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#59296 - 11/17/03 04:17 PM Re: Christmas shopping in this @#$%^&* economy
TraceyB
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 1483
Loc: Minneapolis, MN

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Excuse me for a moment, Ekaterina, I have to pick my jaw up off the floor.

You "must" spend a certain amount on your sister's gift? And what's the weather like on your sister's planet?

If it were me, I'd strike her off my list. If she complained about not getting a present, I'll tell her that I couldn't afford her requirements, and didn't want to get her something she wouldn't appreciate.

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#59297 - 11/17/03 07:43 PM Re: Christmas shopping in this @#$%^&* economy
viva
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Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 958
Loc: Houston TX

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Ekaterina - WOW!

Maybe it's worth reminding your sister that it's not the money but the thought & love behind the gift that counts. Write it in a card.... With no money in it (or $50 of Monopoly money!)... Put it in her stocking, and call it her gift for Christmas.

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#59298 - 11/17/03 07:55 PM Re: Christmas shopping in this @#$%^&* economy
Kivrin
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 4604
Loc: Santa Cruz, CA, USA

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Ekaterina--I'm with TraceyB and viva. In fact, I was just about to post how maybe you should write her a little poem about the importance of the holiday--family getting together, etc...and leave it at that.

It is terrible to make someone feel guilty about their gift choices. Just ignore her. She's very tactless to even mention it. If she's disappointed on Christmas, that's her deal, not yours. You don't owe her anything. And, you certainly aren't responsible for her happiness.

My people are receiving cheery tins of my homemade granola again this year. One year my sister said "Oh, if you make us that Christmas granola, could you leave the nuts out of mine? I don't like nuts". Hah! Then, don't eat my granola, girlfriend.

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#59299 - 11/17/03 08:31 PM Re: Christmas shopping in this @#$%^&* economy
klio
Ching Shih


Registered: 10/01/03
Posts: 222
Loc: Houston, Texas

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For your sister to even suggest that you have to buy her a present is being extremely rude. To insist on it being of a certain price level goes beyond rude, it's tacky and, given your financial situation, insensitive.

Perhaps you might find a copy of one of Miss Manners' books and give that to her for Christmas. Sounds like she could use it. Or be a little more subtle about it and give her a copy of George Washington's book on manners and deportment.

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#59300 - 11/17/03 08:38 PM Re: Christmas shopping in this @#$%^&* economy
PrimulaMary
Ching Shih


Registered: 01/01/02
Posts: 1061
Loc: London, UK

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 Quote:
Originally posted by viva:
Maybe it's worth reminding your sister that it's not the money but the thought & love behind the gift that counts. Write it in a card.... With no money in it (or $50 of Monopoly money!)... Put it in her stocking, and call it her gift for Christmas.
Or, you know, a lump of coal.

I mean... gah. That's tacky, and selfish, and a really brazen flouting of the whole gift ethos. It's a gift. You don't get to set preconditions. If I was ordering something -- like no nuts in my granola -- then, fine. But I'd pay for the materials, and for your time, because it's an order, not a gift. Or, as my mother does with me most years when I write her Christmas letters, messages, with little stories and what-have-you, I'd offer to take you to lunch in exchange

Seriously. This year, I'm earning decent money, but spending upwards of $50 on any one person isn't in my league. I'm always on the lookout for ways to save cash, particularly as I've developed almost a "set" present for my goddaughter, which leaves less cash in the kitty for everyone else.

Mara and I are buying each other tickets to the ballet for Christmas this year -- but as the performance we're seeing isn't until June, the credit card payment won't need to come out until early next year. If there's a film or a play or a whatever you want to see with someone, or that they want to see, that's showing sometime next year, it might ease the financial strain a little to give them a mocked-up "ticket" to the event, and then find the money sometime when you're not buying gifts for a dozen other people.

I'm buying my mother a Gold Class ticket to see Love Actually, for instance. (Mum, if you're reading this -- well, hey there. Merry Christmas.) I don't know what the rest of you call them, but Gold Class cinemas here are basically gorgeous big recliners, champagne, etc, served to your seat at specified times throughout the film. Very swish. We both want to see the film, as she has a real thing for Alan Rickman and I am simply waiting for Colin Firth to come to his senses and realise that I am the only woman for him.

I'm also with deborah on the "gifts of time" thing. A few years back, I had absolutely no money at Christmas time due to a confluence of unemployment due to illness, hospital bills, and a very sick and sorry credit card. So I gave my mother twenty hours' worth of ironing, which she appreciated way more than anything I might have spent $20 on, and it meant one less financial thing for me to worry about.

