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Will Being Broke Break the Holidays?

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Momlogic's Jackie: For the past several years, our holidays went pretty much the same way. We'd jet off to see family on the east coast for Thanksgiving (dropping cash on the winter clothes required for a few days -- no biggie) and then spend all of December slapping down the credit card, spending thousands on Christmas.

But not this year. This year, it's time to grow up.

Between the economy and a freelance (aka inconsistent) career, we're pretty much wiped out. Add an international adoption and two trips halfway around the world to see our baby girl -- yikes. Let's just say our checkbook is a color appropriate for the holidays -- in the red.

So I turned to the Momlogic staff for some real life tips in keeping the magic in the holidays -- and the cash in my checking account.


Julie, mom of two
• I am trying for a CASH ONLY Christmas -- buying things now on sale rather than waiting 'til last minute.
• Drawing names instead of buying for everyone.
• Asking our family to just give money to the kids so we can combine it and buy them a pass to Universal or Disney -- something they can enjoy all year that's not going to clutter up the house.
• Not traveling to see faraway family -- just doing Christmas and Thanksgiving
with our own family of four.

jill.jpg Annie, mom of one.
• We didn't go back east for Thanksgiving because of airfare.
• Make your own ornaments and give them as gifts. Most inexpensive craft stores have blank ornaments. People LOVE them because they are personalized. You can even just buy clear glass balls. I bought paint makers a few years ago and I still use the same ones. My husband even makes them - even though they are usually Yankee and giant logos.
Secret Santa - my core group of friends does this every year. We make it so no one feels like they have to exchange gifts and we just do a $40 limit. People mostly get fun collector items from eBay.
• Old vinyl albums -- You would be surprised how inexpensive original vinyl albums are. You can get them at vintage record stores. If your man loves Led Zeppelin -- even if he doesn't have a record player he'll love it!
• Framed photos -- You can buy a frame for under $10. With the right photo inside it can be better than a Gucci bag.

michelle.jpg Michelle, single.
• I am staying in town vs. traveling but figure I'll get a massage one day
since I am not paying for plane tickets.
• My friends and I out here are doing a Secret Santa with a strict $25 limit instead of getting a separate and possibly more expensive gift for everyone.
rachel.jpg Rachel, mom of three.
• I am willing to go massively in debt for the sake of my kids. Nothing will change -- I am a horrible, awful mother who spoils her children.
gillian.jpg Gillian, newlywed.
• We're doing Christmas cards this year (first time ever) basically instead of presents. We'll be donating to charity, and including a little note stating that in the card. Also my friends and I all agreed ahead of time to NOT get each other gifts. Hooray!

next: Caylee Anthony's Body Found?
3 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous December 11, 2008, 2:58 PM

thank you Rachel!!!! same here.

pantrygirl December 11, 2008, 8:26 PM

we’re making a year in the life mini books for the grandparents, aunts and uncles of our new baby. i created scrap pages for each month up to december and plan to send them an additional one each month up to her 1st birthday.

Laura-Whateverebay December 13, 2008, 6:30 AM

The kids and I agreed to give a larger donation to our favorite charity and buying some of the larger price tag gifts until after the holiday. I was happy that they came up with it. Its a good feeling when your kids think of others ……

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