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Re: holiday spending
Old 11-25-2005, 02:13 PM   #21
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Re: holiday spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
And for Jarhead, a six-pack, similar to one in this photo...
ReWahoo: I've always had a soft spot in my heart for someone who takes the time and trouble during a hectic holiday season to send an appropriate gift.
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Re: holiday spending
Old 11-25-2005, 02:28 PM   #22
 
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Re: holiday spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
And for Jarhead, a six-pack, similar to one in this photo...
It would surely be hard by the time Xmas arrived!
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Re: holiday spending
Old 11-25-2005, 02:34 PM   #23
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Re: holiday spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by ex-Jarhead
...I've always had a soft spot in my heart...
I sincerely appreciate the way you set this one up for me, and unlike Cut-Throat, I'm doing my best to show some self-restraint. But it's hard.

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Re: holiday spending
Old 11-25-2005, 05:24 PM   #24
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Re: holiday spending

We are down to getting gifts to our 2 adult children only this year and that is it. Those gifts have already been bought as a result of DW's prowess in searching out bargains. DW and I agreed we will not give each other gifts. And we are now down to about 10 Xmas cards as well.

We would much sooner share good food and cheer with those that we truly care about during the holidays and forego all the other commercial stuff.
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Re: holiday spending
Old 11-25-2005, 10:08 PM   #25
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Re: holiday spending

Martha said:
Quote:
Akaisha, I thought your comment on holiday spending was a good one so I took the liberty of splitting your post and JGs into a new topic.
Gosh, Martha, thanks! I was very timid in even writing what I wrote for fear I was really going to step on someone's toes.* * But apparently other people have thought similar things themselves.

I love all the comments on sharing time with loved ones, eating great food and having conversations - can't put that into a gift wrapped box...* It's too valuable!

In our family, we seem to have all the birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays smooshed in continuously from September to middle of January. Non-stop. One year I was so overwhelmed... I didn't want to forget anyone or any occasion but it was getting ridiculous. Instead, I had a "Happy Everything Everybody" Party, and invited "Everyone."* I had a very very nice cake with that title written on it in icing, and told everyone to bring something towards the celebration -- wine, sodas, balloons, music, whatever.

Got rid of * *Celebrated about 15 occasions and I served the food only once.

Family still talk about that day..* I gotta get out of the box... too confining!

Another great idea I have utilized is to make gift certificates good for one service (Wash the car, foot massage, great dinner, one day of no complaining, work in your garden for 4 hours, help paint your living room... ) and hand them out at gift giving time... Those seem to be very appreciated..* *

Nords - I had no idea about the kids giving gifts and how one could get stuck in that!!* whew...

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Re: holiday spending
Old 11-26-2005, 12:00 AM   #26
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Re: holiday spending

As a kid I LOVED Christmas (read receiving gifts) But now I really don't want anything, just a nice holiday dinner with close family.

Besides, since I've "downsized" it automatically limits the stuff I can drag around

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Re: holiday spending
Old 11-26-2005, 01:35 AM   #27
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Re: holiday spending

(And we are now down to about 10 Xmas cards as well. )
This is presenting a real problem and getting worse. We still send out over 80 cards each year, and about 20 of those are the extra special ones.
I can see dropping all by the extra special ones, although that doesn't necesarilly indicate the importance, just the opportunity to enclose an additional letter that gets to the heart of the matter.
Question is how do you wean yourself from these If you just stop, I can see several years of "are you having problems, is everything ok, etc." If you suggest we mutually stop, you seem like a real Scrooge, for not even sending a card. Also, many don't have, or we don't know an email address for them, so that doesn't give us an alternative choice either. It's a quandry. How did you resolve it.
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Re: holiday spending
Old 11-26-2005, 02:30 AM   #28
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Re: holiday spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by whitestick
Also, many don't have, or we don't know an email address for them, so that doesn't give us an alternative choice either. It's a quandry. How did you resolve it.
Well, it takes a few years, but in the first year's card you ask for their e-mail address and tell them it's because you're considering sending out an e-mail holiday greeting next year.

If that doesn't produce an e-mail address, the second year you announce that next year you're going all electronic. (Now they feel like they're in the minority and will be left behind.)

