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Creative ideas, No money for Christmas gifts

Last post Wed, Dec 22 2010 4:49 PM by aloha_from_cali. 16 replies.
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  • Tue, Dec 21 2010 10:45 AM

    Creative ideas, No money for Christmas gifts

    This year has been tough, a move, a surgery last month, just life in general.   DH is expecting $ from a job that was supposed to pay two weeks ago. My in laws used to help but this year after their divorce, they have no $$.

     I literally have no $$ for Christmas (6 boys) unless I use a credit card I can't afford to pay right away to avoid high interest.  My boys are older and want expensive electronics that just won't happen. DH works out of town tomorrow leaving Thursday the only day for shopping IF he gets paid.  I'm torn between using the credit card or just risk it and wait. 

    My idea was is that if there is no $$$, I would  fill their stockings with toiletries and necessities for the older boys and toys, candies ,etc for the little ones. and call it Christmas. 

    Any ideas?

    Carmina 

  • Tue, Dec 21 2010 10:51 AM In reply to

    • MarthaMFI
    • Top 10 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Wed, Apr 16 2008
    • New Westminster, BC, Canada
    • Posts 10,850

    Re: Creative ideas, No money for Christmas gifts

    can you make coupons for them...one a month ...good for a movie night,  good for getting out of one chore etc. 

    can you check out thrift stores for some things like cheap dvds, books, games?   or just get one or two thing for the family to do together like dvd or board games.     little kids are easier with cheap toys colouring books etc.

    maybe get the kids involved in baking cookies ..going out sledding? making candy?    volunteer somewhere?    

    Sorry to hear of your troubles!  hope he gets paid!!

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Hobbies and Crafts
  • Tue, Dec 21 2010 12:13 PM In reply to

    • w8tin
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Jul 14 2010
    • Posts 83

    Re: Creative ideas, No money for Christmas gifts

    If your boys are old enough to understand the financial situation I think just be up front with them. My parents were ones who would buy a lot at Christmas, then be stressed about it. Honestly knowing that buying the gifts caused stress and in our house arguments made me wish they had not bought the gift no matter how much I had wanted it. That is just my experience of course.

    I think the idea is of the stockings is a good one, maybe try to focus more on the meaning behind gift giving and Christmas. Maybe to to plan special activities during the school break to make them feel like they have had a ''vacation''. If you really want them to have a gift  and put it on the credit card, is there toy or game that could be a group activity where you are buying one gift for the ''boys'' rather than individual things. Maybe some outdoor sports thing if you live in an area that is not snow covered.

    I hope everything works out and you are able to have a nice Christmas Day.

  • Tue, Dec 21 2010 12:25 PM In reply to

    • Walt34
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Dec 17 2007
    • WV eastern panhandle
    • Posts 1,406

    Re: Creative ideas, No money for Christmas gifts

    I would second Martha's suggestion. If you run up the cc and the money to pay it off does not arrive, you have taught them they can have what they want with a cc and "just deal with it later".

    If the boys are "older" (early teens?) then this is a good time for them to be introduced to the reality that they can't always have what they want, no matter how bad they want it and no matter how bad you'd like to give it to them. Understand that this is coming from someone who didn't have a brand-new bicycle until I was 35 years old so growing up I heard "we can't afford that" early and often. I am no worse off for the deprivation. In fact it makes me appreciate what we do have now.

    Perhaps, if they are old enough to understand, tell them the situation and promise that if the money does come in, you'd be happy to buy them those things after the money to pay for it is there, but right now the money just isn't there to do that. This is also a good time to explain why paying cc interest rates for immediate gratification is unwise. Edit: You may think they aren't watching how you handle money. Believe me, no matter their age they are, and learning from you.

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Money Management
  • Tue, Dec 21 2010 1:18 PM In reply to

    Re: Creative ideas, No money for Christmas gifts

    I heartily agree with both Martha and Walt, sit down and tell the boys that are old enough to understand the situation and how things are.  They should be old enough to pull together to help you  in your financial crisis.  Do any of them have a paper route?  Can they get jobs after school at a supermarket bagging groceries etc.?  Can they clear snow off of neighbours driveways?  Being boys - they are usually more physical than girls and jobs that  require muscle are sometimes easier to come by than others.  Sending you hugs and good thoughts Carmina.  Hoping you have a great Xmas whatever happens.  Sally

  • Tue, Dec 21 2010 3:51 PM In reply to

    Re: Creative ideas, No money for Christmas gifts

    They work with DH ocassionally to earn $$.  The oldest son has poor grades and has to concentrate in school.  The rest do well in general.  The oldest has a stinky attitude "All my friends have ipods, more fun, phones etc".  Sometimes I ask him if all his friends have F's plus all the stuff he mentions. No,I won't go into debt and I will not use the card I;m trying so hard to pay.  My friend just left and she said her son (only child) is getting a pair of pant, a shirt and shoes,necessities only.  . 

    Carmina 

     

  • Tue, Dec 21 2010 7:30 PM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Creative ideas, No money for Christmas gifts

     Carmina, I did some searching and came up with some sites with free gift ideas. If you had more time, it would be easier.

    Buy Nothing Christmas

    Snowman Poop, if your sons are anything like the boys I know, they love potty humor and will find this funny enough as a treat in the stocking.

    Chocolate spoons, these are nice looking as well and you can use your own spoons if you have enough.

    Flylady has some ideas that include both gifts that cost and some you may be able to make with things you have

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Tue, Dec 21 2010 7:41 PM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Creative ideas, No money for Christmas gifts

     I can also suggest some of the make it yourselves I posted about here at The Dollar Stretcher.

    Make your own watercolors

    Make your own finger paint

    Homemade Playdough

     

    Maybe one or two of these for the kids, some coupons for fun things through the year that are free or low cost and the poop, chocolate spoon and some homemade cookies?

    Another idea is printing out a small stack of coloring and activity pages for a homemade coloring book or maybe printing out an alphabet or storybook for little ones.

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Tue, Dec 21 2010 7:53 PM In reply to

    Re: Creative ideas, No money for Christmas gifts

    Carimina did I hear six boys???? I thought one was bad enough when I had one wow lady you disever a medle..   Cookies you can make or dough art with flour salt and water then bake in the oven.  Make cards for the holdiay.  or emberoidery a name to place napkins or if all fails tell them to come on over to a dinner and serve what you can afford me it would be meat loaf gravey and maspotatoes and vegettable for the side.

  • Tue, Dec 21 2010 8:05 PM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Creative ideas, No money for Christmas gifts

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



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