Monday, January 18, 2010

Santa's Secret!

I figured that I might as well post our Christmas list! It's long. I figure that I will just check it off as I continue to gather things. I really hope that all this effort pays off. This is a lot of work.
Grandpa Mott($50)-
Willie & Margie($5-10)-Basket*done*
Al & Phylis($5-10)-Basket*done*
Tom & Marsha($5-10)-Basket*done*
Carolyn & Gene($5-10)-Basket*done*
Jennifer & Jason($5-10)-Basket*done*
Dee & Terry($5-10)-Basket*done*
Bruce & Lauren($75-100) & Basket
Andrea & Daniel($5-10)-Basket*done*
Donna & Steve($10-20)-?????-I know you are reading this!
Mail Lady($5-10)-Basket*done*
Karate Teacher-Anna($5-10)-Basket*done*
Gerald & Maureen($10-20)
Litsy & Uritsy($20-25)
Mrs. Bauer($25)

Be kind when you leave a comment because I know that there is no need to buy for this many people. A lot of them are just token gifts but you can see how I spend $1700 pretty easy. Trimming $200 off of this would be great!
Thanks for stopping over,


A.Marie said...

Oh Wow! That is quite the list! But, if you start now, you'll have it all done by next Christmas!! :)

You know what; Shave $3 off of each basket and you'll save around $140. Shave $5 off of each gift and you'll save around $240. There you have it...$200 saved!

I know...I am just a genius! :)

Frances said...

I am curious. Do you have to spend the dollar amount you designated for each person? If you find a fabulous $25 item for someone, but you have budgeted $50 for that person, do you go spend another $25?

When we were buying gifts, I used to try to make sure I spent the same amount of money for each category of person: our kids each got the same amount, our parents, siblings, etc. But then I realized it was not the amount that was spent, but what was actually given.

Our family did not care how much was spent if the gifts they received were something they liked.

And I have NEVER spend #250 on any of our kids for Christmas. I used to budget $100 per kid. I still do, but now it is $100 cash, plus something extra. Like goody bags this year.

I don't think the number of people you give to is so outlandish, but I think your budgeted amounts could be decreased some. I don't think your recipients care what you spend. Just that they get something good. LOL!

What is in the baskets you have made?

Nancy said...

Now SonyaAnn, I am going into a frugal coma over that list! WOW! No wonder you are anxious - I would be - do all these people give a give? I am wondering if you could speak to some about the gift giving - you may find that they would be fine with a card and pics or homemade cookies! WOW again - I do not envy you!

Annie Jones said...

Now, what you really need is an elf to help you out!

kado! said...

ok...I love gifting for everyone too...seriously...I ship packages to all our close friends and family...I really really think all the couples on the list...and adults (i can not tell if some of the single names are kids?) should receive a homemade goodie...chocolate dipped pretzel-sticks, Oreo-Pops (those were a huge hit for me this year), or a couple cute 0.99 mugs with some hot-cocoa wrapped up with mini marshmallows ...seriously these kinda gifts are loved just as much..and if you buy the ingredients in bulk you will knock lots off that budget!!!

...for the kids they might not appreciate the might have to buy something for them! ;) but hey a $10. itunes gift card is always a huge hit with teens!

slugmama said...

That is a LONG list.
I am a huge(and I do mean huge)Christmas-aholic. I love the whole gift giving thing(use to have a full-sized gift closet fully stocked year round)but at some point I just said No More! to myself. I can get my Christmas gifting thrill still but I don't have to be a one-woman Santa, ya know?
I know you are a warm-hearted giving person SonyaAnn, but that's a lot of people. ;-)

I'd bring up the whole gifting thing with each of them and feel them out. If they also feel compelled to gift back to you, they might be wanting to downsize the gifting next year too...for financial reasons or just sanity reasons, etc.

I am all about not buying STUFF anymore. We all just have too much of it now anyway, right?
If you still feel the need to gift/give, how about consumables instead? Homemade food like your cookie plates....might be more work/take more time, but would cost less than buying lots of tchotchkes. and think of all the time you won't have to be shopping for it all!

