Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christmas Planning - with frugality in mind

So, I'm looking at making my list and checking it twice.

And I'm still a little torn about it.

There are some electronics on the list. But probably not as many as last year.

There will still be clothes. Every year both of my sons and my grandson can still expect a complete outfit at Christmas, along with some long johns and/or other items that I can find that I know they will need and/or appreciate.  My daughter-in-law to-be usually gets a gift certificate at a clothing store. Besides having trouble finding clothes small enough to fit her (she's a size 2 for heaven's sake); I wouldn't presume to select them for her as my style is definitely much more old fashioned.

There's usually a handful of other gifts under the tree including over-flowing stockings.

My mother saved up all year to splurge at Christmas for me, and I've certainly always wanted to do the same for my children.

Last year, I hit all the sales and ended up getting quite a booty of items for minimal cost... but then again. Not all the gifts were really worth what I spent. Last year I was worried that there wouldn't be quite enough presents under the tree. Toys R Us had a set of toys that are more fun when there's a lot of sets purchased. Which would normally be a turn-off. But they were not only 75% off, but buy 1 get 3 free. I think I read that sign ten times before it sunk in and I started to do the math. For right around $20 I ended up with twelve 'sets' that all connected together... pretty much every set they had. It made a large pile under the tree. But for over-all fun to be had? I think he played with it about four times over the past year... only maybe ten to fifteen minutes at a time. While the $20 wasn't that much out of pocket, these sets take up a lot of space in toy storage. Get in the way all the time because he never seems to want to put them away. And drive me nuts every time I find them out again because I know that he got them out primarily so he could get to something else and that they weren't even played with (yet again) even though they were all over my floor (yet again).

I really want to focus on value this year. Amount of time spent playing with the items over quantity. That doesn't mean that my tree is going to be bare. But there probably won't be quite as many 'bargains'. I might even end up spending slightly more than I would have last year as a result. But I think finding the items that will actually get played with the most really comes down to fewer, higher quality items.

Oh, and there might be a couple of small, hand-knit items - but not very many... for a few choice members of my family. Again, more careful thought over 'just something'. We'll let you know how it turns out.

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