WFMW – Backwards Day   14 comments


Shannon is mixing it up over at Rocks in my Dryer this week!  It is Backwards Day in WFMW-Land. Instead of giving a tip, we’re supposed to ask for one, on a very specific subject. We’re inviting all the WFMW readers to weigh in with their clever solutions to our most stubborn problems. My question is more of a survey question so here it goes:

How do you handle Christmas gift giving when you have to buy gifts for your side of the family, his side of the family, friends, the office your husband works at, the office you work at, etc.?! 

Posted October 2, 2007 by Lana G! in Christmas, Works For Me Wednesdays

14 responses to “WFMW – Backwards Day

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  1. We handle the family gift giving in 2 ways:

    1) For my side (which is growing larger and larger each year) my 4 siblings and I have decided to throw the names of all our kids in a hat and draw names. We don’t buy the adults a gift, just the kids and we set a limit of $25 per gift (since we only have 1-2 children to buy for, it’s not so bad). Oh, and we do buy gifts for our parents.

    2) For Oronzo’s side of the family, we haven’t convinced them to draw names, but we have at least limited it to gifts only for the kids (nothing exchanged amongst siblings) and gifts for the parents.

    As for friends/co-workers, I find that making plates or tins of cookies or other goodies is a most acceptable and appreciated gift for them!

  2. First, we decide what we’re going to participate in. I just avoid parties, or choose not to participate in the gift game, if it’s not something I want to spend our money on.

    Set a budget ahead of time for what you will buy.

    For friends, I usually bake bread. My friends love my homemade bread, and it’s a nice change from all the sweets people usually receive.

    For family, I usually try to shop year-round. That’s pretty easy for the kids when they’re young, but I’m finding it’s harder with teens. I look for bargains all year, and I sometimes shop Ebay for gifts.

    Don’t underestimate the gift of time if money is really tight. Offer to cook a meal for someone or clean their house or whatever it is you know would be of value to the recipient.

    Think unique. For example, I live in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Fort Worth has an amazing spice store called Pendery’s. For my sister and BIL, who now live out of the country, I gave them Texas spices from Pendery’s. They loved getting a taste of home, and it really wasn’t terribly expensive. I’ve sent Texas spices to friends out-of-state, and they’ve always been well received. If you have gift recipients who do not live nearby, think of what is unique to your area that would be special to them.

  3. For work, my husband’s office denoted Christmas gifts as “white elephant only.” It’s fun — and it saves money!!

  4. We draw names on my side of the fam. On Dear’s side we send a box with random gifts and goodies for them to choose whatever they want.

  5. Because I am the youngest of six kids, with almost all of my siblings being married and having children, it makes for a lot of people. We have mostly all moved to giving gifts/a gift to each family, instead of to each family member. For instance, one of my sisters (and her family) gave every family pizza hut gift cards one year.

  6. Fortunately, my DH’s family is very small. But we usually just do gifts for those who will be with us on Christmas Day.

    And we kind of have an unspoken agreement to keep it small. We started it the year we first bought a house and with all the extra legal costs so close to Christmas (we moved on 1 Dec), and it’s continued since then.

    Bonus all round

  7. Well my Sister-in-law came up with this one and I love her for it!!

    We agreed on an amount to spend on each family.

    She buys her kids gifts and I buy my kids gifts. Then we swap them and wrap them. This way the kids get what they want and you get to spread the cost.

    I mostly buy all my kids gifts off e-bay to get more for my money 🙂

  8. I’m a man.
    I am not required to shop for anything until dec 24th.

    Some rule or genetics, I’m not sure. lol

  9. On my husbands mother’s side we buy kids only, on his father’s side we all draw names, and with my parent’s families we only buy if we’re in town with them. For our immediate families (siblings and neices and nephews) we still buy for each person. And for my husbands work and other friends, I try to home make gifts.

    So, basically, we do a great big grab bag of strategies 🙂

  10. We go into Christmas with the decision that it’s not about the money spent, but the love, time and consideration given with the gifts. We’re really trying to drill this home with the kids, too. So we make things, look for bargains and do a lot of baking around the holidays… And by we, I mean the entire family! And to be honest, I’ve never had a person complain that we didn’t “spend enough” on them. And Christmas is a lot less stressful on everyone at our place. Whew!

  11. For the families … we draw names. For work, neighbors and friends, I usually make gifts.

    I hosted a “Homemade with Love” Gift Idea Exchange last year… here’s the link with TONS of ideas (it’s slow in loading because there are a lot of pictures) and there’s a Mister Linky at the bottom with 25 other links to different blogs with great ideas, too!

    This year, I’ll be hosting it on or around November 12 … so bookmark the link to my blog and come back for more great ideas!!!

  12. In my husband’s family the cousins exchange gifts – the siblings don’t give, we give to parents. (WE give but I buy :)fortunately I like to do it – and I start early!

    In my family we give small gifts to everyone – small family – small gifts!

  13. We do not buy gifts for office workers. Instead, we would make something home made like truffles or eclairs and bring them in to work for a treat. The rest of the family, we just have a spending limit which varies by year and then we divide it by the number of people. I always make sure to put more towards the kids(because they really care more about the gifts than adults).

  14. Cheap, easy idea…
    *Buy coffe mugs at the $1 store, buy plastic spoons (red & green), melt chocolate onto the bowl of the spoon, individually wrap with plastic wrap and tie together. Stuff them into the mug. Nice gift for teachers, the school administrators, office receptionist etc. A chocotale spoon to stir into their coffee. They cost a fortune at the speacialy shops. You can make tons of them, kids can help.

    * I still do lots of baking and give that away too. Quick breads, muffins, cookies. Again cheap dessert plates can be bought at the $1 store and wrap it pretty in plastic wrap.

    * I have also given away the dry ingredients in a nice jar or clear bowl with a top and the instructions for soups or cookies. I gave that together with a set of adjustable measuring spoons to a girl that just moved into her own apt. with her sister. They loved it.

    Have fun!

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