Cash for Christmas – tacky or no?

09 Dec

In addition to feeling guilty about not going home to Michigan for Christmas this year (see yesterday’s post), I’m feeling guilty about the gifts I’m sending home.  Not sure what to do here so any advice you can give would be appreciated.

Historically, holiday and birthday shopping for my family has been a huge pain in the ass. Someone always overbuys, buys something completely inappropriate, and someone always waits until 2 days before Christmas to ask me if I want to pool money to buy a bigger gift for someone (when they know I generally finish my Christmas shopping in November).

It really bothers me that we have to rely on gift lists and gift cards are frowned upon. I think it’s sad that we feel we don’t know each other well enough to choose a small gift for one another and have to choose from a list. Where is the spontaneity in that? I’m also a huge fan of gift cards and love to give them along with a small ($10) gift to open.  Others don’t seem to like that idea.

In addition, none of us needs a damn thing. We are all self-sufficient and we buy what we want and need when we want and/or need it. So even coming up with a list is difficult and ends up being just a list of stupid things I like but could totally live without. I’ve actually tried, in vain, to just stop the holiday gifts for everyone but the kids. Shot down on that one again though. Oy.

This year, since I’m sending everything via email, I’ve tried to cut back a bit.  Every year when I watch The Grinch Who Stole Christmas I’m struck by the following lines:

And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?
It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
“It came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
“Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”

And every year I swear that I’m not buying into that “Christmas comes from a store” mentality/theory and strike out on my own the next year. Only I never do.

But this year I’m slowly getting there.  I have bought gifts, but I’ve made a few as well. I made some dishcloths and a scarf for my mom to go along with the few little things I bought her. I got my dad a gift card for a restaurant that he likes and I’m (frantically) working on knitting him a scarf.  I picked up a gift card for my brother along with a little something I made for him (he may read here so I’m not going to say what it is).

But my nephew, he’s a little harder to buy for. He sent a wish list of a ton of toys that he wants and a number of other things. Used to be I could walk around the toy store and pick out the perfect gift for him without even asking and it would be a big hit as well as a total surprise. But he’s 12 now and everything that interests him has a screen or a $50+ price tag.

I’m totally cool with spending more than $50 on him. He’s my only nephew and I adore him so I don’t want to Grinch him in any way. I got him one of the small items on his list and was thinking about writing him a check. Is that tacky?  I did it for his birthday and he was so happy to have $50 in cold, hard cash to put towards whatever $300+ video game system he wanted, but is this a bad precedent to set? Maybe I should go to Target and get him a gift card instead. But that limits him to just Target rather than being able to apply it to something big he wants to buy elsewhere.

Again, no idea what the appropriate thing to do is. Would appreciate any thoughts and opinions!

I Love Me – Today I love that my hair looks freakin’ fantastic. I rubbed a tiny bit of argan oil into the ends and blow dried it and it looks fab. Not sure if it’s due to the oil or because I henna’d on Wednesday but I ain’t complainin’.

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Posted by on December 9, 2011 in Life


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