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Would you do the same?

November 23rd, 2011 at 03:59 am

My sister works as a teacher. Her husband has been unemployed for four months. He made about 65% of their income. This holiday season she has made some excellent decisions.

No holiday cards are being mailed.
She is not participating in the secret santa at work.
She also opted out of the cookie exchange.

They are not giving gifts to adults. This leaves gifts to my girls and their one nephew.

I even told her she could cut back on the gifts to the girls.

Would you have the strength to do the same in a similar situation?

10 Responses to “Would you do the same?”

  1. whitestripe Says:

    I don't do any of those things normally, so it would not be an issue for us.

    We do not even buy gifts for each other.

    We do make an exception and buy blank shirts for our two closest nieces. We screenprint them ourselves and the blank shirts cost about $4 each.

    Christmas Day we contribute to the family meal - usually a pesto pasta salad or a dessert.

    That is all.

  2. Shiela Says:

    Yep, been there, also due to unemployment. Everyone understood and was fine with it.

  3. My English Castle Says:

    I'd probably be able to find something in my gift closet for Secret Santa, but I'm sure everyone understands.
    I guess we're facing something similar, but DH is adamant about cards and certain foods. And about 60% of our stuff was bought months ago--just DD's stuff left.
    Yes, that is Swagbucks TV you hear in the background as I try to amass enough for her Kindle! Good luck to your sister. Strength of character must run in your family!

  4. Thrifty Ray Says:

    I think we have to do what is necessary. These are unprecidented least for my generation and beyond. There are other ways to celebrate the season..and there are ways to still give that arent as expensive. And sometimes, the most lean years are looked back on as the most memorable. I can say there have been many lean years...and we did what we could to economize. Hugs to you and your family!!

  5. Amber Says:

    Unfortunately no. I think it is great that she is able to make changes. My problem is I can't say no and want to do everything. Two weeks from this Saturday is a holiday dinner we are suppose to attend which is $60 a piece and we were going but since this mess with my BF I have to say no, thank goodness

  6. LuckyRobin Says:

    I would definitely cut back. Not that we exchange gifts with that many people outside our two kids and each other. Just DH's parents, his sister, and her two daughters. And we'd cut down to just our children and the two nieces and give something small if necessary. DH and I have done a couple of Christmases where he and I did not exchange because things were too tight.

    And don't forget, there are always non-monetary gifts of your time. Right now my niece wants cooking lessons more than anything else.

  7. creditcardfree Says:

    I'm proud of my sister. I definitely agree that giving of one's time or something inexpensive could still be viable. I do that already to keep expenses to a minimum.

    I think the lack of buying gifts, for my sister, is also a way to reduce her stress level. It is stressful to work with 1st graders, have your husband unemployed and possibly be facing a relocation. Her DH has had two different interviews out of state...he is one of two being considered for the job.

  8. MonkeyMama Says:

    I do the same in normal circumstances. Big Grin

    If it really makes your heart happy to do all of these things, and you can afford it, that is fine. I just see people going into debt and having nervous breakdowns, in general. That's what we opt out of. (& then they don't have the common sense to scale it back in unemployment or hard times - because the holiday spirit has been so taken over by retail marketing). I also believe experiences like volunteering in a shelter or soup kitchen are very humbling when people are going through hard times. It's helpful to realize A - you could be way worse off and B - a true reminder of the spirit of the holidays, and that you can make a positive difference without spending money that you don't have.

  9. wickedlove1707 Says:

    Christmas is about giving, not getting. If anyone would ever get mad because they didn't get anything, well that's just not right and they didn't deserve a gift in the first place. But anyway, don't feel bad if you cant give gifts. Give hugs, merry christmas, and just give them your company. All that yes, is considered gifts, because you dont have to do those things. hehe.

  10. creditcardfree Says:

    @wickedlove, it my sister who is passing on gifts. And I completely agree...if you get mad that you don't get anything that is a bigger problem.

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