Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday: Drawing Names for gifts and extending the holidays

Neither my hubby or I come from large families (I have one sister and he has two brothers), but none of our budgets have been huge at Christmas time and if you try purchasing gifts for everyone plus your own kids and each other...WOW...it begins to add up. That's not including other friends you may want to buy for. Yikes!! 
We love to give gifts and we do look forward to the day when we can buy gifts for everyone with no worries! But for now it doesn't work out and we've learned to help everyone lower those expectations. I know families that "expect" every person to buy everyone gifts, we're talking cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, siblings, EVERYONE!! That's okay if you can afford that, but I've talked to many young couples who have felt the pressure. It's just not fair. 
What we've done for years is draw names. We make it fun...the kids draw names for each other (for example...my two girls draw names with my two nephews, or my nephew and two nieces), then the adults all draw names. This has seemed to work great. And, we try to set a price limit. Then the search is on for great deals. 
If you are one whose expectations are that everyone needs to buy everyone something and it needs to cost a certain amount, take a moment to re-think and discern if this works for everyone. I have found that many people don't share the concern of being able to buy for so many because the expectation is so high. "That's how we've always done it". 
The other thing we've done (especially because we were a ways away from our families) once we had kids was to let everyone know that we really wanted to spend Christmas morning at our own house with our girls. Now every now and then we deviated from that, but for the most part we made sure we were at our own house so the girls could enjoy their tree. Then we made arrangements for grandparent to travel to us, or we'd go up later that afternoon or even a different weekend. It just made things so much easier.....and hey....the holiday was extended.
For more great tips, go to Works for Me Wednesday. I hope to share more holiday tips in the weeks to come. Now I'm off to read some great tips from others. 
With Joy UNquenchable,

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