And the third year you send your greetings out via e-mail. By then even the most recalcitrant grandparents are onboard...
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Re: holiday spending
Old 11-26-2005, 04:36 AM   #29
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Re: holiday spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Well, it takes a few years, but in the first year's card you ask for their e-mail address and tell them it's because you're considering sending out an e-mail holiday greeting next year.*

If that doesn't produce an e-mail address, the second year you announce that next year you're going all electronic.* (Now they feel like they're in the minority and will be left behind.)

And the third year you send your greetings out via e-mail.* By then even the most recalcitrant grandparents are onboard...
We are sticking with traditional cards for this year. I intended to buy
some "personalized" cards on line (Texas theme?). Too spendy.
Ended up at the Dollar Store where I got 36 for $6. Thus the cards
are less than the postage, but I still have to write notes
and sign them.

JG
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Re: holiday spending
Old 11-26-2005, 04:53 AM   #30
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Re: holiday spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancelot
As a kid I LOVED Christmas (read receiving gifts) But now I really don't want anything, just a nice holiday dinner with close family.

Besides, since I've "downsized" it automatically limits the stuff I can drag around*

Lance
I doubt this will surprise anyone. I NEVER really liked Christmas, even as
a kid (except the meals and being with close family. That was great).
The rest, shopping, finding a tree, decorating...........pure torture.
Now, I put up 2 wreaths on the garage, send out about half as many cards, and try to shop mostly on-line. I miss the big family gatherings
but very little else.

JG
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Re: holiday spending
Old 11-26-2005, 06:11 AM   #31
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Re: holiday spending

On cards, we're (that is DW is) sending out cards this year, but we are going to electronic for all cards next year.

On the gifts, a few checks to the kids, gifts to the grandkids, and that's it; way, way down from even 5 years ago, but it works out just fine in our family.

The one thing that hasn't changed is the family gathering of 30-40 people (depends who's where, in what part of this country, in other countries and able to make it) for Chirstmas Day dinner, and that's special.

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Re: holiday spending
Old 11-26-2005, 06:20 AM   #32
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Re: holiday spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl



SO and I use Christmas gifts as an excuse to buy each other stuff we need/want anyway and stock up on enough chocolate to last until Valentine's Day. *He's probably getting an MP3 player and a chain saw. *How romantic. *
I don't know about the MP3 player, but a good chain saw, now that's the way to a man's heart.

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Re: holiday spending
Old 11-26-2005, 07:21 AM   #33
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Re: holiday spending

Dh and I pared down our Xmass cards easily ... saved the cards from the previous year and only send to those people. We've done this for 5 or 6 years now and it's worked nicely, pared our cards down to about 25 not including Ecards. As far as gifts go, with my siblings we just buy for the kids and our parents. His family we buy for all the kids and the grandkids but as they age it's getting easier, the older ones prefer gift certificates and so do I. Xmass eve his kids gather here for dinner and opening gifts, Xmass day we spend at my parents for dinner. Seems like every year it gets a little easier. I'm also using the sympathy card this year as I'm scheduled for minor surgery in two weeks so they'll all understand if this year is streamlined. Dh and I don't exchange big gifts, I get him a few small things he gets me a couple things. We tend to buy what we want when we want it. He just purchased new pipes and a seat for his bike so he's all set, I just bought myself a new monitor for the computer.
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Re: holiday spending
Old 11-26-2005, 09:13 AM   #34
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Re: holiday spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
We are sticking with traditional cards for this year.* I intended to buy
some "personalized" cards on line (Texas theme?).* Too spendy.
Ended up at the Dollar Store where I got 36 for $6.* Thus the cards
are less than the postage, but I still have to write notes
and sign them.*

JG


Hi John--

I love Texas!!!!* Since we've been here we have always gone with Texas-themed cards to send to friends and relatives* too unfortunate to live in Texas.* *I've never lived in a place that has it's own stores celebrating itself, or cards reflecting its heritage and personality.

I am concerned that the cards are now roughly a buck each.* And no way to pare down as these cards have become a tradition and expectation.* Locals--the get the dollar store variety!!!!!!!!!* Guess the value* there is a wash.

