Any ideas to limit the Christmas spend?

(26 Posts)
BadgerQueen Tue 07-Oct-08 13:41:01

I have a huge (immediate) family and this year we are trying to limit the spending by making a plan - either a spending limit for everyone or each person nominates a present they want (up to a certain amount) and the rest of the family chip in what they can to buy it. Has anyone managed this? How did work? Tips please for co-operating/making it a success (or not)

RibenaBerry Tue 07-Oct-08 14:48:24

Sounds a great tradition.

I think I'd still get my DH a sneaky little private present on the side.

I agree you definitely need to treat each half of a couple as separate if you are doing secret santa. I was thinking of joint presents where you are still attempting to buy for everyone but trying to keep down the costs of doing so.

yep, as there where lists it was fine.

I'm pretty sure my sister and her partner also get each other presents that they open alone, but as a whole family they are just two seperate people. Last year my sister's partner bought my present. My dad bought his present.

My parents just follow the secret santa thing and don't get each other additional presents.

All of us siblings range in age from 17 to 37, so without the lists it would be pretty hard to know what to get some people.

My parents have a big blackboard in their kitchen, and we all had to write our lists on there, then you'd just search for the poerson you had to buy for and choose from their list. It helped keep it all secret (although, of course, we all work out who had us by the end!grin)

It has become part of the fun tbh. I'd hate for that tradition to go.

BadgerQueen Tue 07-Oct-08 14:28:51

x-post. Did it work out okay for spouses? I suppose its fine if there is a list to work from. I love lists.

BadgerQueen Tue 07-Oct-08 14:27:19

Overmydb - the list is a brilliant idea

and when we do it, couples are not counted as one, they are treated as seperate entities.

So everyone just buys one other person a present.

BadgerQueen Tue 07-Oct-08 14:24:36

Oh god I had forgotten the sending to the entire class thing, not sure how it will go down with DD tho'. DH on the other hand has to be forced at gunpoint to write one to his own mother, so he'll be glad.

Badger I have an immediate family of ten (lots of brothers and sisters).

For the last few years we have jusst done a secret santa. Everyone gets one person, picked out of a hat, and we have a price limit.

Then everyone makes a list of things they want that are within that price limit.

That way, everyone gets one good present that they actually want (or assorted smaller ones but still from their list), instead of us all buying small cheap token presents for everyone.

The first year we did this three of my siblings where students, so the limit was £15 and we got great presents!

This year we can all afford a bit more so the limit is slightly higher.

Next year, we have decided, we will still do the secret santa but among the presents there has to be something second hand and something we have made, just to make the challenge a bit more fun! We will pick names in jan though so we have all year to plan and make and find stuff!grin

(children are exempt from this, but as DS is the only child it was easy, everyone got him a present grin)

stroppyknickers Tue 07-Oct-08 14:16:15

Yep - no handing them out at the school gates, fgs. Kids make lovely ones for gps, and I look all virtuous and right on.

BadgerQueen Tue 07-Oct-08 14:13:19

Am very excited by the idea of not doing cards - what a relief and i can pretend its for ecological reasons!

stroppyknickers Tue 07-Oct-08 14:06:47

I would hate to get no presents blush

BadgerQueen Tue 07-Oct-08 14:05:08

Hmmn lots to ponder.

I think the one present for couples is a good plan, though a bit tough to think of what, and I wouldn't include my parents in that though.

The most economical is probably secret santa, but I don't think the others will go for it, and i can already feel the pressure - I know certain people will overspend and then my secret santa gift (at the spend limit or under) will look crap!!

I think a £12 upper limit is okay, but we are the poorest.

Ribena you sound very balanced - the reason me and my mum are trying this is because we felt ill at the expense and excess the last couple of years - and god knows what message it send the children - they were swamped in plastic!

