Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

How We Do Christmas Gift Giving

This year the whole family has decided that we've grown too large to buy individual gifts for everyone, and so we've drawn names for everyone Kyle's age and up.

We'd talked about it for several years, but Tim and I resisted because several of the 'kids' in our home would have needed us to buy their gifts to give to others, and so everyone would have one gift to buy and we'd have had to buy 4-5.  But now this year, everyone has an income source and are fully on board with buying their person a gift.

So, everyone from my Dad down to Kyle, drew names and we are all on the hunt for gifts for our person. Tim and I will buy for the kids still in our home, our grands, and each other.  I think all the families in our family will do the same.

I also follow this guide when giving gifts - 
Perfect for making sure kids make a realistic Christmas list!! Doing this this year and adding one more "Something I'll Give". Will teach children to think of others at Christmas and how they might serve others in giving. Will recreate this in a cute "Santa's List" format!

I also add "something to eat" as everyone here has a favorite candy, and these usually go into their stockings.  Also sometimes these things combine.  This year for example, there is a book Kyle wants as it is the next book in a favorite series, and so 'want and read' are combined this year.

My motto for years, that I've taught the kids, is to not just buy 'something' for the person.  Buy something that is thoughtful of the person you're buying for, and if you do that, you can buy something at a thrift store or yard sale and it will be that persons' best gift!  Nate and Kay followed this one year buying Sarah a certain glass that had been an inexpensive thing from McDonald's years ago that was tied into a favorite film series (books too!).  They paid a few dollars and wrapped it up for her.  On Christmas morning, she squealed with delight and used it for years until it broke.  (a happy thing is right before her birthday last year, she and I were looking around an antique store we'd never been in before, and we found her glass and the three others that were a part of a collectable set, for $12.  She was reluctant to have me buy it, but she really wanted them.  She felt better when I reminded her it could be a part of her birthday gifts!

I guess the moral of that story is that if you know the person your buying for you don't have to spend a lot to give JOY!  I've spent a lot of time knitting this fall for gift giving this year.  So far the gifts I've given have been received happily.  

Maybe you think you aren't able to make anything, but homemade hot cocoa mixes in jars, cookies or the dry ingredients for cookies in a canning jar, or breads, make wonderful gifts.  So do thoughtful gifts from the Dollar Tree or the Dollar Spot at Target.  Last year I bought a three dollar placemat from Target and using some batting and a plaid piece of fabric I already had, I made a cute Christmas pillow.  It was straightline sewing and easy as all the fabric already had finished seams.

My family like accessories like scarves and gloves, so I keep my eye out for sales on these items.  Many times stores like Old Navy practically give these things away!  And if you shop online sales with them, you can always ship to the store and pick it up! I scored nice flannel blanket scarves recently for $8 dollars each!  But shhh, don't tell! 

This has gotten long, but I really wanted to encourage you in your gift giving.  I love giving gifts to people!  Tell me what your gift giving traditions are in the comments and we'll chat!


Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

We did this with my hubby's family for a number of years until the family got so big we had to cut it out altogether. We always bought for his parents though until they passed. My family is much smaller but even that had to be cut back to just our kids and grandchildren. We always get my mother something too. It does make it difficult though when some of our children and grandchildren live away. This year they are all going to be here except for my son and his family out west and one of our grandsons. I am hosting Christmas dinner for everyone and I'm tired already just thinking about it. LOL But I know I'll have lots of help. Merry Christmas, Deanna!

Vee said...

I am sure that having a large family is a great blessing. Both my first husband and John were from large families. My first husband was the eldest of eight and John was the second to the youngest of six. I heard many stories of frugality from the “all I wanted for Christmas was a pepperoni stick and the cat ate it” to “if it weren’t for my aunt, we would never have had a toy for Christmas.” I think it would break my heart if I could not give something, even some little thing, to my children and grands. I do have to watch my pennies so I limit gifts to three: something you want, something you need, and something to read. I confess that $$ are sometimes given as the “what you want” because I can’t easily keep up with all of that. Let us know how all this goes after the fact...

Kim said...

Sounds like a great plan! I have a large extended family, lots of siblings. In the beginning everyone bought for everyone. Four siblings, their spouses, and their kids...there were so many gifts, it was ridiculous. We hauled them to the tree in garbage bags. Then we moved to Secret Santa...each sibling and their spouse drew one name and then all the cousins did the same. However now, many of the cousins have spouses and babies and so the logistics of who is buying for whom is nuts...and we all gave up! We just buy for the babies and call it a day. Our gift to each other is spending time together, laughing & connecting.

Theresa said...

Great idea! We used to draw names for our HUGE family Christmas Eve gathering but it just got too big. I buy for everyone but may change that next year:) Have a blessed day dear friend, HUGS!

Cheryl said...

Indeed, large families bring challenges when it comes to gift-giving!

Ron is from a large family. His family drew names for a while, but it got too complicated so that went by the wayside. We still all get together for a party at Christmas time and exchange $1 gifts just for fun.

Our own family is getting large. Nineteen of us so far; 21, including my parents. We still give a gift to each one. Actually, my mom still gives to each one . . . and she has my sister's family (10 of them) to buy for too!! We always tell her "it's too much" but she says that she loves to do it (she does) and so she'll keep on until she physically cannot.

Okay, this comment is getting long, so I'll conclude. I think it's good to be able to adapt and change and do what works for your group of people. There are no "rules" for Christmas giving!


  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We spent Saturday, doing things around the house, and then we swam. Kyle and Sarah left after that...