Spending for holidays

Birthdays, special occassions, etc.

I usually do really well spending for birthdays – all it costs is a phone call and the kids and I sing to whoever’s day it is. And we have Vonage so it’s free long distance. I am going to start sending cards (I am very crafty and have a stash already!) when January rolls around.

Unless it’s someone near me who is having a birthday – for instance, our neighbor’s daughter is turning 5 soon. My kids were invited to the party so today we went out to look for a gift. I couldn’t find anything at the craft store – I love the craft store and usually find great things for kids there, my kids at least. It’s hard to know what others kids will be interested in. Anyway, we stopped at Barnes and Noble and I looked around the kids section. I was in that section for what felt like forever!

We usually buy books on clearance so I was shocked when I was looking at the regular priced ones. I couldn’t stomach paying $4 for a thin coloring book and finally found dominos with characters on them (characters that the little girl likes) for a decent price.

I sometimes make handmade items – I recently sent a good friend of mine a baby blanket for her soon to be born daughter. I made it all – had the material for quite a while actually. So that didn’t cost me anything but time.

I’ve been thinking of Christmas and what we will do. We typically get a family picture taken and I write a letter giving the family updates (great since we live so far away from everyone). And we only send gifts to our parents, my brothers and their kids.

This year, my brothers and their families are going to have family gifts. I’m thinking a baking item – I have it all planned out, just need to make sure I can do it. So they are done. Mom told me what she wants, and what my step dad would like too. I need to figure out what my Dad wants and then I’ll be done!

I have a few friends I will send things to – hey wait, maybe I’ll send their families the same family gifts I send my brothers! Oh, great idea!

We haven’t talked about what to do for each other (dh and I) or for the kids. The kids have a lot of toys and I’m not interested in adding to them. DH said we should get a family gift of a grill – we had one before we moved here, but we gave it away to his best friend the day before we left. I was okay with that, we were afraid we would go over our moving weight limit (and then we would have to pay!). But not we don’t have a grill and man, I’ve missed that!

I know that part of the family gift will be about $10, I need to figure out the other part, I’m hoping it will be less then $20 total. I love my brothers a lot, we are all very close, but I admit I get upset because I try to always send them something and they’ve never sent my kids anything. And yes, the holidays are about giving and so it is just a small part of me that is upset. But nonetheless, upset.

I debated organized a family exchange – adults exchanging with adults, kids with kids, maybe some other thing – but then decided one family gift would be fine. I think I decided anyway.

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