I am going to gently suggest no presents for grown ups, but it make me a bit sad - a bit pathetic, but my mum was still doing me a stocking at 32!! blush.

stroppyknickers Tue 07-Oct-08 13:59:27

forgot to add - stopped doing cards last year, only to people who live miles away like old people we never see.

stroppyknickers Tue 07-Oct-08 13:58:43

i did all mine on line this year and/or before the christmas crud hits the shops (giftpackaged tutt for xmas, twice the price etc). we do parents, gps, children, friends' children and adult close friends. Hawkins Bazaar is good for bits and pieces. my little adventure website good for personalised books.

EffiePerine Tue 07-Oct-08 13:58:15

secret santa with a cash limit so everyone gets one good present

or no/token presents for anyone over 18

or go the whole hog and have a limit on the amount you spend in total (not counting on your own family) - means people need to be creative

MrsMattie Tue 07-Oct-08 13:56:57

Oh, we do nice things for each other instead (us adults grin). Last year, my sister hosted a little mince pies-and-mulled-wine get together on Xmas Eve, I made Xmas cookies for everyone, my mum took our elderly relatives to a carol concert - that sort of thing.

SpandexIsMyEnemy Tue 07-Oct-08 13:55:51

we only buy for the kids now we both have them.

grandparents = home made gifts.

MrsMattie Tue 07-Oct-08 13:55:26

We only buy presents for kids (under 18) in our family.

When I suggested it a few years ago there was an almighty outpouring of gratitude from every corner of the family.

Nobody really wants a crappy basket of toiletries from Boots or some novelty Christmas socks - yet we used to spend hundreds on this sort of fraff.

RibenaBerry Tue 07-Oct-08 13:54:42

Bager, just seen your second post. Do you buy separate presents for each of a couple? That's one way to cut down massively quite easily. A present can be a joint present (DVD or whatever) for both halves of a couple. I've bought presents for a whole family (i.e. parents plus the kids) in the past too - again things like a DVD they all would watch.

As you can tell, my family does not go to town on Christmas presents. We're not one of those families who spend a lot on each person anyway. Birthdays tend to be bigger because more spaced out through the year. It would be seen as a bit 'off' and 'flash' by my relatives to spend too much. LOL.

shinyshoes Tue 07-Oct-08 13:53:40

I'm with herbietea. My sisters and I don't buy for eachother now the children are here, we just buy for the kids.

I can't tell you how much to spend , only you know how much budget you have.

Best thing to do is ask, all I want is the Stevie Wonder album, it's less than a tenner and I don't want anything else.

Or just buy samll gift vouchers for body shop, M and S shops like that

Pollyanna Tue 07-Oct-08 13:53:37

We're doing the secret santa this year for the grown ups. I think we will have a spending limit too.

GooseyLoosey Tue 07-Oct-08 13:52:45

We don't buy for adults (except little token things), we all go out for dinner together once a year instead,

RibenaBerry Tue 07-Oct-08 13:51:43

It depends what you mean by 'immediate' family. We only buy for parents, token presents for grandparents and siblings, plus children. For us, that keeps the numbers down.

I think that the secret santa thing can work well (we did it one year that we had a big get together). You do need to make sure that everyone buys into it though. If people 'just buy a little extra' here and there it soon collapses. We also found that it was an idea not to just have one present, but a few little things (doesn't have to be much, selection boxes, etc are good) so that the unwrapping lasts!

BadgerQueen Tue 07-Oct-08 13:51:15

Problem with not buying for the siblings is the age range - youngest is only 18 and I think he would be a bit miffed to be lumped in with the old marrieds. The other thing is singles have to spend a huge amount on those of us with partners and kids. This why we are struggling there are too many variables (as well as too many people!).

herbietea Tue 07-Oct-08 13:46:37

Message withdrawn

bozza Tue 07-Oct-08 13:43:29

You could do the secret santa thing, where all names in a hat, everyone draws out someone to buy for, so you each buy for one person instead of everyone.

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