Monday, December 20, 2010

Who I'm Not Buying Christmas Gifts For

(To be grammatically correct, the title of this post really should be: "For Whom I'm Not Buying Christmas Gifts. I know that, but it sounds kind of funny, don't you think?)

Buying gifts for people at Christmas can get expensive. It seems like you have to buy something for everyone, and it can be hard to find the perfect gift for each and every person on your list. We have a secret: we don't buy gifts for many people. It saves a lot (a lot) of time, money, and aggravation.

It is actually easier for me to list the people for whom I do buy gifts than those I don't. I buy gifts for John, and we buy gifts for our children and three of my in-town nieces and nephews. That's it. How do we get away with it? Why do we not buy gifts for my parents, siblings, and the rest of my nieces and nephews?
  • My parents do not need anything. They do not even want much, and what they do want, they buy for themselves. Since there is nothing they need or want, we make a donation to their choice of ministry in their names. This gift makes them happy, and it helps out a worthy ministry. (I do have a small gift for each of them to open, however. Shhh! Don't tell!) While it doesn't save us much money, it saves a lot of time and aggravation.
  • All of my siblings and our spouses used to buy gifts for everyone else, and that got expensive since I have two brothers and a sister. We decided to draw names, and that worked well...for a few years. One year when John and my brother-in-law exchanged gift cards to the same store, we decided it had gotten a little ridiculous. Then we started playing the "White Elephant" (aka "Dirty Santa") game. We just quit doing that a couple of years ago, and I'm not sure why...but it's kind of nice not to worry about it.
  • There are a bunch of nieces and nephews in our family (eleven to be exact), and again it's expensive to buy gifts for all of them. So we draw names. How does that work since John and I have three children but my younger brother has two? Well, you draw the number of names that you have children. We draw three, and my brother's family draws two. The children still get gifts, and we still have the fun of picking presents out, but it's limited. And let's be honest; they don't really need a toy from every aunt and uncle.
Do you do anything similar to cut costs for Christmas present-buying? What other methods do you use?


Marva said...

We don't exchange gifts with my brother and sil. We let our boys (ours 4) (theirs 18 and 13) exchange gifts.


Laura said...

I love the name drawing idea. I may have to suggest that to our extended family for next year. This year we just gave each family a gift card. That was not cheap, but it was easy and it saved on postage and really saved on time.

Angela said...

Oh how I WISH we could draw names or something in my family down here. This year we weren't going to do gifts and we'd talked about doing Secret Santa, but most everyone went ahead and bought gifts anyway, so we ended up doing the same. Ugh.

Next year, I am going to INSIST that we draw names. At least for us, Dayna, Michael, our cousin Larry and all of our spouses. I'm pretty sure Michael will still want to get something for our parents, though, and my Grandmother Lindsey kind of *needs* a present to prove that we love her, so we'll always have to get a gift for her. Please don't tell anyone I said that...haha :)

Nikki said...

Angela, is that you? I can't remember the last time you commented on my blog! Just kidding!

We didn't include my parents in the name drawing, either, and anything you can do will help in the time, cost, and aggravation.