Confessional Sunday: Christmas Presentless

retrochick.JPGIvy says:

Alright, Home Eccers, here’s my confession: I have bought very few presents for my kids for Christmas this year because I have no idea what to get them. They all have too much stuff already. In addition, other than the things I’m making for people and one gift I’ve bought for my brother, I’m pretty much idealess for my extended family as well.

My oldest son will get some box seats at a Predators game if my husband can arrange it, and I’m thinking about going the tickets route for my daughter, but tickets for what? No earthly. I’m just really lost this year. Christmas, bah humbug, right? Sigh.

Assuage my fears, Home Eccers. Tell me I’m not the only one.


  1. M3 on December 16, 2008 at 12:39 am

    We have an embarrassment of riches and when even your youngest says she has “too much stuff”, you know your gut feelings are right on the money. We’re not getting the kids much this year… and I think they’ll be fine with it.

  2. Keter on December 16, 2008 at 12:17 am

    I have only adults on my list, so I gave boxes of premium salt- and sugar-free spice blends for Christmas this year. I didn’t have time to do them up myself, so it cost more, but it can be done quite frugally by buying containers (Lee Valley Tools has nice stainless steel and glass ones, or you can get a magnetic set from Ikea or Bed Bath & Beyond) and bulk spices (I order online from Penzey’s). Giving spices is generally safer than giving food: not many people are allergic to spices, and they’re safe for diabetics and people who must watch their salt intake. And hey, everybody’s got to eat! ;o)

  3. Tara on December 15, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    Yule is tight here too. We’re filling stockings, plus a gift or two each to each other, one from each of us to DD, and Santa (which is the big gift, and a couple extra). I’ve hidden the gifts from other family members, even tho she knows we have them – bigger impact when they show up Yule morn!

    I like stockings… small stuff, wrap everything I can, and it can be very nice items if I work it right – I buy the items all year. Missed that this year; I’m using things like socks (and yes I will wrap them lol) and chemises and such – bulky, needed, and can be fun. Also, this way I *know* the stocking will be stuffed!

  4. Judy on December 15, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    I’m digging into my yarn stash this Christmas. After having a miscarriage and burying our daughter, money is exceedingly tight. the olders (15, 15, 13, and 11) are mostly ok with it. The little (10 months) won’t ever know any different, as we are never going back to the practice of buying a bunch of stuff again. 🙂 We’re getting back to what Christmas is really all about – the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

  5. Pam on December 15, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    We have a famous and very wealthy friend and she has never gotten
    her children more than 3 things for Christmas (and I don’t mean a car, a TV and a pony) 3 reasonable gifts. She told them them there
    were 3 wisemen and Jesus got 3 gifts…..she has held to that for 20 years. I wish I had known that earlier in my life…..(smile)
    God Bless

  6. Lisa- Domestic Accident on December 15, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Too much stuff here, too. We actually rarely give our children alot, but grandparents do. This year, we bought very little but we’re going to an indoor water park overnight as a present of family fun to all of us.

  7. jag on December 15, 2008 at 10:48 am

    What about tickets to one of the children’s theaters, or maybe to to some classes at the zoo or a crafty place or the science museum? I’m assuming there are classes and things offered at those places. I would have been totally impressed with season tickets to a theater in my name at that age. I’ll keep thinking on other things too.

  8. dani on December 15, 2008 at 9:24 am

    For christmas this year, my mom basically took my sister and I clothes shopping, and said, here, this is going to be the majority of your christmas present. Personally, I LOVED it (but I am 20, and she is 16). As for the cousins in my life, I just got little crafty stuff that I hope that they will like. My sister got a bunch of DVDs because Amazon was having a sale.

    As for tickets, if there is a show in the area, like an off broadway production of something, that is always fun, but also a concert, some movie gift cards or something for a store she likes is also good.

    My mom keeps telling me exactly what she wants for Christmas, so I don’t have a problem with that, and we got my grandmas gift cards to resturants and grocery stores, since they had NO idea what they wanted (and the one tends to buy herself Christmas presents).

  9. Angela on December 15, 2008 at 8:25 am

    My oldest is nine and has been asking to go to SC since, well… when we did not move there three years ago:( (it is now -15 and we are all wishing se did). Anyways, I found a good deal on airline tickets and that is our family Christmas present. I did not want anymore toys in the house, so they are getting a trip to SC and clothes. My son is very excited and did not minding getting less for Christmas in order to make the trip happen. The other three (4,2 and 4 months) are great with going with the flow. I also do the PJ pants and a small something to go with it (this year it was army pj pants and army guys). I also always found movies to be great gifts, if you know what they have.

    My 2yo, when asked what she wants for Christmas, keeps telling people she wants a duck… a real duck:)

  10. Awesome Mom on December 15, 2008 at 2:37 am

    Same here! I ended up getting them an art easel and some coloring books. They are young enough that just opening presents thrills them so there really is not a lot of pressure.

