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Old 11-20-2010, 09:26 AM   #41
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I'm jealous of those who've been able to stop the extended family gift-giving. I'm happy to get things for kids, but it seems silly among us adults. I think DH and his brother would be up for no gifts, but not sure about SIL. And my MIL enjoys buying things throughout the year. I like the idea mentioned above about a group donation to a charity. I wonder if we adults could do a donation to a charity and limit gifts only to the kids.
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Old 11-20-2010, 09:34 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Sometimes a good gift for me is something would be nice, but is too extravagant. Right now I'm wearing a Patagonia long underwear shirt that is remarkably warm and cozy. It cost $49!

Lena got it for me as a present.

But that's a pretty dangerous thing, luckily it worked out.
Know what you mean Al - I like quality items, but am offended by new prices - someone bought me a new pair of Levi's one Christmas - it made me crazy because Levi's were way overpriced and I could have bought 8 pair at Goodwill, already broken in, for what they paid. I look for quality items that aren't expected - like nailclippers from Tweezerman. This year my foray into breadmaking had me focusing on breadknives - have used 3-4 and haven't been real pleased - just found an offset blade breadknife with utilitarian white plastic handle at a restaurant supply company. $6 and it is the best breadknife I've ever used. I'll be sharing that find with others - the norm will be confusion and "uhh, thanks?", but at some point, when it gets used, the reason for getting it will be apparent.

And I think that is birdseye maple - very nice find.
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Old 11-20-2010, 09:46 AM   #43
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I like quality items, but am offended by new prices - someone bought me a new pair of Levi's one Christmas - it made me crazy because Levi's were way overpriced and I could have bought 8 pair at Goodwill, already broken in, for what they paid.
OT, but when we were in FL a couple of weeks back I checked the price of a basic pair of Levi jeans at the Walmart in Titusville. I was surprised to see they were $14.50 vs. $19.50 at our local Wallyworld. Appeared to be the regular price, not a special sale. I know prices vary by location but the amount of variation (25%) was considerably more than I would have expected.

Yes, I bought two pair...
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Old 11-20-2010, 10:30 AM   #44
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My Amazon-a-holic sister usually drop ships us something that is totally wrong (e.g. tablecloth and matching oven mitts or salad spinner) for us. We've tried to think of a way to make this stop, but have been unsuccessful.
At least Amazon lets you trade it for something that is to your liking - without notifying the gift giver you returned it! (did this with my Kindle - but told Mom I swapped it!)


I pick up things for family members as I travel throughout the year. Mom gets puzzles and windchimes. Dad gets t-shirts & shot glasses. Others(brother, sis, nieces) get appropriate things as well. This has become a tradition. Brought a nice gift set from Seattle (coffee, salmon, etc.) for the whole family to share Thanksgiving/Friday...we still do gift exchanges - but there is no pressure, so it is still fun!
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Old 11-20-2010, 10:38 AM   #45
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OT, but when we were in FL a couple of weeks back I checked the price of a basic pair of Levi jeans at the Walmart in Titusville. I was surprised to see they were $14.50 vs. $19.50 at our local Wallyworld. Appeared to be the regular price, not a special sale. I know prices vary by location but the amount of variation (25%) was considerably more than I would have expected.

Yes, I bought two pair...
That sounds reasonable - am i hallucinating, or wasn't there a time when a pair of 501s was in the $30+ range? You are talking Levi jeans, not one of the other brand blue pants denim, yes?

Here's Google shopping reporting that you got a heck of a deal: levi 501 jeans - Google Search
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Old 11-20-2010, 10:58 AM   #46
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That sounds reasonable - am i hallucinating, or wasn't there a time when a pair of 501s was in the $30+ range? You are talking Levi jeans, not one of the other brand blue pants denim, yes?

Here's Google shopping reporting that you got a heck of a deal: levi 501 jeans - Google Search
Buy American! Authentic Texas Jeans Brand Denim Jeans 100% Made In The USA American Jeans


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We're against getting gifts, but OTOH sometimes at a garage sale we find something that would be perfect for someone. As an example, this homemade lathe-turned bowl and cover was $4:



It's just the kind of thing one of my sisters likes. But it's also just the kind of clutter up the house thing that we would not want to get.

