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Old 10-15-2012, 09:28 PM   #1
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How to make a thrifty Christmas fun/ older kids?

If you have older kids who have had the extravagant Christmas before, how do you make the transition into it being thrifty? Especially hen everyone around you buys everything for heir kids? It was so way when they were small

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Old 10-16-2012, 06:42 AM   #2
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Re: How to make a thrifty Christmas fun/ older kids?

Are you talking for your 9 and 6 year-olds? Honestly, I wouldn't worry too much. Buy what you can afford and feel comfortable with. Do your best to focus on making sure each child has one thing they really would like. Then put more emphasis on family time together and don't stress so much about it. Growing up I always had friends who got way more than me, others who got way less. What I do remember, however, is how stressed out my parents were because they were trying to maintain an image of extravagant spending for the holidays even after they could no longer afford it. They were unable to move beyond the idea of stuff and switch to the idea of family time instead. So, sure, we still got the mountains of junk but also go stressed out, irritated parents. Don't do that to your kids. Give them what you are able to give and focus instead on family time and see what happens. Happy relaxed parents and happy memories are worth way more than a pile of stuff that is often quickly forgotten or lost or broken or not quite appreciated. I know most of us always knew when my parents could not afford to buy everything they did but choose to do so anyway to maintain an imagine and frankly felt incredibly guilty about it. I think most children are way more in tune to their family's financial status than we as parents like to give them credit for. So I guess my advice is don't stress. Do what you can and enjoy your time as a family.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:08 AM   #3
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Re: How to make a thrifty Christmas fun/ older kids?

A few ideas:

Make stockings the focus. You can fill these with things they would need throughout the year, cheap crafts from the $ store and little treats. It's fun to wrap stocking items.

Follow the "something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read" sentiment and talk to them about why you are doing that.

Do a joint "big gift" and 3 smaller gifts. If 3 presents was enough for Jesus... (you know, it was supposed to be his birthday!)


Need more info on your background to really advise. What kind of holiday do you celebrate?
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:29 AM   #4
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I employ thrift stores and craigslist for my girls. We have never had a huge christmas, but we do what we can to keep it exciting. We also make gifts together, bake cookies, and encorperate different customs into our holidays. We make a paper chain avrnt calender with sonethung to do everyday between black friday and christmas dont know if any of this helps but i hope so
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:42 AM   #5
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The Christmas elf can be fun too.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:43 AM   #6
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Things like this I like to refer to the old quote of if you want to do right by your kids, spend half the money and twice the time. As they get older, they can participate in traditions they couldn't as littles. Caroling, stringing popcorn, baking cookies, making more complex ornaments and decorations, visiting the nursing homes, etc. Google holiday activities and see what inspires you. They will remember the stuff you did, not the presents you bought.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:55 AM   #7
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Re: How to make a thrifty Christmas fun/ older kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticmomma1879 View Post
A few ideas:

Make stockings the focus. You can fill these with things they would need throughout the year, cheap crafts from the $ store and little treats. It's fun to wrap stocking items.

Follow the "something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read" sentiment and talk to them about why you are doing that.

Do a joint "big gift" and 3 smaller gifts. If 3 presents was enough for Jesus... (you know, it was supposed to be his birthday!)


Need more info on your background to really advise. What kind of holiday do you celebrate?
Great ideas! We do the 3 gifts because that's what Jesus got thing, too. We can afford much more but choose to keep it low key so the kids can really focus on and appreciate what they get. This year we will be adding a stocking gift because those chocolate oranges look so yummy! My oldest DS especially (who questions everything already--I swear that kid should be a lawyer) is always asking why we do things differently than others--but honestly, I think most kids ask that frequently (not necessarily Christmas gifts, but different things) just because kids don't have that acceptance yet that "life isn't fair".

Anyway, what I tell my DS is that every family does things differently. Some families do lots of gifts, some have lots of family celebrations, some have lots of fun activities to do, some spend lots of time with their parents, some go on vacation, everyone is a little different. He is 7 and of course says, "But ________ got 8 presents!". And I just reiterate that this is Jesus' birthday party and He got 3 gifts. And then redirect him by talking about the other fun stuff we did for the holidays (made gifts for grandparents, Christmas Eve serivce at church, Christmas dinner with cousins, etc).

He once kept arguing and I reminded him that if his presents aren't good enough, we can just take them back to the store. I don't want to be a grinch or anything, but if Laura Ingalls can be happy about her one stick of Christmas candy, my son can be happy about his three new toys!

He is now extremely excited and appreciative of his "meager" Christmas

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Old 10-16-2012, 08:38 AM   #8
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My oldest is only 5 (6 right after Christmas) so he doesn't have any memories of the years in the beginning my family went over board on him.

I am with the pp that said the older they are, the more fun Christmas activities they can participate in. We have a blast making paper countdown chains, stringing popcorn while watching Christmas movies and parking the car in easy to walk neighborhoods and walking to look at lights.

Last year I was able to get him very involved in sponsoring a little boy his age through an Angel tree, and I think it really hit him hard that this kid asked for a warm jacket and shoes that fit instead of toys.

We have a Christmas Day tradition of going to my parents house and eating a steak cooked outside on the grill, and helping my dad grill is probably his favorite part of the day.

I would focus heavy on traditions. Even with 6 & 9 year olds I think you can explain to them in terms they understand that Christmas is going to be scaled back from what they may be used to, for whatever your reasons are.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:32 AM   #9
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Re: How to make a thrifty Christmas fun/ older kids?

Just remembered another--we do Operation Christmas Child every year and that gets the kids very excited to help others. Just did our shopping for it yesterday, actually. They each dictate a little note and send a school picture in the box, too.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:44 PM   #10
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Re: How to make a thrifty Christmas fun/ older kids?

What about travel? Doesnt have to be anything elaborate but what about staying in a nearby hotel for a couple of days so the experience and family time becomes more of the treasured memory. You could still do small gifts then get some fun family traditions going.

The beach is an hour away and i was thinking it would be fun to rent a small place some day. Growing up we would sometimes rent a cabin at the mountain and get craploads of gifts too. But being at the mountain was the really fun part.
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