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Re: holiday spending
Old 11-30-2005, 05:12 PM   #61
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Re: holiday spending

I decorate minimally for the winter holidays (hey, I'm agnostic), and send a few cards to family and old/close friends. Don't decorate for any other "holiday"...

I like to choose gifts that indicate I gave it some thought, but what do you buy for folks who "have everything"?

Walmart gift cards!!
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Re: holiday spending
Old 11-30-2005, 05:56 PM   #62
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Re: holiday spending

We were going to do the bare minimum this year for decorations.* Now her parents are coming to stay for a week and suddenly the house has to be fully decked out.* * That required 2 full days of lights, tree, and many many other things scattered all over the house.*

Gifts are going to be less than last year and we have already made that know.* The grandkids will still be spoiled but that is what they are for.*

We try to get lists by nobody seems able or willing to do this so they get whatever we pick out.* It is hard to know what someone already has and that is why I like lists.* DW is not a problem.....she drops hints that even I can understand.* *
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Re: holiday spending
Old 11-30-2005, 06:19 PM   #63
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Re: holiday spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR
That required 2 full days of lights, tree, and many many other things scattered all over the house.*
Am I the only one who's developed a completely different image in my brain than perhaps SteveR was communicating?
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Re: holiday spending
Old 11-30-2005, 07:31 PM   #64
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Re: holiday spending

Akaisha ~ you were worried about bringing up this topic with us?!? I tried to bring it up with my sister and felt like the Grinch.

Ever since I've had nieces and nephews I've gotten them Christmas presents, but we are having a population explosion in our families (T AL would be appalled) and since I don't have any children it is a big PITA to figure out what is cool for kids in every age group. This year I'm doing gift cards, but I'm seriously considering phasing out these gifts. We do I-bonds for birthdays, I'd really like to leave it there.
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Re: holiday spending
Old 11-30-2005, 07:51 PM   #65
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Re: holiday spending

Hi Justin,

A wish list just sounds like "gimme" to me. I had plenty of gimme lists as a kid, usually at least one of everything I saw advertised on the tube. It didn't keep me from getting socks though.

A gift should be an expression of appreciation, and most of the (insert favorite gifting holiday/event here> gift activity I see in society just doesn't really appear to me to meet that criterion. There's the mutual guilt giving (I can't stand Fred, and he hates me, but if I don't give him something I'll not hear the end of it from the others at the party, and I suppose I'll have to tell him how much I appreciate whatever piece of crap he's able to pick out of a dumpster AGAIN) and the generall one-upmanship giving (Susie is giving Mom a a set of snake knives, so I've GOT to show that I'm Mom's favorite by getting the zizzing and dripping tropical fish) and so on.

What should be a pleasurable activity (doing something nice for someone because you like them) seems to be a source of stress and anguish for a lot of people.

If I need/want something, I'd rather just go ahead and buy it myself and start using it right away. Handing someone a "gift card" doesn't seem much different than "here Joe, have a sawbuck".

If someone NEEDS something, and you want to help them out, then they probably NEED it now and why wait to help them until some specific holiday event? That sounds more like charity than a personal gift anyway.

A gift should have an element of the "personal touch", and my preference would be that there also be at least a hint of frivolity involved in the process. Giving a gift to someone ought to be fun for all parties in the transaction, not some ritual duty carried out because it is expected.

cheers,
Michael
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Re: holiday spending
Old 12-01-2005, 09:58 PM   #66
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Re: holiday spending

Shiny:
Quote:
Akaisha ~ you were worried about bringing up this topic with us?!?* I tried to bring it up with my sister and felt like the Grinch.
Oh I know.. don't you hate that?* :P* *Actually, I love buying gifts. The part I don't like is having to do it during a certain calendar frame. Of course, it's usually the other person's calendar frame! For us, we are usually not there at that time, or wrapped up in another country's calendar (Chinese New Year, Thai New Year, or Loi Krathong, or King's Coronation Day...) to realize that somehow I have disappointed someone 9,000 miles away because something was expected and didn't happen...* **
It just got to be too much. Shoot. I don't even know what day it is! That was never important to me... * I know, I'm weird.

