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  1. #1

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    Christmas is coming- commercialisim, societal pressures and misery

    How important are Christmas gifts to you and your family? We have all heard the message that it is not about the gifts- that Christmas means so much more- but we are bombarded far more by the message that you need to SHOP SHOP SHOP!!! SPEND SPEND SPEND!! SALES!! GIFTWRAPPING!!

    It's enormous pressure on people, especially parents (from my view) and it becomes almost painful as the date approaches. As if the very quality of our love for our kids is connected with the amount of money we spend at Christmas.

    And I think it sucks.

    I already know that Christmas will not bring piles and piles of goodies beneath the tree this year- and I know that I will begin to deliberately ignore the ads- in print, at the stores and on TV. Otherwise I will go batty!

    How do you combat that with your kids, or whoever you buy gifts for? The pressure may apply to the person spending the money- but the message of love = size and quantity of gifts is not lost on the recievers either.

  2. #2

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    Re: Christmas is coming- commercialisim, societal pressures and misery

    I only buy gifts for my Mom and Dad...

  3. #3

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    Re: Christmas is coming- commercialisim, societal pressures and misery

    i set a spending limit for all the nieces & nephews and both sides of the family have agreed to only buy for the kids, except for a "secret santa" on my husband's side. that helps to limit the spending.

    my son's birthday is 6 days before christmas, so i don't spring clean, i fall clean. i clear out all of the toys & clothes that aren't used anymore and either do a garage sale or send them off to charity.
    <o>

  4. #4

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    Re: Christmas is coming- commercialisim, societal pressures and misery

    My gift buying habits have dropped dramatically since I bought a house. Some friends I used to buy for I've had to have a talk with and say, lets just get together and do dinner. And some family members I've written off completely. We actually started a "draw your name out of a hat" thing last year and set a limit and that seems to be fine.

    Now I buy for my mom and a select few relatives (great nieces/nephews to be exact) and a couple friends and thats it. I'd honestly rather just get together with friends for dinner and hang out during the holidays anymore.

    Oh, and a house a block down from me has their xmas lights up and on, tonight, November 1. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

  5. #5

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    Re: Christmas is coming- commercialisim, societal pressures and misery

    Even though we don't have an issue with spending tons of money on christmas, my family has always done a secret santa type thing where all the people over the age of 18 draw eachother's names and then go all out on that one person and then everybody buys for the kids. It's really fun!
    Quote Originally Posted by drunkmom
    this is my first buzzed post in the DMCA -- I'm really in this club because I'm a bitch more than anything. I've only had to hit the backspace 4 (oops, make that 5) times in (now 7) in this (now 9) (now 15) in this post! Damn, now I'm up to 18! Our neighbors were (19) (20) making tequilla sunrises. I thought I couldn't do tequilla (22) anymore but (24) this stuff (26) was good! It started (27) with an s



  6. #6

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    Re: Christmas is coming- commercialisim, societal pressures and misery

    Every Christmastime, we emphasize food and family - not so much the gifts. In recent years, Thanksgiving has become a bigger holiday for our family than Christmas. We usually have a modest pile of gifts which serves as "something to open" for the sake of commercial Christmas. My brother and I are both adults now, and if anyone deserves gifts, its parents, not us kids. Nothing I could give my parents could thank them enough for college education and a car to use.
    double the powder and shorten the fuse?

  7. #7

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    Re: Christmas is coming- commercialisim, societal pressures and misery

    Quote Originally Posted by MiceMan
    Even though we don't have an issue with spending tons of money on christmas, my family has always done a secret santa type thing where all the people over the age of 18 draw eachother's names and then go all out on that one person and then everybody buys for the kids. It's really fun!
    We do this too. And we all fill out wish lists on Thanksgiving and then draw those, so we have a jumping off point. There are some really creative gifts that come out of it, so it is a lot of fun. Like whoever gets one aunt might find the person who has the corresponding uncle, and then get them a joint gift, like dinner and theater tickets or something cool.

    Our family puts a bigger emphasis on Thanksgiving as well. We'd really all just rather hang out together anyway, even though we all live right here. We must be weird or something!
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  8. #8

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    Re: Christmas is coming- commercialisim, societal pressures and misery

    Quote Originally Posted by SusieP.
    We do this too. And we all fill out wish lists on Thanksgiving and then draw those, so we have a jumping off point. There are some really creative gifts that come out of it, so it is a lot of fun. Like whoever gets one aunt might find the person who has the corresponding uncle, and then get them a joint gift, like dinner and theater tickets or something cool.

