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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

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#16 Maxi


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Posted 03 November 2011 - 01:15 PM

I buy a fair few presents in the end of financial year sales and squirrel them away. Because we have family overseas and interstate it's handy to have them so far in advance to ensure they reach their destination in time.

We now have kris kringle on both sides of the family. My husband and I have decided we don't want presents from his family for our birthdays as we now have a baby and she's an extra expense for them (not that they have at all suggested this!).

If we go home for Christmas, Mum does the full traditional lunch and as we've flown there to be with everyone she doesn't like us chipping in for food. (We usually leave gift vouchers or money that she only finds once we've left for Aus.)
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#17 kisma


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Posted 03 November 2011 - 01:30 PM

This year I have claimed all my points on our credit cards and flybuys etc, and stoked that they are paying for Christmas. Well apart from food, no idea what is happening there as I have no idea what we are doing for Christmas day.
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#18 scasey77


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Posted 04 November 2011 - 10:59 AM

I buy almost all of my kids presents during the various July toy sales. We have both birthdays and Xmas between late Nov and Xmas Day so I try to buy as much on sale as possible so that we are saving a bit of money.

My family does a Kris Kringle type of thing. We have a limit of $100 per couple (we all have partners). So we basically draw names out of a hat and then the person we are buying for gives us a list of 5-10 present ideas and we what to buy off that. That way people are getting something that they want but still a little bit of a surprise.

I also have 7 nieces/nephews to buy for as well so try to get something in the sales for them too but sometimes I am still trudging around the shops just before Xmas trying to find something suitable.

Food - we split our food list between everyone that is coming and I generally buy my bits and pieces with our normal grocery shopping in the month or so prior to Xmas so it's not all in one hit.

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#19 mel_in_tas


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Posted 04 November 2011 - 08:37 PM

I tend to buy things throughout the year and hide them away and then realise I had forgotten about half of it when I start pulling it out ph34r.gif its like Christmas for me just discovering everything. so I have done that again this year. Our work also has three different bookclubs with really good bargains so each pay I tend to buy a book/dvd/gift from there if there is anything suitable. I've bought a few little bits and pieces also for stockings.

This year will (hopefully) be the first in our new house. It's looking like we'll have completion before then so we'll hopefully be moved in before Christmas. As yet, we've made no plans for Christmas Day. DH's family are all across Australia, his parents are coming down for a visit in the New Year. My parents are seperated, and I'm yet to work out how we are dealing with that for Christmas Day - maybe Mum for lunch, Dad and his 'lady friend' biggrin.gif for dinner? Boxing Day is the big one for us. My Mum's side of the family always have a massive Christmas on Boxing Day affair, everyone brings a plate - desserts, leftovers etc. and a small gift under $20 for each child to go under the tree from Santa...

so no big presents for any of us - our big present is a newly completed house. Next year we'll buy a big outdoor play item for the kids - a swing/cubby set or a trapoline at the mid year christmas layby sale...
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#20 Vik


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Posted 05 November 2011 - 08:03 AM

We've got a pretty small family. The focus for us definitely isn't presents, but rather the opportuity to spend time with family.

We will buy gifts for our immediate family but usually I buy gifts for others that benefit disadvantaged communities or causes that are close to my heart. Last year I purchased all my gifts from the Oxfam shop at a sale in October, this year I am purchasing small gifts from a combination of Baan Unrak Weaving (to support single mothers on the Thai/Burma border), Animals Australia Christmas Shop and UNICEF Australia where I can buy charity gifts to give that help children in 3rd world countries.

We are so blessed here in Australia and we know such abundance. While I can think of some things that I'd maybe like to receive, these things are not going to change my life in the same way that purchases through UNICEF or Baan Unrak Weaving can genuinely change the lives of others. These things don't have to be expensive and for those on a budget they can be an ideal option to traditional gift giving.

On the food front, I'm a vegan so we don't have the expense of meats or exotic seafood. Our Christmas grocery shop will cost only ~$20 more than a regular shop, only because we will have an additional person with us for a few days over the Christmas period.

We have had the same Christmas tree for many years and our decorations are used year after year. I always buy a few new things every year, but this costs less than $20. This year I purchased my decorations from Baan Unrak and I love them ( http://img1.etsystat...l.189681889.jpg )
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#21 claire_p


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Posted 05 November 2011 - 09:21 AM

I have no idea what I would spend at Christmas. I never add anything up. So far this year I have only got some of Keira's present and dolls house $99 and a ken doll $20. Better get my act together and start shopping. We do a secret santa with DH family so that is only 1 present I need to buy and a then I have my Mum & Step Dad, and his kids and grandson. I only get Step -Dads kids some chocolates or something though and get grandson a nice present. So I dont have alot to do. I want to get Keira some roller skates and knee/elbow pads and Liam a bike and Car gargage thing. Nathan will probably get some clothes and shoes for the Cruise. Should I count the $5000 the cruise is costing us rolleyes.gif We are going on the Pacific Sun for Christmas this year, so we dont need to organise any food, it will all be done for us biggrin.gif
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#22 * MsSassy *

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 02:24 PM

Christmas costs us anywhere between $1000-$2000 per year. On my two kids we spend about $250-$300 each. Each other we have a limit of $300. Parents are about $50-$100 each and then siblings are around $50-$100.

