This year’s Christmas giving is being driven by my usual combination: I estimate (a) how broke I am, (b) how much energy I have to devote to shopping, and then go from there 🙂 Mostly I’m pretty broke (or, as in this year, just not feeling like I’ve built up enough of a cash cushion to justify spending $$) so in the past I’ve often made music mixes and sent cards, covering dozens of people for only a couple of hundred dollars while spending a little more on personalized gifts for my immediate family and sometimes a few friends.
This year I allotted $200 of my December spending money to gifts. But I also am using a little bit of my grocery/spending money cash. Since nobody in my family knows I have a blog, here’s the final list:
Mom and Dad: $100 gift certificate to a restaurant. They have a ton of stuff and are actively trying to cut down on the number of things in the house. Also, lots of relatives/friends always send nice chocolates at the holidays so they don’t need more, and Mom has enough tea and soap and whatnot to last forever. She’s hard to buy for. Anyway, I decided to get them an experience rather than a thing this year, and picked a place that sounds exciting and is near where they live.
Brother: A book about our favorite baseball team when we were kids that I bought used for him about six months ago when I saw it, so for these purposes, $0.
Sister-in-law: A 1901 map of Anglo-Saxon England that I found on Etsy. Two sellers turned out to have the exact same map (sliced out of an antique atlas); lucky for me, I noticed this in time and bought the one that was $12, not the one that was $20. With shipping, $16.90.
Goddaughter (age 4): ballet shoes, on sale. With shipping, $17.83.
Godson (age 1): vintage children’s book with illustrated “Twas the Night Before Christmas” — spent $5 of my grocery money this week at a farmer’s market stall that has used books. He’s too young for this still, but it’ll be a cute present that his parents will like and they can read it to him even if it’s over his head for the next few years 🙂
Stocking present, mom: local honey from the farmer’s market, spent $4 of my grocery money.
Stocking present, dad: pear butter from the farmer’s market, spent $3.50 of my grocery money.
Stocking present, brother: goofy crocheted Christmas ornament: spent $.50 of my grocery money.
Best friend: Donation to Providence House, where I lived as a volunteer for a while in New York and which houses women transitioning out of prison until they can get a stable job and save up for their own apartments: $50.00.
This actually leaves me with a surplus of $15 in my gift category, so I may buy some fancy chocolate after all to give to my SIL in her stocking and to my other best friend. Et voila, Christmas handled!