Now I just buy presents and bring them back to folks when I see them. Could be July or October or February.

I find a lot of personal freedom in 'not fitting in...'* ** Doesn't mean I don't care...

The Other Michael
Quote:
There's the mutual guilt giving (I can't stand Fred, and he hates me,) ....and the generall one-upmanship giving ....Giving a gift to someone ought to be fun for all parties in the transaction, not some ritual duty carried out because it is expected.
Egg-zack-ly.* I have all the fun of gift giving without any of the imposed guilt/rules, YAY!* These mental confinements were part of the 'heavy baggage' I dropped in our Early Retirement. (Now if I could just get rid of those extra 8 pounds...)

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Re: holiday spending
Old 12-02-2005, 09:38 AM   #67
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Re: holiday spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR
We were going to do the bare minimum this year for decorations. Now her parents are coming to stay for a week and suddenly the house has to be fully decked out. That required 2 full days of lights, tree, and many many other things scattered all over the house.
So now I know how long it takes to decorate a 6100 SF Mcmansion!


Other Michael,

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Other Michael
If I need/want something, I'd rather just go ahead and buy it myself and start using it right away. Handing someone a "gift card" doesn't seem much different than "here Joe, have a sawbuck".
I feel the same way, but I'd rather receive a gift card than a 2nd or 3rd toaster or a sweatshirt (I don't wear sweatshirts) that is 2 sizes too big or too small. I may end up returning the gift I don't want, and get a gift card for the balance refund. In the end, I have to spend an extra 30 minutes to go to a store that I never shop at, return the unwanted item, and then be forced to spend the money at that store. In reality, I'll stick the unwanted item somewhere and eventually throw it away or give it to someone else (not as a gift, just to get rid of it).

I guess I dislike "waste". I know the unwanted gifts I mentioned don't reflect a great deal of thought on behalf of the gift giver, but that is the reality of most gifts from those other than your immediate family (in my experience at least).

A gift card does require thought. Where does the gift recipient shop? What do they usually buy? What kind of person are they? Do they have anything they want to buy at a particular store or kind of store?

Example: I received a $50 gift card as a wedding gift last year. It was for a Williams Sonoma/Pottery Barn type of store. We never shop at places like that (for obvious reasons). We used it, but a gift card to Target or walmart would have been more to our liking.

Example: Bro in law wants a table saw ($200-300). We want to give him a big gift, but not that big. How about a $50 or $100 GC to home depot or Lowe’s hardware? Appropriate. A $100 GC to linens-n-things? He’d look at it and go “what the hell”? Where’s my real gift? When we give him the GC to the hardware store, we can tell him it is for his table saw.



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Re: holiday spending
Old 12-02-2005, 09:44 AM   #68
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Re: holiday spending

Justin

That's the way I look at GCs, there is thought involved and the actual going to that place to purchase the GC which takes effort. I appreciate them more than I do the gift I'll have to return or never wear/use. The older my family gets the more they enjoy the Gift Cards, grandfather gets one to Petco and loves it, parents get resturants they enjoy dining at, teenage children get mall giftcards. Everyone goes home happy and 9 out of 10 times the next time I see any of those people they make it a point to tell me how they spent their GC.
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Re: holiday spending
Old 12-02-2005, 09:47 AM   #69
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Re: holiday spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by Outtahere
Justin

That's the way I look at GCs, there is thought involved and the actual going to that place to purchase the GC which takes effort. I appreciate them more than I do the gift I'll have to return or never wear/use. The older my family gets the more they enjoy the Gift Cards, grandfather gets one to Petco and loves it, parents get resturants they enjoy dining at, teenage children get mall giftcards. Everyone goes home happy and 9 out of 10 times the next time I see any of those people they make it a point to tell me how they spent their GC.
Exactly. If someone gave me a GC to, say, Ruth's Chris Steak house, I'd appreciate it. Never been due to the expense. I'd like to try it once, and the GC would force me to try it. But I'd like that.
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Re: holiday spending
Old 12-02-2005, 09:54 AM   #70
 
