Becoming Debt Free in 2009

November 5, 2008

Scaling back on Christmas -Final Decision

Filed under: Budget,Shopping — ambercouric @ 9:40 am
Tags: ,

As I sat last night trying to make up a Christmas list, I realized that exchanging gifts with relatives that I only see once a year is ridiculous. They shouldn’t have the stress of trying to find something for my family and I shouldn’t have the stress of buying for them.

So, I am calling my sister and telling her that I will only be buying for the little children (her grandchildren) and not buy for any adults.  My sister’s three children are all married with children.  There are six little ones ages 2 to 7.  Since my children are teenagers, I will ask that they not purchase gifts for my children.  We will just enjoy the day.

Every year I request that we stop exchanging gifts and this year it will just be the end on my part.  I think I will also send my niece an e-mail after talking to my sister just to be sure she is aware.   The funny thing about all of this is that my sister and her family are the ones who spend big at Christmas and then have several hard months afterward.

I’m scaling back.  Final Decision.  I’ll let you know how the conversation goes.  Wish me luck.



  1. I struggle with this every year also. I prefer to just buy for kids only, I think that Christmas is for them, and I get just as much joy out of watching them enjoy their gifts.

    It can be a difficult subject to broach, but once you’ve gotten it out of the way, you’ll be relieved. Usually people are more than happy to spend less – it’s just that nobody wants to be the one to suggest it.

    Good luck! 🙂

    Comment by MadeMistakes — November 5, 2008 @ 10:35 am

  2. I have a large family and buying presents for everyone would cost hundreds of dollars. I don’t have any kids so buy a present for my parents, my boyfriend, and my brother in California. It would be chaos buying for 10 nieces and nephews and my immediate family. Good luck with that converstation. I’ll stay tuned to hear how it turns out!

    Comment by Movingonup! — November 5, 2008 @ 11:50 am

  3. Good luck! I’m fortunate that I have a fairly easy to shop for bunch (5, total!). It’s a very sad situation when people won’t understand that you honestly just don’t want “the stuff” and refuse to put yourself in debt to them.

    Best of luck and hold strong to your convictions with this!

    Comment by Annie — November 5, 2008 @ 1:53 pm

  4. Hi there-good luck on this, it really is the right thing to do and I hope your sisters side of the family realise as well!

    Comment by sharon rose — November 5, 2008 @ 2:09 pm

  5. Oh my word yes – I hear you and this is always a tough call!! I love gift giving and find it’s really hard not to spend spend spend when it’s for other people.

    Last year I had to scale back significantly because I was broke (this was about the time I started to realize that something radically had to change). This year I had to break the news that I won’t be spending Christmas with the family because I’m on my debt free journey and a plane ticket to see them over the holidays is just way too far out of the budget. Gifts are another side altogether. This year I have decided to craft my way through Christmas. Everyone that I want to give a gift is getting something that I’ve made. I took up knitting a couple of months ago so for the most part my family can be expecting scarves (mostly because that’s all I know how to knit!) Thankfully my sisters understand because we’re all on the same journey right now. I hope your family will appreciate that this is as much a sacrifice for you as it is for them.

    Once the debt is history though, I look forward to move to a $1,000/year Christmas which won’t be difficult when I have no other payments. THAT will be fun!!

    Comment by Deb — November 5, 2008 @ 4:26 pm

  6. My family is working, able to pay their bills…

    This year, because of rather hard economic times for others, I have decided to donate toys/food to a local adopt-a-family in the name of a relative/friend. So, my relatives will be getting a picture, of the toy or food box that was donated to help a family, attached to a delicious box of homemade Christmas cookies. 🙂

    Trying the Humanitarian thing this year, I think I’m gonna like it.

    Comment by money funk — November 5, 2008 @ 4:36 pm

  7. I think you’re making a very wise decision.
    Hope it goes well and works in your favour when you bring this up with your family members 🙂

    Comment by frugal dreamer — November 5, 2008 @ 5:08 pm

  8. Thanks for all of your support. It worked.

    @Money Funk – I like your idea. We are going to do a food box to donate to a family. This will be from all of us and hopefully will start a new tradition.

    Comment by ambercouric — November 5, 2008 @ 5:48 pm

  9. I should have read further before I commented to Octobers post. :o)

    Good for you! We did the same and haven’t regretted it. Each year we buy a zoo pass for our nieces (same family, so only one zoo pass) and they each get a stocking with goodies. Christmas is so much nicer without all of the stress!

    Comment by Krista — December 8, 2008 @ 12:19 am

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