Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How Many Are On Your List?

PresentsImage by Alice Harold via Flickr

I realize it's not even Halloween, but, I am already thinking about Christmas shopping. Every year, I vow to get my shopping done early - so that I can actually enjoy the weeks leading up to Christmas, instead of running around town, stressing about trying to find last-minute gifts. Of course, that never happens. For whatever reasons -- procrastination, lack of money and/or time, or just difficulty choosing gifts, I can never seem to accomplish my goal. Then, because I am still worried about shopping up until the last minute, I don't get to spend the time doing the fun things I want to do around the holidays - baking, decorating, having friends over, etc.

Once again, I am telling myself that this year will be different. I WILL get my shopping done early. I would love to be finished by December 1st, but, ssshhhh!...I'm afraid to actually say a deadline out loud - that would be too much pressure. Anyway, I sat down to write out my shopping list, keeping in mind that we are having a really bad year financially, so, I'm trying to keep my list as condensed as possible. My list includes what we consider our immediate families - one set of grandparents, our parents, siblings, several nieces and nephews, and a couple great-nieces and great-nephews. Just on our "Family" shopping list, we have 30 people to shop for! Then, there's our "Friends" shopping list - this list is made up of another 11 people - our closest friends, neighbors, and a teacher. Now, I'm at 41 people to shop for, and that does not even include my husband or kids. I have condensed my list quite a bit, crossing off several friends, a school bus driver, and teachers (3 of our kids are in middle and high school. They have 4-5 teachers each, so even if it was something really small, that would still be another 12-15 gifts).

ACK! 41 people. Does that seems like a lot?

We don't buy extravagant items, it's definitely not about spending a lot of money. But, with that many people, it adds up quickly. We already let the kids exchange names on my side of the family, so that helps. And, several of the nieces and nephews are married, so we usually buy a "couple" gift for them, like a restaurant gift card or something they can use together. Everyone knows it's been a rough year for us and I know we should try and cut back even more. I feel like I've already narrowed it down to the bare minimum.

I'm many people are on your holiday shopping list? Are you a last-minute shopper, or do you get yours done early?


septembermom said...

41 does seem like a lot. You better start shopping :) You must have a bunch of happy family and friends during the holidays! I start to shop some time in November. So often I'm clueless about what to get.

Jillian, Inc said...

Holy shopping! Outside of my family I have about 20 on my list - plus all my clients but not all of them get gifts. I am not an early shopper (have nothing at all purchased yet) but also not last minute. My biggest issue is never knowing what to get. I have several hard to buy for people. And I'm slightly ADD so when I get in a store in all its Christmasy glory I get easily distracted and can shop for hours without making any purchases.

Anonymous said...

wow. My family draws names because we just can't afford to get each other gifts and it's just too stressful...I'm always amazed to hear how much money people spend on Christmas gifts. My husband's family still exchanges gifts, but I leave it up to him...and my friends & I don't exchange because it's just not worth it to struggle financially...we just spend time together or go see a movie together.

Jenners said...

41 seems like an awful awful lot! I mean, even if you did just $5 per person, that is $205 -- and what are you going to get for $5 per person? I think you need to think about a Pollyanna type situation for your family and perhaps talk to good friends and ask for a "mutual non-exchange of gifts." You might be surprised how many people are relieved. Good luck.

Joanne said...

41 is Huge! Just think even if you could *could* spend $10 each that's over $400 and in this financial crunch that's a lot of money. Now that you make me think about it my list is only immediate family and I keep it to about $25 tops for anyone but my son. My family is 7, my husbands family is 10 (5 siblings - just two nephews). NO friends - I stopped that a long time ago. Its a tough thing to do but just talk to them and explain.
If we had more children I would absolutely just keep it to children under the age of 16. But we only have four children.

Its all a matter of drawing the line. Some large families I know of do draws - children all get gifts but for siblings just one to another that sort of thing.

Good luck - oh I see others have the same comment - that will teach me not to read the other comments first.