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Old 01-02-2005, 01:02 PM   #16
Pooh93
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I give dd's gift cards in their stockings and I may start buying them earlier, i.e. August. so it's not as much money going out in December. Other than that, I think I'll keep the same game plan. Start early and shop a little at a time on my lunch hours, (therefore avoid the malls on the weekends) bake very little, don't put up as many decorations and get my two little elves more involved in wrapping the gifts for the grandparents. I hate to wrap! My Christmas was relatively stress free this year, so I was very lucky.
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Old 01-02-2005, 01:11 PM   #17
Lisa loves Pooh
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We will have our first Christmas at home and worry about the traveling perhaps earlier in the month....

We will not be overbooked before the month even starts....

We reduced our Christmas budget by about 70%...

We will not miss the Nutcracker ballet (we really wanted to see it and the schedule was overbooked--this will be the first item on the schedule for next season).
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Old 01-02-2005, 01:41 PM   #18
remyandhollandsmommy
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Start buying Christmas gifts now so you will have enough money for "last minute didn't know you were coming over" gifts.

Buy a ham or turkey after Thanksgiving since they go on sale. Actually buy more than one since they freeze and are not exclusivelly for holiday dinners.

After Christmas when you think 20 rolls of clearance wrapping paper is enough for the next year...add 20 more or you will be paying crazy prices next year to wrap something when the paper gets shredded anyways.

Wrap presents as I buy them to avoid several nights spent wrapping all at once (I hate wrapping and thought I'd freak out if I had one more night of wrapping and then more presents appeared). Do not forget to label what the heck it is that I just wrapped so I have an idea of what I bought come Christmas.
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Old 01-02-2005, 01:54 PM   #19
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I learned this the hard way, life can be all too short. So I've decided next year to do a few things for myself. Instead of waiting until after Christmas for something that I really want I'm going to save back a few dollars and buy it for myself. If the boys want something specific I'll buy it myself rather than give the idea to the in-laws when they ask for a list (a list they asked for and didn't use). I did put my foot down this year when DH step-mother asked for a list from the boys and told her I wasn't sending her a list until Jan. 3 since we don't have "Christmas" with them until Jan. 29th because thats the only time they can fit it into their schedule. I'm sooooooo not giving her a list in December only to have the boys end up having all duplicate gifts come Jan 29th and then I'm the one running around to all these stores returning duplicate gifts only to be given gift cards for those stores because she used a credit card to make the purchase. UGH!!!!!!!

I'll also do more online shopping. It's so much easier than driving 50 miles to a decent sized city to shop. And I'll again get the boys involved in buying items for the food pantry and a name off an angel tree or just buying toys (around here toys for older boys are usually in short supply) for the Toys-for-Tots program.
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Old 01-02-2005, 02:38 PM   #20
JulieWent
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Next Christmas, we are not going to argue with all of our relatives about who is going to go where. We are GOING TO DISNEY WORLD instead!!! I started making plans the day after Christmas.


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Old 01-02-2005, 02:50 PM   #21
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Honestly, we had a fantastic Christmas this year, but still plan to do things drastically different next year. We always have 3 get-togethers with family on Christmas day. We go to Dh's mom's house for breakfast at 7 a.m. Then we go to his grandmother's house (in a completely different city) for lunch at noon. Then, around 2:30 or 3 we go to yet another town to see my family and have another huge meal. It is fun, but very tiring. It also is too much food in one day.

So, next year my mom has decided that it would be easier on us (and the new baby that will arive a few months from now) if we do things a bit differently. We are going to still go to his family's house(s) on Christmas day. But we are going to celebrate Christmas with my family the following week...perhaps around New Year's. We haven't quite worked out all of the details yet, but my mom likes the idea of being able to buy my new DD toys from an after Christmas sale, and I am sure that DD will like the idea of Christmas 2 times in one year. I like the idea of having time at home just the 3 of us in the evening on Christmas and not running around so much.
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Old 01-02-2005, 03:00 PM   #22
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I think I could back off on the hundreds and hundreds of cookies - LOL..

And next year - if our finances are better - I would like to try to shop in some of the more obscure little shops rather than the "chains" or the malls..

Oh - and I definitely want to spend more time driving around looking at the Christmas lights and I would also like to attend a church service somewhere on Christmas Eve..
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Old 01-02-2005, 03:18 PM   #23
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It will be hard to top this Christmas as we spent in on the Disney Magic. Snorkeling with stingrays on Christmas Eve, Mass on the ship, doing Sea Trekkin on Christmas Day. Next year will be back to the normal routines at home. We'll put up the big tree that we didn't put up this year and we'll decorate more. It was nice to take a break away from things for a year. :D
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Old 01-02-2005, 03:21 PM   #24
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well, we went $600 over our Christmas budget this year so I definately need to try and save more during the year.

I think I'll stick with encouraging the kids to think of 1 big significant present that they want instead of stacks of $20 toys and stuff. It is less to deal with and the definately seem to appreciate it more. This year "Santa" didn't wrap his presents and I think that is a tradition that will continue.

Santa also needs to rethink his stocking strategy. They are typically filled with stuff from the Dollar store and I think 80% of it is in the trash within a week.

I am also seriously considering an artificial tree for next year. I love real trees, but the smell seemed to give me headaches and a stuffy nose this year.
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Old 01-02-2005, 03:24 PM   #25
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i won't do anything different. This year I made the decision to not drive 400 miles to visit parents & grandparents, and ya know what--they all lived. Between my DHs heart problems, my younger son's autism, and my older son's bipolar depression, i just didn't have the energy. This year we stayed home. I figured, if they want to see us, well, they know where we are.

My 18yo & 11yo were thrilled to get to do fun things with their friends. My DH took long naps.We shopped for kids who are hospitalized and wrapped presents for another family. The only decorations we had were the ones the kids put up. We took in a few musical concerts and sang carols in the bitter cold. We made a family trip to Chattanooga to see the Aquarium. I baked only the kinds of cookies the DH & kids like. I didn't make baklava!

Yep, it was a great Christmas. :thewave:

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Old 01-02-2005, 03:27 PM   #26
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Well I didn't get to do as much this year as I would have liked because of my pregnancy and having to stay off my feet most of the time so next year I am looking forward to getting back into the stores to shop instead of doing it all online, baking and helping more with the decorations.
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Old 01-02-2005, 03:29 PM   #27
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deleting my post...wrong thread...sorry
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Old 01-02-2005, 05:16 PM   #28
Mary Ellen
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I'm not sure what DH has planned, but I KNOW that I won't be with his family ever again! Hopefully we'll spend Christmas alone at home, or with friends.

(When I mentioned the subject of this thread, DH started laughing and said "I shudder to think what you are saying." Nope, no details, just that I've learned a lesson...)
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Old 01-02-2005, 05:24 PM   #29
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Less cookies and candy...ugh I think I am going to die of chocolate poisoning.

All in all it was a great Christmas. I would really, really like to go to an all inclusive resort in the Bahamas and skip everything all together for 1 year, just to see how it feels.
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Old 01-02-2005, 06:00 PM   #30
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I want to do less traveling and more staying at home. We were on the road way too much and it made all of us crankly.

I also want to spend less on gifts and more on just plain fun things to do. We need to enjoy our holidays more.
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