When You're Broke for Xmas Vent/whine..heck I'm not sure...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Hound dog, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I am working hard at not becoming a scrooge. But it isn't easy. Since husband barely brings in 300 a week from unemployment I'd already nixed getting gifts for the grown kids. But I thought we could handle getting gifts for 6 grandkids.

    Well, I did it but it 'bout killed us. Six kids at 10 bucks a piece. Sixty bucks doesn't sound like much at all until you really don't have it to spare. The presents look pretty skimpy compared to other xmas's. I tried really hard to work within my nearly non-existant budget to at least try to get something they'd enjoy. This was easier to do with the grandkids here cuz I know them so much better. Darrin got a shaving kit and a soldier rifle. Aubrey got a bucket 'o jungle animals and the stuffed mouse from the book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. She's gonna go bonkers for the mouse, that's her fav book and she'll have me read it to her a dozen times in a row. Brandon was easy to buy for. K's kids were harder. Their's really look skimpy. A barbie, a batman figure, and some little tonka trucks. In fact it looked so skimpy I filled it out buy adding in xmas pencils, xmas earasers, 3 coloring books, and a big box of crayons from the everything for a dollar store.

    I'm consoling myself by reminding myself that the grandkids here will be smothered in gifts from other family members. And K's kids will have presents from easy child, Travis, and Nichole as well.

    Not much help for it. As it was I had to take what money was left from what husband had given me and buy desperately needed grogeries....didn't get much of those either.:(

    easy child is doing xmas dinner. Although I'm contributing the broccoli casserole, and may surprise them with a chocolate pudding cake.......Then there is mother in law's birthday I don't have money for.........and I just gave her the xmas gift I got her for the party they had there and the Secret Santa thingy......so there went her xmas gift too. I'm gonna splurge and buy her a birthday card. Woopee!

    Frustrating.:mad: If it weren't for Darrin, Brandon, and Aubrey I'd be down in the dumps. But Darrin and Aubrey's excitement this year is just too contagious. lol And Brandon.....well it's impossible to be down in the dumps around him.

    We won't get into the house payment being behind...the utility payments that are behind.........ugh! And no job nibbles for husband at all!:ashamed:
  2. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I'm sorry you are feeling down but remember that when you are finished with school and working full time you will have better control over finances. Think of it as delayed gratification. If you can get through the education and get steady work, you will be a little more able to make Christmas what you want. I think the kids will be over the moon.
    It's hard to think things aren't as you want them but you have a goal and that will give you hope for the future years.
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator


    Have you applied for any assistance or relief? Sometimes utility companies have programs. The kids won't notice, trust me. Every year was like you have described for us when I was a kid and, I swear, every Christmas was the best one yet. :winks:

    Enjoy the family, sing some carols, play song games. You'll come through okay.
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I was thinking what TM was thinking. Seek out assistance for things like heat and electric to free up some cash for other needs like groceries.

    Also, I have to agree, the Christmases we celebrated with less were the best ones. You do other things to make it special, like bake Christmas cookies with the grandkids - they love decorating messy sugar cookies with different colored sugar frosting. It's so much fun. You plays games and color together, watch a favorite holiday movie or read a holiday book, stay in your jammies as long as you can make it fun. It's about the quality of the time you spend together, not the quantity of gifts, you already know that. Yes, sure, kids are wowed by enormous amounts of gifts, but how much can they play with at once anyway?

    We are running on empty this year. I am supposed to do some baking today. I have severely cut back on what I'm making because I just don't have the resources to go buy all the ingredients. I have to reserve some money for groceries for the last week of the month. I don't get paid now until Dec 31st and that paycheck usually only leaves me about $250 for the month for gas and groceries - very tight. I can't even afford the $60 to have my snows put on and here we are getting a big storm today!

    Anyway, Lisa, I totally get what you're saying. Your Christmas will be something special because you love your family and that comes across to them. Merry Christmas!
  5. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    It hoovers. My Mom gave us some money to buy Christmas presents, or else there would not be any. Her name will be on the presents too. I usually make calendars with family pics on it at an online website--they are really pretty reasonably priced at $10 each, but when you make 20 of them that adds up. No calendars this year. husband took kids and one of their animals to the humane society to get pics with Santa and he bought the CD so we can make copies. I made 20 copies for $7.80.

    Hugs. I would definately see if you can get assistance for utilities. I have done it once already and will be doing it again in January.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Some snow has brightened my outlook. :)

    Yeah, looking at those presents sort of hit me in the gut last nite. I still haven't gotten around to wrapping them yet. The grandkids here will be thrilled with what they got. But K's kids are who I worry over. They've had hard xmas's their whole lives except for last year. And I can't do other things with them to make the holiday special cuz they're too darn far away. But they know what being without money means, so I do think they'll understand.

