My Precious Pennies

I will be AWAY until late February as we do this moving thing...again.

Ginger from Attention Target Shoppers & Tricia from 1stopmom
will be holding down the fort in the meantime - thank you so much, ladies!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Budgeting for Christmas

When do you start Christmas shopping? How do you budget for Christmas? Do you stick to your budget?

I'm just going to come out and say it: I have no Christmas budget. I like to get each person something they will truly enjoy, so I try not to set a limit. Obviously, I'm going to be reasonable and not go broke because of Christmas presents, but I'm also not going to cap myself off at $20 if there's something for $30 or even $50 that I know the person will absolutely love.

However, since we're a military family and more often than not we're away from family for Christmas, my Christmas shopping depends mainly on the item's ease of shipping. Last year we skipped on the Christmas presents - people understood. Shipping presents across the country is no laughing matter. You can easily spend a hundred on shipping alone, especially when you have a HUGE family like us. We sent them lots of pictures and did elaborate photo Christmas cards instead.

This year, we're actually going home for Christmas, but we're not doing the whole present thing. Everyone would rather see the baby all of us than get presents, so it was agreed upon that we spend the money to go home for Christmas instead of buying stuff. We're still going to do a little something for everyone though - I'm thinking about getting a bunch of clay and making ornaments of the baby's hand/foot prints. It's cheap, simple, and will be adored by all.  If I get too busy though, my back-up plan is to grab a huge gift bow from the Dollar Tree and stick it on the baby's head. Granted, they'll have to share their "Christmas present" and they can't keep her, but I'm sure they'll love their present all the same.

We can't wait to go home for Christmas and see everyone, and I'm so happy not to have that burden of Christmas shopping on my shoulders. Christmas is about family anyway, not about stuff. It's important to remember what really matters. No matter how awesome the gift is, a decade later you probably won't have it anymore, and the memory that often stays with you is not what present you got, but the time that you spent with your family. Christmas presents is a nice gesture and a fun part of the holidays, but it's important not to go overboard. Get back to the basics and what Christmas is all about - family...!

Day 3 of the Christmas of Dreams Blog Party at MomDot is sponsored by Appledonia, Hippos Toes , and My Bag.


Staci said...

I hope you have a wonderful trip home! We made clay hand/foot prints last year with homemade clay. It was so simple, water, flour, and salt. They turned out really well too. Good luck!

ccswch said...

I think getting to be together for Christmas is the best gift ever!

Tena said...

I think this is a fantastic idea! Hoping your enjoy your holidays with the family

Patricia @ From Wags to Riches said...

You're spot on - a Princess Present is the best present of all.

I have a Samsonite full of presents - my family are mesmerized by American 'things' so there's no way around it. Plus I always have to get something for my little bro and sis - I like to spoil them as much as possible :)

Momstart said...

Reading that actually made me cry, we're not going home and my dad still hasn't seen my son. I'm happy for you and your family.

Have a merry christmas

Tracye said...

you're right. they'll love seeing you and your family more than a candle or some body stuff!

Davonne said...


We cut our Christmas list this year, and it already feels great!

Instead of buying for everybody, my husband and I have decided to only buy for each other, our daughter, and our parents. Nobody else.

So far we've had one person complain and eleven people jump with joy. Many of the eleven are so inspired by us that they're cutting their lists too!

Instead of bringing presents to the family gathering, every family is instructed to bring one food item and their favorite game. We'll spend our time together playing games instead of opening gifts! I can't wait!

Custom Blog Design: Blogger Boutique