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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Family Gift Ideas

I was chatting with my brother the other day about Christmas. Historically, our family...well...kind of goes overboard a bit and we tend to spend a lot of money on gifts. This was fun, of course, during our teenage years, and into our twenties. But, now that we're older, have decent jobs, have our own tastes and such, this kind of extreme gift-giving just isn't necessary anymore.

Add that to the fact that DH and I have to fork out a large amount of cash each year to fly back home for the holidays, we have decided to get the whole family to scale back this year. I talked to the parental-unit about this and they seemed happy to oblige; after all, why do they want to spend that kind of money on Christmas gifts for their 30+ year old children?

My mom and I were trying to figure out what we could do instead: decide on a spending limit? Do something as a family instead of gifts (dinner?, some sort of activity?). Donate money to charity as a family? My brother also suggested we could all travel together (love this idea), but that's out for this year since we have our flights home booked already.

DH and I like this whole "scaling back" idea as well, so we've decided on a spending limit, half of which will go to a charity of our choice (or two). Even though it's nice to get (and give) gifts, I think it will be even nicer to do that.

What does your family do for Christmas? Do you pool your money together for something (activity, travel, charity)? Any ideas for what we can do as a family this year?