Is that bird's eye maple?
Looks like a perfect stash box sewing box.
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Old 11-20-2010, 10:59 AM   #47
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I still give, even if the other person can buy anything he or she wants. I try to find the thing that he or she wants, only they didn't know it. I love finding the perfect gift for somebody I care about, and seeing their reaction. My husband still praises the hand-painted bronze duck model that I bought for him in Canada years ago. Even though he isn't a hunter, and has no special interest in ducks, I somehow just knew he'd love it. From time to time, I've "scored" with gifts for other friends or relatives, and it makes me feel great.

The person who gave expired chocolates to MyDream said a lot about themselves, didn't they. Stale chocolate tastes awful and is an evil thing to give! (I say this as an offended chocolate lover).

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Old 11-20-2010, 11:02 AM   #48
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Yes, it does look like birds-eye maple, and I could always find more room in my house for it or something like it! One of my girl friends has a terrific "eye" for garage sales, flea markets, etc. She'll say, "I picked this up for you, it was only $5.00, " and it will be something I love!

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We're against getting gifts, but OTOH sometimes at a garage sale we find something that would be perfect for someone. As an example, this homemade lathe-turned bowl and cover was $4:



It's just the kind of thing one of my sisters likes. But it's also just the kind of clutter up the house thing that we would not want to get.

Is that bird's eye maple?
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Old 11-20-2010, 11:05 AM   #49
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That sounds reasonable - am i hallucinating, or wasn't there a time when a pair of 501s was in the $30+ range? You are talking Levi jeans, not one of the other brand blue pants denim, yes?
Oops. It wasn't Levi's it was Wrangler. Sorry bout that...

However, the $19.50 vs. $14.50 price difference between South Central TX and Central FL is accurate.
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Old 11-20-2010, 12:03 PM   #50
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"Extended family" getting gifts? BAHUMBUG!

We never exchanged gifts with "extended" family; only within the immediate family: parents, myself and one sister. Now that sister and I are married with kids of our own, the new rule is we're only allowed to get our parents gifts and gifts for the little ones. It was getting ridiculous for a while since everyone was exchanging money/gift cards and it became known as the "Great Money Exchange" with the net effect being pretty much a wash across the board.

This year, only the grandparents will be given gifts (since they provide loads of babysitting throughout the year at no charge ) and the little ones. Of course, I'll still get DH something and he'll get me something but sister and BIL are out! DH's parents live in a different country and we stopped giving them gifts years ago...just a phone call on Christmas day to wish them a Merry Christmas.

If we had to get gifts for our extended family, we'd be broke every Christmas since my extended family is 30+ people. Love 'em but sometimes wished the grandparents had practiced birth control.....
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Old 11-20-2010, 02:50 PM   #51
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I'm jealous of those who've been able to stop the extended family gift-giving. I'm happy to get things for kids, but it seems silly among us adults. I think DH and his brother would be up for no gifts, but not sure about SIL. And my MIL enjoys buying things throughout the year. I like the idea mentioned above about a group donation to a charity. I wonder if we adults could do a donation to a charity and limit gifts only to the kids.
Interesting how a group of people can maintain behaviors that they would all like to discontinue.

Abilene paradox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 11-20-2010, 03:02 PM   #52
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Interesting how a group of people can maintain behaviors that they would all like to discontinue.

Abilene paradox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
But you are assuming the "all". Sounds like in WMs case, the SIL is an unknown. Sometimes it's hard to bring up the subject when it involves tradition, and possible hurt feelings if one really does like it (what - you don't like the gifts I buy for you??!!) . But I think I will talk to DW about some of it, but I always think of it too late, as some already do their shopping. Gotta plan for next year.

So you may have identified the problem, but that doesn't always lead to a solution. I know I should eat less and exercise more, but....