    And we do have other things going on for the season as well. easy child took on that unemplooyed family for xmas. We've all helped a little. Me, when husband gets paid tues, I'm buying them inexpensive gloves and hats for my contribution and we're delivering their presents on Wednesday. Half will be hidden by the parents for Santa and the other half will be opened upon delivery. This was a compromise between easy child and the Mom who was determined we get credit for helping give her kids xmas while easy child was determined not to have their belief in Santa be destroyed at such young ages.

    Tomorrow we're baking cookies, the whole family. And then going into the yard sale stuff in the basement and searching for clothing and household items to help a family who just had a house fired that left them with absolutely nothing.

    As for my skimpy gifts. I got them what they wanted, each of them. I just have to keep that in my head. :)

    And yes, we're looking into help for the utilities. I just wish we could get the loan co to cooperate with the house payment. ugh

    Thanks guys. Love ya!
  7. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Lisa, depending on the child's age it really is about opening the gift & the whole excitement of Christmas morning. I would stop worrying.

    During hard times for my parents we got one gift; as the grandchildren were born & if my parents were hurting that year my mom would buy a family gift for each of the grandkids family. Tickets for a movie for the family (much cheaper in the 80's), she'd bake a month's worth of cookies or their favorite desert. Homemade hot chocolate mix.

    Again, this is the time of year for kids to learn about giving & receiving. You've done what you can - probably more than you should have. If you're regretting those gifts, you should take them back & use the money for bills or whatever. Then bake up a storm of cookies or dip pretzels in chocolate.

    This is about giving....this year the grandkids may have to learn that lesson. Just MHO.
  8. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    One of my easy child's favorite gifts she recieved from a grandparent. It was back in the day when I did Christmas BIG. So both kids were spoiled beyond anything rational. Yet her favorite gift was a inexpensive one. Her grandmother made her a bin of craft things. It was 100% put together from the dollar store. A plastic bin with a lid. Inside was construction paper, pipe cleaners, glue, glitter, markers, crayons, pencil crayons, scissors, popsicle sticks, googly eyes, ribbons, a few unpainted wooden pieces (boxes with hinges, etc), a set of paint brushes and a few pots of deco art paint. It probably cost about $20 or so in total and it was made extra impressive with alot of spiral ribbons etc. It was a joint gift for her and difficult child, so about $10 per child. I can't count the hours she spent playing with those things and how proud she was of her things she created.
    Even today she'll ask if she can have a bin like that again, usually she asks each year now at her birthday.

    Kids are terrific. They just get so excited knowing someone loves them enough to pick something for them, lovingly wrap it and I've yet to meet a kid that is truly disappointed at all in the contents of a gift.

    I think its our adult hearts that hurt, not really the kids. We all want to do for our children, our grandchildren, our spouses. It is a method of expressing love on a special day. I find that when times are super lean, I end up picking even more thoughtful gifts actually.

    My difficult child mother sent a lord of the rings poster she picked up for $2 for difficult child. She has no money. Tight doesn't cut how bad it is. She did however wrap it in stunning shiny silver paper and used ribbons and bows to make it look fantastic (she placed cardboard behind it so it wasn't rolled up. He loves LOTR's but he is a tad too old to really want the poster in his room. You know what he said at his gift? Wow mom. I don't really want the poster on my walls but I will put it up. I can't believe that gramma wrapped it so nice! I'll think about that when I look at it.

    he was shocked because my mother is a HORRID wrapper. She doesn't try at all. A gorgeous gift can be made to look frumpy in a garbage bag tied up in a knot. Its always been a joke, her wrapping. difficult child saw that gift, and when he opened it and saw it was a $2 gift, his only thought was about the love that went into the packaging. I do think most kids think that way. It is about the thought, even for a kids with huge wish lists lol.

    You did good :) Your grands gifts sound lovely to me! Enjoy your holiday and I'm glad you found some Christmas spark through the snow :)
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    You're doing fine under the circumstances. I'm half-way trying to ignore Christmas this yeear- that's probably sacreligious (sp) but I feel I can't deal with it this year. Give yourself a break!!
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Daisy...dont even worry about it. They wont.

    I spent way more than I should have spent on Xmas. I always do. Somehow we always find the money. Tony works himself into the grave so I can do it. Meanwhile, Keyana found this little ad booklet from Family Dollar with all this gifts that cost anywhere from 3 to 10 bucks a piece and those were what she kept telling us she wanted. I had already bought all her and Hailies presents. Those things she kept showing us are what Cory bought...lol. He managed to save up about $100 to use for Xmas and he sent Mandy out to buy the gifts. He sent her to FD to get Keyana what she kept asking for. I bet Keyana will like those more than she likes the stuff I got her...lol.