Or give donations in the recipients name to Heifer, Salvation Army, whatever....maybe do a donation for a whole family instead of individual 'stuff' gifts...that would be more cost effective too.

While everyone should NOT make gifts(since everyone is Not crafty)there are things you can home make that won't be lame. Like kado said, give food. Or here's an idea, have a big herb garden this summer and grow herbs for everyone. They are so expensive in those little bottles in the grocery store but so cheap if you grow them yourself....then buy some fancy glass bottles and print some labels for a very nice presentation. Heck, how about buying herbs and spices in bulk(for cheap)and packaging your own rubs and spice blends for cooking with? Again, the presentation of this makes it special(and seem expensive).

Or how about throwing a party for all those giftees....or at least some of them? I KNOW you love to party.....lolol A special party for them instead of stuff...give an experience instead of stuff. If you still feel the need to gift, make it a gift exchange party, where everyone gets assigned a person to buy 1 gift for, including you. That way, you only buy for 1 person in this group.

And A.Marie has a good idea too if you MUST gift to all of them, by just shaving off a tad here and there you can save some $ and still. She IS a genius!lolol

In the end, you need to prioritize where your money goes...weigh the xmas gifting against a new garage door, etc. Which is a better investment?
If it's gifting then go for it. Then it's a matter of saving money on how you gift. Find a way to gift better and more frugally.

Just some of my late-night rambling thoughts, please don't take any of this as criticism. I'm just trying to brainstorm some ideas for ya! ;-)

Keep us all posted on what you decide to do....

Frances said...

Slugmama, I LOVE the idea of growing and gifting herbs! It makes me wish I had a yard. But alas, I don't. I will just keep gifting jam, but maybe I will hint to friends with yards that herbs would be a good thing for them to grow. LOL!

SonyaAnn said...

A.Marie-You really are a genius! That may be the answer to my prayers! I knew if i asked for help that I would get it! It's just hard sometimes to admit to a problem and to a frugal gal this one is a huge one!
Thank you!

SonyaAnn said...

Frances-You have a good point. Yes and no! Great answer, right? We set it a while back but some stick to it and some don't. The ones that don't, I'm going to shave a few bucks off of!
And you are so right about our kids. I can shave a few dollars off of them too.
Thank you for the help. I really was a bit nervous on posting this one. I was worried about what all my friends would think. Besides the crazy thing!

SonyaAnn said...

Nancy-This is going to sound like a huge excuse but this is the cut back list. I know, I know cut back some more. But they won't listen and they send anyways and then I feel guilty. I would rather find a way to stretch a buck then feel bad after Christmas. (Un)Buyers remorse and all!

SonyaAnn said...

Annie Jones-Could I put in a request for a sexy elf?

SonyaAnn said...

kado!-It's a mess of people, isn't it? It's in the order of their family. Adult and then kids but that really doesn't help you much does it? But I get it. A lot of the problem is, my MIL and my FIL are each one of six children. That makes for a ton on just Den's side. My mother is a single child and my dad was one of thirteen. We don't buy for my dad's side. I can't even imagine that! But from Dennis to Grandpa Mott that is just siblings and parents. I might be able to save a few dollars here and there. I think that is really what I need to work on. The other stuff is pretty cheap.
Just looking at the list makes me worry and feel broke. Thank you for helping me, I feel loved.

SonyaAnn said...

slugmama- Thank you for trying to save me, from me! I think if I work on this all year, I can make a dent in it. I just need to track it before, not after Christmas. And I'm ashamed to say that the cookie plates are for other people all together. The money for that comes out of the grocery money. I have so many different lists you wouldn't believe it.
Thank you, I mean that with all my heart. I feel like an alcoholic or drug addict or something begging for help. I feel kind of hemmed in by it all. We are so careful with every penny because we really have to be. But somehow this got away from us. Wouldn't it be great if I could get it down to $1000-1200? I'll keep you posted and thank you.

SonyaAnn said...

Frances-You are wonderful! Thank you for coming to see me and I think that slugmama is on to something with all of the herbs. But I bought baskets and I was just going to stuff them. UGH, to many options! But I love having ideas for next year.