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Old 11-20-2010, 04:21 PM   #53
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I usually fire up my breamaker and make small loaves of fresh baked bread, usually cinnamon raisin or vasilopita or pick an ethnic one if I know the recipient's ancestry.
Or I pick a new christmas cookie recipe online and make a slew of those.
No complaints have been received to date.

Bonus: no tchotchkes are left hanging around to re-gift or donate.

I almost forgot...my housecleaner has 2 young boys and very little money so I play Santa Claus and give her a fat bonus so she can buy her boys nice presents. She usually buys 1 medium price item and they share it.
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Old 11-20-2010, 04:44 PM   #54
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I think the best gifts are those that someone puts some thought into, or makes themselves. I don't mind buying gifts at Christmas, but I try to keep in mind that we all have too much "stuff". This year, for some close friends in the office, I have bought jams and clarets from a local berry farm. This farm also has a winery so I picked up a few bottles for those who enjoy an occasional glass.
Most of my family lives at a distance so I do order food items from catalogs as it is just so much easier. I have had enthusiastic responses from recipients who have gotten Scottish smoked salmon, cheeses, or dried fruits and nuts or fresh fruit so that it what it will be this year again. My son gets a check and maybe some socks or a shirt or sweater. For my 93 year-old-aunt I typically pick out something in her favorite light blue...a sweater or scarf or robe and take her out to lunch (where we have the tradition of fighting over the check...we both want to pay).
I am thinking of making some fudge or cookies to take in for my unit.
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Old 11-20-2010, 05:11 PM   #55
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Now that my shopping list is small I really enjoy it . How else would I now what Kung Foo zhu zhu pets were or that Tinkerbell is again popular ? I have to admit I love toy shopping . I also love surprising people with things they did not expect . One year I gift wrapped a shaving kit . It had the usual stuff plus a guide book and two tickets to New Orleans for the following week .
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Old 11-21-2010, 08:26 AM   #56
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I truly believe one of DW's gifts in life is gift giving. It's her way of showing affection. Even if it is diving into one of our closets full of junk and coming out with something for you. I don't think I could ever bring myself to propose halting our gift exchange. to be fair, DW is also a master at spending minimal amount of money and picking excellent gifts for people.

we have run into an issues with nieces and nephews. they seem to have everything, and top of line/name brand at that (it's to the point where i would drive half way across the country to pick up all the toys they will throw out for our impending children). so, we've been forced to become the lame aunt/uncle who give them a collective book to share. i'm sure it will not compare to the wii. we only spend about $10-$15 on each of them and DW doesn't think the savings account is a good idea. I thought a good 10 year CD with $10 in it was an excellent idea. they're getting a book....
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Old 11-21-2010, 11:51 AM   #57
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I don't comprehend this. How does spending money not impact the budget?

I stopped doing gifts and cards for holidays many years ago.

I give much of my annual stuff to charities in December.

Throughout the year I give money or stuff to people or causes if I want to.

If A gives $50 to B and B gives $50 to A, what has been accomplished?

Back in February, I sent a couple $30 for a pizza and tip.

I recall a female coworker mentioning that she had taken her husband to the jewelry store and pointed out what she wanted; I asked her why she didn't just buy it herself if she wanted it that badly.
Of course it has an impact on the "gift" budget. Let's say DH gives me a $100 card to Amazon (out of the gift budget of course). I know that I can spend that money on Amazon for anything I want and it doesn't reduce what I was otherwise going to spend on the Entertainment budget. Let's say there is a series of book that I'm debating whether to buy for my Kindle and they cost $50. If I buy out of the entertainment budget then that is $50 less on entertainment that I can spend so I might decide not to buy the $50 in books. If DH gives me the Amazon card then I can buy that $50 in books and still spend the same amount I had in the entertainment budget. To me, that is more fun than simply lowering the gift budget and increasing the entertainment budget. I didn't think it would be more fun which is why I banned gifts between us last year. But it turns out that it actually is more fun.
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Old 11-21-2010, 12:07 PM   #58
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Of course it has an impact on the "gift" budget. Let's say DH gives me a $100 card to Amazon (out of the gift budget of course). I know that I can spend that money on Amazon for anything I want and it doesn't reduce what I was otherwise going to spend on the Entertainment budget. Let's say there is a series of book that I'm debating whether to buy for my Kindle and they cost $50. If I buy out of the entertainment budget then that is $50 less on entertainment that I can spend so I might decide not to buy the $50 in books. If DH gives me the Amazon card then I can buy that $50 in books and still spend the same amount I had in the entertainment budget. To me, that is more fun than simply lowering the gift budget and increasing the entertainment budget. I didn't think it would be more fun which is why I banned gifts between us last year. But it turns out that it actually is more fun.
As I said, I don't understand. Whether the $50 came from the 'gift' column or the 'entertainment' column it is still $50 spent from family money.
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Old 11-21-2010, 12:11 PM   #59
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Interesting how a group of people can maintain behaviors that they would all like to discontinue.