We purchase small items throughout the year that I put in the top of the wardrobe and often forget about.

As I have one big kid (11) and a little one (3) we usually go with one big item and some little ones. They also have three other sets of grand-parents buying for them but their stuff is split up between two houses.

My mum will usually give my son money which he gets to spend half and has to bank the other half. And she will get my daughter one thing.

DP's parents (mother mostly) loves to buy presents so she will get them lots of little things and clothes etc. But then when you compare my kids to DP's neice they dont have as nearly as much as she does...lol.

Having said the above though, the kids dont get alot during the year. The will get an odd toy here and there but the majority of items are left until their b'day and xmas.

#23 Porthos


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Posted 06 November 2011 - 09:13 PM

We afford xmas by:

* Buying most of our kids' stuff early (as in, I have ALL of the presents for our two kids in the house, wrapped and stashed and a trampoline hiding in the shed wink.gif ) and in little dribs and drabs so it's more affordable ($20 here and $50 there v. spending $500 in one go).

* Trying not to go too silly on our kids, keeping in mind how spoiled they get from all the relos ( did say 'trying' blush.gif . This year we have gone a bit silly: We spent around $130 on each child and then they got their $250 trampoline as well. This is as nuts as we have gone...they are only 3 and 1 though, God help me!! laugh.gif ).

* Having a $100 KK in my family (so it costs us $200, a KK each) plus buying for the nephews ($20 limit). We also get my folks a joint present - usually each sibling puts in $100 - $200 (this year it was $75 which was great). It means you get a really good pressie for xmas and it also means that usually DH and I don't buy for each other as we know we have at least one good pressie coming our way wink.gif

* Only buying for the kids in DH's family (a kid is classified as under 18 so each year we lose one...but we also seem to gain at the other end tongue.gif ) and, again, having a $20 per child limit. We buy a token gift for his folks - usually a book each. So buying for DH's family usually costs around $200 total.

* Buying grog on special before xmas and stashing it.

* We take whatever food we are asked to take to each family gathering - usually spending between $30 - $50 for each gathering. BUT we spend xmas eve and day with my folks and xmas night with his folks...and usually back to mine for Boxing Day. This means that for three days we 'eat out' and we end up taking leftovers home so I can sometimes stretch it to four...$100 for four days of eating over xmas seems reasonable to me.

* We try to stash away over time money sometime in Sept / Oct especially for xmas. This year DH did a two week army stint in Oct, excellent, it paid off our credit card, paid for xmas outright and left us some money to pay for a wedding we're going to in Feb.

Christmas costs us between $1200 - 1400 in total and our kids are still babies. God help me when they are teenagers!! But it's all paid before before the big event...I would pull my hair out if we were using credit cards to fund xmas.

#24 -Megs-


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Posted 06 November 2011 - 09:37 PM

We normally layby in the toy sales (didn't this year because nothing appealed). I grab bits and pieces where I can, most of the big boys presents are done thanks to a trip to the Mattel shop afew weeks ago.

We've been known to rewrap toys for subsequent children ph34r.gif We did it last year for the twins and for Lew's 1st Christmas as well. We also got them 1 new toy, but they're too little to understand, for us it was more about letting the older ones know that it isn't just about them IYKWIM?

My side of the family is easy, we only buy for the kids (so just 2 other kids) and I make up a plate of baked goodies for the adults. DH's family is small so that's easy too.

Food, I do a lot of baking, try and spread it out as much as possible (less stressful that way too!), stock up on things as they come on special etc etc. We also get a hamper from DH's work which includes a ham and turkey as well as other bits and pieces. We normally buy a couple of hams over the summer period anyway, I find it works out to be quite an economical and easy meal option.

DH and I will splurge on each other if we have extra funds, but we've also had a lot of fun filling a stocking for each other on a limited budget.

#25 ~Bella~


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Posted 10 November 2011 - 12:07 PM

OMG christmas is starting to hurt my head this year. MIL and my mum are sorted (just have to get my mums thing from down the road) my father for once in our life we have something sorted for him but FIL oh gosh i wouldn't have a clue wacko.gif laugh.gif SIL I'm just going to get her some nice silver jewellery which is easy, she has taste like mine, oh and some books, she's also a book worm like me and enjoys what i like too laugh.gif Hubby and i well I'm not expecting much, we've just had to spend 2k on our stupid car and both our b'days are in december too so there goes our presents sad.gif I will get hubby some clothes and a few cd's he's been wanting oh and maybe a phone. And our little man well i will get him a few toys, but we dont have much variety down here so might look when i go to sydney this weekend, and he will get utterly spoilt of his aunty and grandparents and my grandparents that we don't really need to get him much laugh.gif Oh and the grandparents (our grandparents that is not emmanuel's) i think im going to make some photo books for them with family pics and lots of emmanuel. They always love that stuff.

Food well we are having lunch at mum and dads so i doubt mum will want us to bring anything, we'll probably help cook but thats ok.

We dont really buy for extended family dont see much of anyone really. I'll probably make something yummy to give to the extended people.

I feel more organised this yr but i still dont feel organised enough wacko.gif
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