Christmas is the season of joy and giving, but among my family and friends it seems to get more complicated ever year. And, even though it's a few months out, I'm still planning ahead. Like most of my connections, money is once again going to be tight. There's no way I can pay for even the most frugal Christmas unless I start buying some gifts now. So, I have a few questions I would like your thoughts on.
1. Regifting with a twist...last year, we all talked about the pros and cons and dangers of regifting. (My poor MIL once gave my SIL a beautiful bath and body gift set. She just forgot to take the original gift tag off. Oops. When my sister in law complained, I offered to take it...then she shut up.)
Anyway, this year I would like to regift a prize I won. A few months back, I won an ultimate collection of mystery novels. Before I delved into them (which I really wanted to), I realized these crisp, new books would make a great gift for my sister. Books are often a luxury to her since she's on disability and she loves mysteries. This is a set of about 8 books. She doesn't knwo I won them and I doubt she would ask about returning any of them. Actually, it's a much nicer gift that I could aford to give her. Is this type of regifting less controversial and acceptable, since it was a prize and not a gift. I haven't read any of the books, so they look brand new.
2. Giving when you've been asked not to give. Last year, we cut out Christmas gifts in our office, which is small with only four other people. I don't care so much about getting gifts, but I would like to give a small gift to those who work for me. Christmas is one time of the year when I can say thank you for all of the things they do for me throughout the year. These people do not necessarily fall into secretary's day or any other holiday. I imagine a very inexpensive gift, even less than $10. Askiing each of them into my office at the end of the day and asking them to discreetly place their gift in the purse and save the nice note for them to read when they got home. Everyone but my boss would be getting a gift.
3. Going homemade when others don't. Some of my family members exchange presents every year. At one time, we were very close. We don't have the chance to see each other very often but we do enjoy spending some time together around the holidays. I feel these four or five relatives go a little overboard. Usually, I have been able to find reasonable (or even frugal) gift buys throughout the year. Money has been tight and I haven't had much extra to spend on Christmas presents this year with all the other expenses. I'm thinking about a nice gift in the jar or something similar....I'm sure gather will have lots of ideas as the holidays come near.
So, do you think these are social mistakes? Do you think they have the potential to cause hurt feelings?
How are you cutting back on the money you spend this year at Christmas?