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Re: holiday spending
Old 11-26-2005, 09:16 AM   #35
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Re: holiday spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
It would surely be hard by the time Xmas arrived!
That's what she said...
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Re: Holiday spending (or not)
Old 11-26-2005, 10:33 AM   #36
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Re: Holiday spending (or not)

Nords: Holiday letters. (They are heartwarming, huh?). Usually start out with it's been quite a year, followed up by 2 or 3 pages of self-congratulating "crap" about how wonderful things are with the entire family, down to the grandkids.
I think anybody that has raised a family, and gone through the trials of doing so, have tired of receiving these "fictional" holiday letters.

We did receive one about 3 years ago that we enjoyed.! (From a neighbor of mine that transferred to the Mid-west about 12 years ago, that we had lost track of).

Started out, "It's been quite a year."
Bob's plant closed down about 4 mos. ago, but has a few months left before his unemployment runs out. (Praise the Lord).
You remember our middle daughter, (Suzanne),
well, she has 3 small children, and that "scum-bag" that she married 6 years ago left them high and dry and she has moved in with us.
Our youngest, Amy, is 16 now, and about 4 mos. pregnant. (We are in process of determining who the father is, but some members of the football team have refused to take a "paternity test".
Our son, Robert is due to be released from County Jail, the middle part of December. (Praise the Lord), and we will all be together to celebrate the most Holy of Holidays.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas, and hope all is well with you."

That was actual letter received, and not until some months later, did we get a letter explaining that all is O.K. with them, and was her "sick" way of railing against the "Holiday" Letter.





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Re: holiday spending
Old 11-26-2005, 11:28 AM   #37
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Re: holiday spending

You mean there are people who open those e-cards? I delete them all unopened, as most of the websites seem to be loaded with malware or want to bombard you with popups and other crap.

I'd much rather have a short email from someone. It shows more effort on their part.

cheers,
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Re: holiday spending
Old 11-26-2005, 12:13 PM   #38
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Re: holiday spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncledrz
I don't know about the MP3 player, but a good chain saw, now that's the way to a man's heart.*

Uncledrz
Giving the obvious browsing of the Sears Craftsman ad, and the comment,* "Now there's a good saw!" I don't see how I can go wrong unless he buys it himself first.* *Happy to have that little hint.* *Now I just have to start worrying about the Big 5-0 birthday in three more months.*
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Re: Holiday spending (or not)
Old 11-26-2005, 12:34 PM   #39
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Re: Holiday spending (or not)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ex-Jarhead
Holiday letters.* (They are heartwarming, huh?).* Usually start out with it's been quite a year...
Friends of ours in (under) Mandeville had quite a Katrina letter this year. But everything worked out OK for them.

His e-mail: he's contemplating Navy retirement and a transition to a civil-service job at the Naval Oceanography complex in the Stennis Space Center.

Her e-mail: "After this hurricane, I've decided that we are NOT retiring here!"
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Re: holiday spending
Old 11-26-2005, 10:11 PM   #40
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Re: holiday spending

RE: Christmas cards,... before we pulled the plug and retired, it was getting to be this competitive situation, perhaps peculiar to California living in the '80's. How many people do you have on your list? Our cards are gold foiled and personally inscribed by a printing company, etc...* * :P (and nothing personal inside except that dreaded "yearly letter.." yuck.) That's when it started for us. We pared down. Cards to Mom and Dad.
Nords your ideas of eCards and taking 3 years or so was perfect, and Outta here
Quote:
... saved the cards from the previous year and only send to those people. We've done this for 5 or 6 years now and it's worked nicely,* pared our cards down to about 25 not including Ecards.
Very reasonable approach!* *

JG said:
Quote:
I doubt this will surprise anyone.* I NEVER really liked Christmas, even as a kid (except the meals and being with close family.* That was great). The rest, shopping, finding a tree, decorating...........pure torture....I miss the big family gatherings but very little else.
I know a lot of men that get depressed 'right on cue' around the holidays. Their wives go nutso - shopping, and manic decorating - and all the guys can hear behind the holiday music is the ka-ching of the cash registers his wife is filling...* poor guys... Now I think I understand..*

However, let me be clear that the family gatherings, sharing with loved ones, and all that is something I miss and truly love. The obligation and expectation of 'you have to be happy on this day during these hours and bring a gift amounting to this much' is something I can do without.* :P

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