    Our family puts a bigger emphasis on Thanksgiving as well. We'd really all just rather hang out together anyway, even though we all live right here. We must be weird or something!
    You know, now that I think about it, Thanksgiving is a bigger holiday for my family too ... it seems that many more people come to our house for Thanksgiving and we all stuff ourselves silly. I guess it means our family prefers to eat!
    Quote Originally Posted by drunkmom
    this is my first buzzed post in the DMCA -- I'm really in this club because I'm a bitch more than anything. I've only had to hit the backspace 4 (oops, make that 5) times in (now 7) in this (now 9) (now 15) in this post! Damn, now I'm up to 18! Our neighbors were (19) (20) making tequilla sunrises. I thought I couldn't do tequilla (22) anymore but (24) this stuff (26) was good! It started (27) with an s



  9. #9

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    Re: Christmas is coming- commercialisim, societal pressures and misery

    Our transmission has *probably* just gone out on our car- yesterday. We aren't positive yet, there is an off chance it is something else. (cross your fingers for me!!) But if it is the tran, we found out it will be over $3000. So yeah, X mas will be depressing this year.
    “In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe.” -Michael Jackson



  10. #10

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    Re: Christmas is coming- commercialisim, societal pressures and misery

    Yeah, I hate how commercial it gets. As far as gifts... hubby and I generally don't get each other anything. One year we gave ourselves scuba lessons, or we use it as an excuse to get something we otherwise couldn't justify. I guess in that respect we're boring.

    I like to buy calendars for my mom and my brothers. The rest of my family draws names at Thanksgiving, and ya buy one gift. There's really only one kid in the family now, so I'm sure she gets showered with gifts.

    Last year I made gifts for a few of my friends. I'm not sure what to do this year, but I better get cracking because December goes crazy and last year so did I, trying to get it all done on a spare morning.

    Smart idea to ignore the ads.
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  11. #11

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    Re: Christmas is coming- commercialisim, societal pressures and misery

    "Christmas is coming- commercialisim, societal pressures and misery"

    Gee, with an approach like that, how can you lose?

    Okay, but seriously. I have 22 gifts to give this season. I say season because "the gift season" starts for me mid-October with the first of so many birthdays leading into Christmas. How do I handle it? Planning. I start early. One year I was actually DONE in August. This year, not so much. But I've got the birthdays handled, for the most part, and some Christmas gifts.

    Monetarily, well, I'm not the wealthiest person, so I make up for it with very creative shopping, and prioritizing. Every year, I spend a decent amount of money on just one person, and everyone else I just shop well for. My "good" gifts usually run around $20 each, and most folks fall in the $8-$15 range. Sure, it sounds cheap for a person my age, but all that really matters about gifts is the thought that goes into them.

    I think most people really don't understand the meaning of that phrase. It's not just THAT I thought of them and bought a gift... it's the thought that goes into the gift itself. For example, for my dad's wedding, I actually MADE their wedding present. But this is appropriate since I happen to be a halfway decent painter, they both love USC, and I painted a scene from the 2004 Rose Bowl. It's not that I didn't spend much money on the gift, it's that I invested the time to give something that showed my understanding of who they are and what they would appreciate.

    Now, when I'm not making gifts myself (because who the heck has that much time?), it's all about creative shopping. My 14-y/o nephew is getting one of those little basketball hoops with the spongy ball that are so popular in college dorms. Very appropriate for a young man. Cost? $1. Because pretty much from July on I'm always on the lookout for gifts, so I'm positioned to buy things when I find the right gift at the right price.

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  12. #12

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    Re: Christmas is coming- commercialisim, societal pressures and misery

    Oh, and Nephy: with the younger kids, it's more about quantity. The older kids do tend to get more particular about their gifts, but when you haven't got the funds for quality, go for halfway decent yet cheap gifts and make up for it in quantity (see basketball hoop in previous post)

    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



  13. #13

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    Re: Christmas is coming- commercialisim, societal pressures and misery

    I guess because we don't have kids I don't loathe this holiday. Our 8 nieces and nephews all get cash, so their easy. I only buy presents for my DH, mom, and MIL. And even then, we agree not to spend much.
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  14. #14

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    Re: Christmas is coming- commercialisim, societal pressures and misery

    I am considering homemade gifts for the adults and presents for children. Any suggestions for good homemade gifts for adults? Last year, my daughter painted tiles. We have made cookies in past years. I am also considering homemade christmas cards.

  15. #15

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    Re: Christmas is coming- commercialisim, societal pressures and misery

    I love making homemade gifts!

    One I did was a poem written by my husbands great grandma. I wrote it out nicely and framed it. His grandma cried when she opened it.

    I have also made plaques that can hang on a wall, personalized with the family name or something very personal on it. I usually make them so they hang with a ribbon which I think makes them pretty.

    I also LOVE making picture frames.
    “In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe.” -Michael Jackson



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