Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Free gifts




The tide rolls in and it flows out.
November days fly by.
We are discussing a present-free Christmas,
or at least a new approach,
 before we are gripped by the annual compulsion
to rush about replacing the stuff that we have so assiduously tried
to reduce in the last few months.

Has anyone else gone cold turkey?

29 comments:

  1. One year we each picked a letter of the alphabet out of a hat and had to buy a gift beginning with the letter we'd chosen for no more than £10. It was great fun and something of a challenge!

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  2. I made that very same suggestion but the whole household stared censoriously at me. I don't think it's a goer round at ours.

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    1. I wouldn't have got any takers with children in the house either. Luckily grand daughter is oblivious this year and the rest of the family is old enough to be mature about this. I think.

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  3. I'm tempted but I only buy presents for my husband, children and parents, maybe you only buy presents for your immediate family too but I know people who have enormous lists of godchildren, cousins, step-children, colleagues, teachers, hairdressers, old uncle Tom Cobleigh and all who they buy presents for. My husband buys for his mum and sisters and a nephew and niece but this year they have all agreed on a £10 a head rule which is an excellent idea. I have a December birthday and if I receive the couple of books and dvds I've asked for then I shall struggle to find anything to ask for for Christmas and when you get to the point when you can't think of anything you want then you know you don't need anything. I think consumable gifts are the answer.

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    1. Consumable is a step in the right direction but in the wrong hands can mean too many baskets of miniature novelty chutney/ honey/ jam/ cheese and a surfeit of chocolate. Mind you, if the news is to be believed, chocolate will run out in six years so maybe this is the year to stockpile the Quality Street.

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    2. Whaatt?! Off to check news....

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    3. Me too ... I missed that story!

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  4. Excluding our own spouses and offspring, we and my brother's family are doing a Secret Santa - each person will buy one other person a present of no more than £20, or £25 if desperation sets in. I always want books, as does my husband, and the children have Amazon gift lists of things they'd like - none very pricey. (Children - 35,33,30!) And the grandchildren are too young to need much more than something to open. As you say, we have too much. Mind you, I like stuff - as long as it's stuff that I like...

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  5. I can't think of anything I want for Christmas but to wake up on Christmas morning with no presents to open is seriously scary.

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    1. It is isn't it. My plan is being daily eroded by modifications to the no gift scenario.

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  6. We buy 'treat' type things. Mostly consumables, and things we would buy anyway, but better quality than usual. I couldn't face Christmas morning without presents.

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  7. I must confess to wanting at least a couple of presents .
    Paperbacks and CDs are especially welcome and could almost be classified as Educational and Virtuous , surely ?

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  8. We draw names each year which has been a real blessing as extended family increases.

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  9. We have, for the twenty years of our relationship, never given gifts or cards at the Festive Season. We can never think of anything that we want or need, since when the want or need arises, we simply buy it. We still have fun though.

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  10. I don't give Christmas gifts at all. One year I decided "enough is enough" and went cold turkey! (and no turkey dies for our benefit, either) For me, shopping for items that people don't need only detracts from my idea of what christmas is all about. It's perhaps easier for me because my children are all old enough to realise that Santa isn't real, and I don't have any grandchildren :-)

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  11. We're working on an alternative approach here with our four grown children - well three, the youngest is now over 20 but to say he's grown up may be stretching it. But the difficulty of getting everyone to agree on what the alternative should be is beginning to feel a little too much like hard work.

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  12. Hmm. One child is in a faroff place and can't really have presents sent. The other will be home and probably needs warm clothing. There are two families of cousins we probably have to send something to, and my mother, but otherwise -- I think we really can cut it down to a reasonable size, and probably be happier. . . . Hmm.

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  13. We always have a fairly low-key Christmas when it comes to presents, and always try to give each other thoughtful and useful things. This year I have asked for new oven mitts and would be very happy if I received some new ones.

    I have to say that cold turkey is only good in sandwiches in my house :0

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  14. Not 'cold turkey' but I'm planning to do all the Christmas shopping in Carluccio's - amaretti biscuits, panetonne, balsamic....good quality consumables with a goat/clean water/schoolbooks/feed a family type charity gift. I also hope to have a meal at Carluccios on the same day we shop! (Last year it was Paperchase - one stop shopping works for me.)

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    1. Carluccio's is a very good place to Christmas shop. They have nice tins of chocolate sardines and huge gold coins. We used to put those in the children's stockings. Our resolve is weakening.

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  15. If you decide to have no chocolate sardines let minnow.

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  16. Oh, a topic dear to my heart! I grew up in a gift-heavy family, but as we raise our children we're keeping it simpler. We do not exchange gifts with my husband's siblings, but do give his parents gifts. The extended family on both sides utilizes a 'draw a name' approach to gifting, which is helpful. Within our own little family

    I am also aiming to make a lot of gifts this year--one reason I've been a little absentee from the Internet. That is slow going! I want to save money, use what we have and make gifts that are just a little unique. I'm making gifts for all of my friends. My husband and I are still in negotiations.....we suggested setting a limit. He said $100. I said $25. Then I suggested $25, but it had to be uber-creative. I don't think this is going to pan out (I'm on the hunt for a specific camera my husband has been wishing for, and if I can get it on sale I might buy it), but we are at least considering it. Our children get very simple gifts--the biggest one is that I'm taking Finn to the ballet. The rest are mostly tiny things, handmade by me or someone else......

    So no, we've not gone cold turkey. The *idea* of Christmas without gifts is so strange, but I rather like it. A re-focusing on the other important and wonderful bits of Christmas.....

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  17. Lucille, this was interesting to read, particularly since I have now had the pleasure of meeting you. (Email to be sent soon, promise.)

    My own immediate family doesn't include any children, so this in a way does simplify Christmas gift giving. Those of us who really do like each other, stay in touch and know each others' interests and tastes, have a very easy time of selecting a simple gift or two.

    I'm fortunate to have this same connection with friends. We know each other well over the years and find it easy to pick out a gift for each other. Often these are hand made by whoever it is that doing the giving. Jeepers, I realize I am now way behind in producing these gifts. Must get going.

    xo

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  18. Our main gifts are experiential, tickets or museum memberships or even movie passes, but we still fill Christmas stockings with small items. Our 18 year old daughter has already claimed her 2 tickets to some music group we've never heard of in January, and is thrilled to bits.

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  19. I tried, the other day, to suggest a limit (say £5) next year. The Lovely Son's Girlfriend, who never had presents after attaining adulthood, but who has embraced the concept wholeheartedly since meeting the LS, was outraged at the very idea. Sigh.....

    But Christmas dinner is definitely low key these days, and no turkey either.

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