  11. Princess Leia on December 14, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    Little man is just shy of 2 and his baby brother or sister is due any day now. We’re in a tiny condo already full of stuff. There’s nothing that he needs, and we’re FAR more concerned about distracting him when the baby comes than we are of having more “stuff” for him on Christmas day. He’ll get _plenty_ from grandparents, aunts, and uncles, but those gifts will be spaced out according to when they come to visit, and most will probably come after Christmas.

    I loved the fun of opening lots of gifts when I was a kid, but I don’t remember having the overwhelming amount of _stuff_ that my son already has (in a really small space), so it wasn’t that big a deal to get more at Christmas.

    But regardless, at less than 2, I don’t think he’ll notice one way or another. He’ll be too busy playing with the train under the tree. 🙂

  12. Judith on December 14, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    Ivy, so sorry I called you Heather! Long day ……….!

  13. Judith on December 14, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    I was feeling the same way, too. But gift cards (for restaurant for my married daughter, bookstore for my book-loving son) and some baked goods for my staff at work will finish me off. I think. I need to check that list again.

    When my kids were younger we celebrated the 12 days of Christmas (between Dec. 25 and Jan.5). I would buy them less for Christmas day — there were always gifts from grandpanrents, etc — and then buy little things or family gifts like games for each — or most– of the 12 days. One advantage: I could see what they received and plan to get other stuff. And the best part: everything I bought after Christmas was on sale! They loved it. Sometimes the gift was a couple of cookie cutters and we would bake. Or I’d get a movie and we would make a night of it. One year I had bought sand toys and sand forms on sale at the end of the summer; I gave them at Christmas and we used them in the snow!
    Spreading out the gift giving really helped us all ……….. the kids weren’t overwhelmed on Christmas day, and the excitement of little gifts every day or so gave them something to look forward to. It was fun for me, too, instead of a chore.

  14. N. on December 14, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    I think movie gift cards are great, concert tickets, restaurant gift cards are good too. I always struggle with what to get my siblings but when all else fails I go with a Target gift card.

  15. chocolatechic on December 14, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    I am bah-humbuggie too this year.

    I’m not getting the kids that much.

    Just some needed clothing, and that is it.

  16. Melinda on December 14, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    I guess I’m lucky. I have two girls that play with each other’s stuff, so most of what I bought they will share. Oh, and it helps that the older one wrote a letter for Santa that I got to sneak a peek at. 🙂 And it may be “plastic junk from China,” but it’s also the “junk” that they play with.

    As for everyone else… well, it may be a bah humbug but I don’t buy presents for everyone else. I buy for my husband, and some of my closest friends. Everyone else will just have to be happy knowing me. LOL


    P.S. One really cool thing: We got a “recycled” table that is the perfect size for my youngest. I just got through coating it with chalkboard paint. It looks really sharp and I’m hoping that she loves it as much as I do.

  17. Alice on December 14, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    You’re not alone, it’s a thin Christmas. Luckily, my son is 2 and therefore still has no clue about Santa or what it means, so I can get away with very little. I’m done shopping, though. I ordered an artist easel for him off amazon (came w/free paints and stuff), a cool little bowling set and a new elmo doll (old nasty breaking down tickle me “mo” will disappear into the night).

    Everyone else is getting his ( amazing!:) ) artwork and cookies made by me.

    I feel guilty and am confessing this I think because as a kid I got a TON of stuff for Christmas, my mom went all out. But, we were very, very poor and NEVER got ANYTHING throughout the year, so we appreciated the windfall of new shoes and clothes and toys very, very much. I figure that I buy Nolan shoes when he needs them, before they get holes and he has a ton of toys as is..

    and yet, I still feel guilty. Go figure.

    Anyway. Sorry for the blabber.. I like the idea of tickets & giving experiences rather than plastic junk from China. Maybe the children’s museum, zoo, or some kind of cool class she’d like?

  18. Mom of three on December 14, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    With one going to college, and one driving, and one in middle school, I know what you mean. They all had gift ideas for me. But mom is hard. She has everything. So are the inlaws.

    I love those photo frames. Got mom one for her birthday, loaded all her ancestral photos on it and showed her how to add the grandkids from her computer.

    What about movie coupons. With the kids dating, that can be a good gift that keeps on giving. Mom pays part of their cell phone bill each month. Even $10 a month would be a good gift.

    IF you have a grand kid in college, you can pay tuition straight to the college tax deductible. No inheritance tax.

    Mine are getting computer games and a new car (well, new to her). MP3 players are good especially for older people. There are lots of podcasts out there for just about any interest. FInd some on Grandpa’s favorite hobby, load up the MP3 player and then give him a quick lesson on how to do it himself after Christmas.

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