Abilene paradox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yes, I fully agree. In this case, ERD50 is correct that the worry is SIL might well be offended at a no-gift suggestion, and likely MIL as well. However, it's funny that you mention Abilene, as the last time we were visiting BIL and SIL there had been mention of an outing. All were up for it, but no one especially enthusiastic. BIL's comment that "Well, I don't want to go to Abilene on it" helped us decide to skip it. That was the first time I'd heard that reference.

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we have run into an issues with nieces and nephews. they seem to have everything, and top of line/name brand at that (it's to the point where i would drive half way across the country to pick up all the toys they will throw out for our impending children). so, we've been forced to become the lame aunt/uncle who give them a collective book to share. i'm sure it will not compare to the wii. we only spend about $10-$15 on each of them and DW doesn't think the savings account is a good idea. I thought a good 10 year CD with $10 in it was an excellent idea. they're getting a book....
We haven't hit this yet. They each get a book or two for birthdays, and really like getting these. I'd be in favor of the savings account for Christmas rather than toys as they get a little older but DH doesn't love that idea. While they're little I've been able to make stuff that's been popular - best two so far are reversible aprons for the kitchen/woodshop and a batman cape and belt.
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Old 11-21-2010, 12:15 PM   #60
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I know I'm going to come off as a Scrooge but I just don't get this whole gift giving.... in this case during Christmas time. I'm totally for giving presents to kids and maybe teenagers but I don't get the whole give each other presents bit. For example, and I know it's not all about me but........... I've got sooooo many presents that I've either thrown out or just don’t use and my closet if full of them. I wouldn't think of re gifting since my mindset is......if I don't want it then why would I give it to someone else. For example last year I got expired chocolates, mustache trimmer, clothes I wouldn't be caught dead in.

I know it's the thought that counts but how much thought was put into expired chocolate and I know it was re gifted since the person that gave it to me is allergic to chocolate and was probably last year Christmas gift. It's gotten to the point that DW and I don't exchange gifts anymore since we figure if we really want something........well we just buy it ourselves. I know that some gift can be romantic, personal etc, but we’ve been together for 30 years and after about……….oh………………..70 presents, I’ve run out of ideas. Gifts we've been giving each other have been weekend’s away, season theater tickets etc, in other words things we can do together.

I'm all for giving gift to the younger generation since I know they're more on a limited budget and don't have disposable cash as much so I'm all for gift giving in that sense.

Ok time to stop..............rant off............lock up this thread, since I know I'm in for a beating………………………..Wait……you didn’t give me a chance to start running.



Merry Christmas everyone.
I agree totally with you. I contacted all of my relatives about 10 years ago and told them that my Christmas gift giving days were over and told them to please not send me anything as well. I don't live near any of them and it was just a big hassle trying to figure out what to get any of them and ship it off to them and honestly they all have enough money to go out and buy whatever they want to. My holiday stress has dropped to almost nil and I now enjoy the holidays much more. To those that enjoy the whole gift giving thing, live it up. To those of you, like me, that dread it, feel free to just say no...there will be one year where people think you're being a scrooge, but in the long run they'll all thank you because they don't have to shop for you as well.
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