Friday, July 10, 2009

Christmas In July

Christmas is a mere 6 months away folks!!! Can you believe this year is half over already? It's time to start planning already!

Last month my husband brought up an interesting thought to me about our spending habits at Christmas time. We tend to go overboard with our kids, and sometimes ourselves. Christmas 2008 was not the norm though for our spending, we did spend a LOT more than we usually do. Last year was probably our most spendy Christmas ever, as we bought a Wii, several games and lots of accessories. Plus, we spent about $100 on each child, plus $$ on our parents and my sister, and money on each other. And my big gift was my iPod touch that my wonderful husband saved up for, without telling me. I screamed like a little girl when I opened that present, I tell ya!

When he mentioned that to me, he also said that maybe we should spend less this year. I'm all for it, but I don't want a bare bones Christmas. Just sayin'. His idea was to spend the same amount on our parents and my sister, but cut it down to $50 per person in our immediate family, plus stocking costs. Just $50 per person!!!

How do you do that you ask? Well, here are some of our rules

  • NOTHING electronic and/or to do with electronics for individuals (no Wii games obviously
  • Be creative. Homemade items do not count. So those baby doll items I'll be making my youngest daughter won't count, and neither will the other items I'll make for the other kids.
  • Buy ONLY what that person is truly interested in. For our son, it is Lego, and Books. Oh, and rubber insects, he really likes those. For our older daughters, it is art supplies and beads, and Littlest Pet Shop. And for the youngest, she is all into pretend play, and LOVES her babies. Our oldest is gong to be almost 9 then, so she really likes the girly stuff (jewelry, body spray, etc etc), and that will be easy to come by.

It will be a challenge, that's for sure, but I'm looking forward to it. I think we might be able to budge a little on the $50, but the no electronic thing is a given. Stockings don't count, and we don't do the whole Santa thing, so that doesn't factor in anywhere either. The kids will still get other gifts from their grandparents, so they'll be sure to get some fun stuff too.

I have a few odds and ends socked away for them already. I was able to find my older daughters some really really cute tutu skirts that I found on clearance at Gymboree for only a $6 each, and I have some craft kits I've been saving too. I love shopping the end caps at Target, I always find a good deal there.

In August, I'll be starting the Holiday Grand Plan again (which was created by a wonderful woman named Cynthia Ewer, which I have had the pleasure of knowing for a few years), and hopefully will be able to stick to it this time. I've failed miserably in the past, but I'm going to try harder. I'll be posting weekly updates for that starting at the end of August.

What are some of your Christmas gift giving strategies? Has anyone else even thought of it yet?


♥ Joanna said...

Ok, I'm not going to lie...I really thought your picture was from your house, and it was something you currently have set up; That you truly celebrate Christmas in July.
Gosh, I'm glad I read the rest of your entry!
I don't really want to think about Christmas right now, though it's quite necessary! At least I won't have to buy many things for baby bc the families will (probably) have that covered!
I'm going to try to do Holiday Grand Plan with my mom. I think it's a really great idea!
I'm just curious though, why won't homemade gifts count toward the $50 p/kid rule?

cynthia said...

Hey, Krusty! Glad to see you'll be riding along with the Holiday Grand Plan.

I'm pumped, because Dr. Steve and I hit a "teacher's retirement" yard sale yesterday--and I am 3/4th of the way through creating a Christmas Book Advent Calendar for my two little grandsons!

That was so neat. Mrs. Painter taught second grad, and I bought about 30 books for the boys--and got 18 Christmas books!

Now to find the other six ... and start wrapping. I love the idea of unwrapping a book each day during December as an Advent countdown!



peppers said...

just wait til they're all older, and then you can have christmas like my family. now, since everyone is grown (my youngest sister just turned 19), we have a rule: buy something for everyone (that's 6 siblings and 2 parents) but you are only allowed to spend $1 per person. Yay dollar store gifts!! So that is a grand total of $8 plus tax

Jessica said...

I really like the idea of 4 small-ish gifts per person: Want, Need, Read, and Wear. Or, picking a name out of a hat for extended family and agreeing on a price limit - like $100. That means just $200 for extended family total... we'll see how that works, though, since I essentially have 3 different extended family networks hahaha.