And kilo beat me to the punch, and at the same time made me giggle with the suggestion of George Washington's book, because it reminded me of a giggle-worthy running gag on a Christmas edition of The West Wing.

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#59301 - 11/17/03 09:37 PM Re: Christmas shopping in this @#$%^&* economy
Catness
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Registered: 04/02/02
Posts: 1863
Loc: Chicago, Illinois

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 Quote:
Originally posted by klio:
Perhaps you might find a copy of one of Miss Manners' books and give that to her for Christmas. Sounds like she could use it. Or be a little more subtle about it and give her a copy of George Washington's book on manners and deportment.
Word to what everyone else has said: your sister was flat out rude. I love what klio suggested. I'd be hard pressed to choose between Miss Manners and George Washington.

This year, we're making our holiday cards, as we did last year. Actually, the "we" in that is a little misleading. Mr Catness does the artwork and photocopying, and then I fill them out in an evening while imbibing a bottle of wine.

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#59302 - 11/18/03 12:06 AM Re: Christmas shopping in this @#$%^&* economy
Pflaume
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Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 451

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I'd second (or third?) the Miss Manners, or possibly Emily Post. Though Emily might actually put you over her budget!

For friends at school, I've done the baked goods thing, packaged in Christmas tins from the dollar store.

I've recently taken up beading, so a few people will be getting necklaces. I'm also going to try to make some ornaments for my mother-maybe four bead angels, for her four girls? lol

I've also been thinking about getting a photograph of the theatre where my parents had their first date, and framing it. (I work at the Archives that happens to hold photos of most theatres in Ontario, so I've got easy access). That might be a fun idea for other people buying presents for couples, if you know where they had their first date, and can get a photo.

Of course, everyone invariably gets books.

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#59303 - 11/18/03 08:19 AM Re: Christmas shopping in this @#$%^&* economy
jellybiscuit
Ching Shih


Registered: 02/19/02
Posts: 81
Loc: atlanta, ga

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Another variation on the recipe book are recipe cards. One year my sister gave me a lovely wooden recipe box, and when I opened it it was full of family recipes. The poor girl actually followed my Nanny around to translate her whole "I don't know how much -- just add enough milk!" versions of recipes.

I loved this gift so much. It took her oodles of time, and I could tell. It's not easy cooking with Nanny. So, it's a record of family recipes, and I love it.

I'm mentioning this because it might be more functional than a recipe book. I put my recipes in it too, and it's growing yearly. Plus it might be easier to make than a book (for the less handy).

This year my hubby and I are giving one big gift for my family, and it's kicking my ass. We're filming all my family's old Super 8 movies (which we stole from my Mom and Dad's house), and we're going to iMovie it. It is taking forever to film these things. They're in terrible condition (which is one reason we're doing it, so they won't be lost) which makes it really hard to thread them, etc.

The goal is to burn DVDs for each house (one for my Mom and Dad, one each for my siblings, one for my grandma). We're going to design the covers so it looks like a real DVD. So, that's our big gift.

We are so not going to finish on time, though.

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#59304 - 11/18/03 09:35 AM Re: Christmas shopping in this @#$%^&* economy
klio
Ching Shih


Registered: 10/01/03
Posts: 222
Loc: Houston, Texas

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Putting your home movies on DVD is such a beautiful gift, jellybiscuit! My sister-in-law, who is much more creative than I am, gave each of the brothers in my husband's family a scrapbook with family photos in it. It took her forever to finish, because she had to get copies of all the old photos and then set up all the pages.

My sweetie and I have taken to getting one larger Christmas present for us, rather than going out and buying each other gifts. That's pretty much fine with me because he's hard to shop for and he hates shopping, so it spares him the hassle of trying to figure out what I want (even if I do have a mile-long wish list on Amazon that he knows about). This year will be a treadmill. Exciting, eh? I was hoping for TiVo, but I may have to wait for that. \:\(

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#59305 - 11/18/03 11:42 AM Re: Christmas shopping in this @#$%^&* economy
fayzer
Ching Shih


Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 128
Loc: Toronto

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 Quote:
That might be a fun idea for other people buying presents for couples, if you know where they had their first date, and can get a photo.
That is such a neat idea! Hmmm, my parents met at Oktoberfest...do you think they'd want a picture of Uncle Hans??

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