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Re: holiday spending

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Re: holiday spending
Old 12-02-2005, 09:57 AM   #71
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Re: holiday spending

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Re: holiday spending
Old 12-02-2005, 09:58 AM   #72
 
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Re: holiday spending
Old 12-02-2005, 12:01 PM   #73
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Re: holiday spending

We get a lot of GC's to restaurants, and really appreciate that. We wouldn't ever go out to so many nice places with our own money.
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Re: holiday spending
Old 12-02-2005, 01:05 PM   #74
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Re: holiday spending

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Originally Posted by Sheryl
We get a lot of GC's to restaurants, and really appreciate that.* We wouldn't ever go out to so many nice places with our own money.* *
I like to get GCs too. We got several as wedding presents and it was great. We got stuff no one else would ever have known we needed (wanted) and got to eat out at some places we would never have taken a chance on with our own $$.

We are going to give more GCs this Christmas than ever before. Besides, it saves on wrapping paper.
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Re: holiday spending
Old 12-02-2005, 01:54 PM   #75
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Re: holiday spending

We asked all our family on both sides to give us GC for Home Depot a few years ago for Christmas and used them all along with some sort of special offer from HD to buy a refrigerator. We paid $5.15 total for the fridge (retail $685). I'm still pleased at the idea! A 71 yr old woman I work with says I am the most frugal person she has ever met. I took it as a compliment.
No tree, no decorations, I buy books on Amazon for everyone in our family and put a fair amount of thought into the selection. I hate shopping, period.
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Re: holiday spending
Old 12-02-2005, 02:18 PM   #76
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Re: holiday spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by mclesters
I hate shopping, period.
Sarah
Me too, unless there is absolutely no pressure. BTW, for me
a successful day shopping is returning home without spending a
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Re: holiday spending
Old 12-02-2005, 02:27 PM   #77
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Re: holiday spending

I mailed all my cards on Nov. 30 and received our first
the same day. I had planned to start shopping for gifts
soon (I had a few in inventory). Anyway, DW wanted to visit
a BIG LOTS store which is shutting down. Always one
of our favs., they had 20% off on everything
(pretty low prices before the discounts). By the time
I left I had my shopping done. Man,
it was really painless and I'm happy with what I bought.
Figure so far I have spent maybe 20% of my "peak" years
and only 50% of a typical year in ER. Not only that,
but I feel really good about the gifts.

JG
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Re: holiday spending
Old 12-03-2005, 08:08 AM   #78
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Re: holiday spending

Well, so far the feedback on my holiday activities
is not helping me (Gotta remember it's the thought that counts) Had (2) phone
messages yesterday. One guy says
"Thanks for the "generic"
card and noted it said "holidays" in 3 places but didn't
mention Christmas (I didn't notice this). He goes on to point
out that December 25 is "Christmas" every year, etc etc.
Other message is from an old friend who I called on his
birthday (yesterday). Left a message on his cell.
He called to thank me and then rambled on about all the
great times we had............me and my ex. and all of our
friends. DW played that one first thing this morning

Remember these words...................

No good deed goes unpunished!

JG
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Re: holiday spending
Old 12-03-2005, 01:51 PM   #79
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Re: holiday spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
One guy says
"Thanks for the "generic"
card and noted it said "holidays" in 3 places but didn't
mention Christmas (I didn't notice this).
I got a generic card from work Holiday greetings... Happy Holiday wishes... Best wishes for the holidays. Christmas wasn't mentioned anywhere. I guess you have to be PC these days. But the nice work Christmas party (or Winter Holiday party?) last night made up for the greeting card's shortcomings.


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Re: holiday spending
Old 12-05-2005, 07:25 AM   #80
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Re: holiday spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
I guess you have to be PC these days.


I make a point of saying Merry Christmas to nearly everyone during the Christmas season (I don't get out that much). So when I get a, "Have a nice holiday" I make a point of replying Merry Christmas. Noboby seems to give a rats @ss.
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