Monday, November 30, 2009

Tis the Season

Oh, the holidays. They are officially Upon Us. We celebrate Christmas in the Oscarelli household and to be honest, I love every minute of it. I love decorating the tree (we pick ours up on Thursday!), I love Christmas music (I've been known to bust out with Jingle Bells in July), and most of all I love giving gifts.

I really truly do love giving. I love searching high and low for the perfect gift; I love the look on the gift recipients face when they open my gifts; I love wrapping gifts. This presents a problem as I tend to overspend and this year our budget is tighter than ever. Herein lies the problem.

So, I've already "finished" my shopping for the kids - the kids being Oscar, Miles, and my niece Ella. This is where the majority of our holiday spending goes and it's gone. But. See, I've found a few more things I'd like to get for the kids and I'm having a hard time restraining myself. I've made the boys gift lists on Amazon (they are sub lists under my list, if you're maybe wondering what to get them...) to contain my spending and spare my wallet. I've rationalized that once I finish shopping for everyone else on my list, if my budget is not totally depleted, I will buy each of the three kids one or two more gifts. Each year, we do a "main" gift of each kid, then several smaller-type gifts.

So, who remains to be shopped for? At least 50 percent of my list. I think that's not bad given there are still three and a half weeks until Christmas.

Where are you on your holiday shopping? Are you a pre-shopper or a last minute shopper and do you love or hate it? I'm actually a bit of both, if I'm being honest, and I mostly love it. Also, do folks do a "main" gift-type thing for their kids, or is this just a tradition in my family?

I can't wait to hear about your shopping!


VandyJ said...

I get lots done early but Nick is a last minute kind of guy. We get the kids done but since Nick hates to shop he procrastinates as long as he can.

jpooh said...

We usually only buy for our kids and each other - it's really the only way to keep from going bankrupt each and every year. We have 7 siblings, 11 nieces and nephews and 3 grand-nieces and nephews between the two of us. If we get things for other members of the family, it's usually homemade goodies, depending on how much baking and candy making I can get in and if we can afford to ship to Vermont, Nevada, Texas and wherever my in-laws have parked their RV for the winter months.

When the kids were small, we bought them a "big" gift and then several "small" gifts, but the only kid we do that for nowadays is The Young One, since he's the only chick left in the nest (he's getting a new computer this year). The rest of them we take shopping for whatever they need, usually clothes, but I tend to wrap a few little things for them that go under the tree. Of course, now with a grandbaby in the picture, that whole dynamic will probably change rather drastically! LOL

Jan from the Sushi Bar

Cara said...

We get the kids 1 big gift & then a few small gifts to go with it, then some fun "neccesaries" in their stockings-PJs, slippers, new sippy cups, etc. I was able to get about 75% of my shopping done on Friday & only have a few people left to wrap up!

jessicaprudencio said...

I have gotten myself down to a reasonable budget of $80-$100 per kid. I only buy for my kids and one gift for each of my aunts and one gift for thier grandma who watches them a lot. That little bit of money means they will most likely get two or three presents. This year they are getting iPods and some other stuff. My fave doc at the hospital gave me a great explaination to give to my kids. It is what his mother told him after seeing how out of hand Christmas spending had gotten, 'You get three presents because that's how many Jesus got!'
Funny but also true.
I would much rather sit down and have a good meal together than be surrounded by stuff they will lose, break or not care about in a week.

Sprite's Keeper said...

Because there are so many kids on both sides of the family, we spend on the kids only and our parents, that way, we don't have to take out a second mortgage on the house! I am almost done with the shopping since I contributed to Black Friday's bottom line and am exhausted! But it was worth it!

Captain Dumbass said...

Haven't started shopping yet, but I got my house lights up yesterday because it stopped raining.

rachel said...

I usually wait until the last minute. This year I went to Target for some Black Friday deals and spent about $50. Our stockings are the old fashoined kind that are long (a bit over 2ft) and thin, so I spend about 15 to 20 bucks at the dollar tree to fill them. Santa is who brings us our "big" gifts. This year he is bringing Ben an art easel with a dry erase board, chalkboard, and a place to hang paper. ($15 @ Target!)
For the rest of the family we do art and crafts and/or baking. Closer family gets cookies and something Ben painted (hello, dollar tree!) more distant family get cookies or candy. Not homeade candy. Like M&M's candy.
What a great idea for a post :)

Becky said...

We do the one biggish gift per kid thing too. Actually, this year we're cutting way back on gifts for adults. On one side of the family, we're only getting the kids gifts, because we all just got together in Boston for a weddingpalooza and nobody has any money. And on my side of the family, we drew names, and every adult is getting one adult a gift. I floated the "no gifts for adults" idea, but it got shot down somehow.

Momma Mikki said...

We are very methodical. We first take inventory starting around October - what are the kids playing with, what are they in need of developmentally, what can we handle as far as noise goes...that kind of thing. Around the first of November, we start to plan, building our shopping list for them around what we discovered when we did inventory. Then, we make a couple of practice spins around toy stores and "dream"...what would we get if money were not a factor. Then we come home and make our lists. We bang out all the shopping in two trips - never, ever shopping without a list. We are both allowed one "impulse" gift, provided it's not a budget breaker. For each other, we set a budget. Then we decide what joint gifts we need (new towels for instance). We price those out and subtract from the budget. What is left gets divided by two. Other family members that get gifts are limited at $25. This year, our holiday gift expenditures will be about $400 all in.

Design it Chic said...

i didn't even started on on gifts shopping... *shame on me*.. but we did buy the tree tough and we started decorating along with baking cookies:)
Happy Tuesday!

* my Random Tuesday Thoughts are up:)

Keely said...

I do approximately 95% of my gift shopping online, in November. If I see something after that I'll pick it up, but only if it's perfect - I've already stated my gift-giving policy ;)

I haven't really established a code for Xander yet. He still doesn't really get it.

Big Mama Cass said...

I agree with you 100%. I love it and hate it but mostly love it. I am about 50% done and hope to wrap up a lot online but still have to go out again. We spent way too much on Black Friday and have to wait for next payday! LOL

Mrsbear said...

I tend to agonize a bit early on, then panic later and get the bulk of my shopping last minutes. So far I've got very little done. The kids make lists except for my youngest, but then again he'll be happy with whatever he gets to open, then ignore it all to play with the cardboard and twist ties. How much time do I still have? Oh and the budget. Ok, ok, I'm panicking now.