven Xmas too when DH was laid off a couple of years ago. It sucks, especially when the others say you don't have to give us anything, but we still want to give you things. But you just say the serenity prayer and move on.
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:59 PM   #3
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Re: Christmas help

We have done almost exactly what pp said. It took some years to sink in, but we are finally close to where I want it.

We also stopped giving presents to anyone except our parents. The aunts, uncles, etc finally got the hint (or got offended) and stopped gifting to us and our kids.

Our two sets of parents each get a granchild photo calendar (Cyber Monday is the best time to order IME) plus something homemade from the kids (jar soup mixes, homemade jam, pinecone fire starters, etc). This Keeps our holiday gift budget at $50 TOTAL for our extended family.

Within our family, we give each child 3 gifts, like Jesus got. Generally totals $100 per child.

It is very demoralizing to be the parents and be "one-upped" year after year. For us, it is not a money issue but a "stuff" issue. I do not want my kids to get that much stuff for Christmas. I do not want to have more STUFF to store, trip over, or nag about picking up. I have to do that enough already

Last edited by Melinda29; 09-04-2012 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:36 AM   #4
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Re: Christmas help

Last yr my parents totally overdid it for our kids (and ds wasn't even born yet!) For dd's 1st bday she got so much it was nuts!! One thing we do is we don't open all the packages so we can return what we don't think they will like, doubles, ones WE won't like lol.... that gives us store credit t walmart, target, ect and we can get them what they need instead!

Some find that wrong but I don't. If the people will never see the gifts anyway, then no hurt feelings.
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:56 PM   #5
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If they won't respect your wishes then I would take back whatever you can- if you don't have the receipts and can't get cash, get credit. I don't think you have to take stuff just because people want to give it to you, particularly if it's stuff you don't want. It's your house, you get to decide what stays. I know personally I would WAY prefer 3 or 4 high quality gifts that I REALLY want for my children than a bunch of random stuff.

I also TOTALLY agree about not wanting be 'one-upped' by the grandparents. Last year I had specially picked out a particular toy- I had researched it and had even discussed whether or not to get it with my mom, so she knew I was in the market for it. I finally bought it, only to find out SHE had bought it as well! We didn't need two of them! I was so annoyed that I told her she needed to return it and stop stealing my thunder. We were both annoyed with each other for a day or two but it blew over

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Old 09-05-2012, 02:23 PM   #6
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Re: Christmas help

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Originally Posted by hibiscus869 View Post
If they won't respect your wishes then I would take back whatever you can- if you don't have the receipts and can't get cash, get credit. I don't think you have to take stuff just because people want to give it to you, particularly if it's stuff you don't want. It's your house, you get to decide what stays. I know personally I would WAY prefer 3 or 4 high quality gifts that I REALLY want for my children than a bunch of random stuff.

I also TOTALLY agree about not wanting be 'one-upped' by the grandparents. Last year I had specially picked out a particular toy- I had researched it and had even discussed whether or not to get it with my mom, so she knew I was in the market for it. I finally bought it, only to find out SHE had bought it as well! We didn't need two of them! I was so annoyed that I told her she needed to return it and stop stealing my thunder. We were both annoyed with each other for a day or two but it blew over
We return gifts to get what we want/need.

MIL did the same to us one year. After DH already told her what we were getting him
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:37 PM   #7
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We're on a seriously limited income here, too. I know this is going to be the 'unpopular' answer, but I would say accept the gifts graciously. Ask ahead of time about making a good portion frtom santa, and definitely re-gift or return what your kids don't want/use. I would say be wary of donating to operation santa claus, they've denied my low-income family in the past. I would suggest donating to a local church, mosque, youth center, or other alternative place.

I honestly wish my family was so generous.

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Old 09-05-2012, 02:39 PM   #8
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I completely agree with taking things back if you can. Unfortunately for us my mother and grandmother sit there and open the packaging on every single present as it is opened, even when I make it really clear we don't do that because that is how pieces get lost in the chaos. I'm hoping at least my inlaws will skip presents and buy us a season pass for the kids to Pacific Science Center instead, although they are the ones that always ask what the kids want/need and get really nice things. I'm going to suggest the same (but to the zoo) to my family, but I doubt they'll go for it.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:28 PM   #9
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Re: Christmas help

My kids are still young, and don't yet understand who presents come from, so for now DH and I get them one very small item for Christmas, and that is it. They get lots of presents from grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. When they get a little older and understand more, my feelings may change, but I personally don't have a problem with them getting more from the grandparents than they do from us.
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Old 09-05-2012, 05:12 PM   #10
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Re: Christmas help

I've tried reasoning with my dad for the last 3 years, and he continues to buy us heaps of things we can't use and don't want. Just enjoy the holidays, let them do what they want, and make a trip to a resale store after Christmas. I feel your pain though. It's super aggravating when family doesn't listen to your wishes. I wouldn't worry about the difference between grandma and santa though. I don't think kids care where things come from.
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