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Christmas Together We're here year round and even though we are scattered all over the world and most of us have never met face-to-face we find ways to celebrate the season together. From our annual Christmas exchanges to scheduled chats our Christmasing together is discussed here.


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  #11  
Old 08-07-2009, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Christmasstar View Post
Our family Christmas's have also changed over the years. I have 5 brothers and a sister, between us we have 17 kids, of those 4 are now married and have 6 kids between them. Not everyone in our families are blessed to be able to afford to give generously at Christmas. Even getting everyone together can be a challenge. Two brothers & thier families and 4 nieces and nephews live out in BC and Alberta. My sister and her family live in Vermont. One brother has sold his home and lives in his truck with his wife in an attempt to get out of serious debt.
Things we have done:
*We now set the date for our family Christmas as the Saturday before Christmas every year.(so this year it will be on December 19th)
*Gifts consist of one gift bag or basket per family (eg. I would give each family a gift bag full of homemade jams, cookies , tea towels etc. Other family members would do similar, so I would be giving out 5 to 10 gift bags and would receive, 5 to 10 gifts)
*we also include a game where all names go in a hat and as your name is drawn, you get to open a gag gift, if you like it you keep it, if not you look for one you like to exchange it with. This game with our bunch can go on for quite some time and is really fun.
*supper is always pot luck with everyone bringing their specialties to be enjoyed by all. There is more food than can be eaten, but the guys sure try!
*There is a time of singing Christmas carols...by the way, what does the word "carol" mean anyway?)
*everyone that has the room takes a turn hosting this event, so it is somewhere different every year.


Of course these changes took place over a number of years as the family grew and changed. We tried the name draw thing, the give only to the kids thing, the lets do a turkey dinner thing, even once it was suggested we do our dinner in November (that was axed shortly after the suggestion!) We also have done the "lets give all the money to a place where the needy can be helped" When the "gift bag" thing first started there where also protests. A couple of family members still give indivdual gifts instead of gift bags, but that is ok, they do what makes them feel good. This year it was suggested we do a baking exchange, but I have not heard back from others as to what is happening with that one.

The important thing is that we get together to celebrate the season, have fun and enjoy each others company.

Sounds like you guys have a great time!
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  #12  
Old 08-07-2009, 03:35 PM
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Thanks Brittany, and yes we have a lot of fun at our get togethers!
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:28 PM
ohchristmastree ohchristmastree is offline
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Originally Posted by officepro4u View Post
I am having very mixed feelings about my side of the family's Christmas this year. The family is changing the ENTIRE way of doing Christmas this year!! Everyone bought everyone a gift. The "tree" took several hours because we opened one present at a time. We happily drug it out as long as possible.

Now they want to draw names...ummm...NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know many other people do this but it will feel foreign. I am very much a tradition person and we've done it the other way since I WAS BORN!

Why now? Because my brother and his wife are cheap...plain and simple (and they make more money than anyone else in the family!!). They convinced everyone that this is better, cheaper and the money we would've used we can donate to a needy family. Sounds great in theory....I just don't think the latter will happen in the end. If they are looking to save money, why would they give it to needy people if they don't even want to spend it on their own family?!

If we adopt a family for Christmas and provide a tree, trimmings, presents, etc. then I would be happy with the idea. I truly don't think it'll happen.

Another thing, Christmas will be over in less than 30 minutes. One present each, except for the kids.

No months long shopping, no picking out the perfect gift that you know they'll love, no NOTHING!!!

UGH ~
You know what, this was happening in my family for 2 years and this year I found the courage to say no! We have a very large family and my step brother always taking lead of family reunions and family parties and christmas. He is always looking for a reason not to celebrate christmas (there house is huge but they dont have a tree, they have some stick thing with 20 led's on!) and again they make a lot of money.

So for the last 2 Christmases we had the 'names out of the hat' idea and I just grit my teeth and bared it. But at one of our family dinners (about 25 people round a dinner table) he started talking about Christmas and how well it has gone the last 2 years so we will do it again that way this year and everyone looked at each other (no one really liked the way it worked the last 2 Christmases apart from my step brother) and I just said no, lets just do it the old way, that christmas has ran since I was born! Everyone started to smile and my step brother (at the risk of being unpopular...) said 'I guess we could do it that way if we really have to'. I am so glad I said that to him so christmas 2009 can be a normal christmas

Harry
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  #14  
Old 08-07-2009, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Christmasstar View Post
Thanks Brittany, and yes we have a lot of fun at our get togethers!
You know christmasstar,

Whenever you make a post about your christmases, they sound like so much fun! I would love to have a family like yours but there are some very selfish people in my family that come to the host's (who ever that it is that year even though it is usually me which I love!) house just to pick up presents and go back to their home. It really annoys me! I just hope that this christmas I can get the family to come and stay for at least an hour to do some of the things you guys do! Some members in my family are so cold when it comes to christmas to the extent when one of my friends was over on our family christmas day (christmas eve) she could not believe that they were related to me as I love christmas sooooo much and they don't even say merry christmas

Thanks

Harry

Thanks

Harry
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  #15  
Old 08-07-2009, 05:44 PM
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I don't have the luxury of family around me to celebrate the holdiays with... and I remember how Christmas used to be... but I have my memories and I treasure all of them.... We have always picked names and had a ball doing that... We would buy gag gifts one year, serious ones the next and fun ones the next and so forth. Then it was just Christmas with my son who I spoiled rotten when he was younger.

Now, I celebrate Christmas with the neighbors and their grand kids and I get to spoil them rotten now.... good luck this year, but don't ever be afraid to speak your mind. If you don't, how will they know how your really feel?
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:15 PM
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I know it sucks when the tradition changes. I had a very hard time getting into christmas the first year we did not have it at my moms house but at my sisters. My sister doesn't like to go all out and decorate the way mom and I do. I have learned to love it though. Me and my sisters and brother in laws stopped exchanging gifts about five years ago to. They were having kids and wanted to spend more money on the kids so decided that they wouldn't buy me. It was strange the first couple of years but I finally decided that if I found something they would like I would just buy it for them anyways. I usually get them each at least one gift now but I told them they didn't have to buy me. I didn't care about not getting the gifts it was just weird to me to buy for friends and neighors but not for my family. So if you still want to buy them something go for it.
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:29 PM
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Yup

Yup My family went to that years ago...I hated it....and it was for the SAME reasons as well!
I on the other hand - refused.
I did not make a big deal about it...just have the presents sent to their homes instead.
I could care less if i get anything....honestly... but dog - gone it! I am buying as much as i can for as many as i can - family, friend, church, needy, whoever...
Its up to you to find a way to make it right in your head and then to make it right with the family you create!
=)
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  #18  
Old 08-08-2009, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Snow-in-Texas View Post
Before I moved to Texas, I lived the bachelor life, spending money any way I wanted, I used to go all out at Christmas, buying gifts for my parents and brother and sister and thier kids (5 in all). Then I came here and it all changed, at first I hated it, this Christmas on a budget thing sucked. But my sweety, showed me that you can have a lot of fun at Christmas without a ton of gifts, I still want to get nice gifts, so I concentrate on her, and let her handle the rest of the family.
One thing you forgot to clarify on here as to why we have been on a budget. I have dealt with health issues and surgeries. That made money very tight and had no choice but to cut back. We have always had a great Christmas tho! One year I was laid up on Christmas Day recovering from surgery. Oh well, we made the best of it! If someone is just holding onto their money and not wanting to share the Christmas spirit, that's a different story.
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Old 08-09-2009, 07:01 PM
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First of all, thank you for all the positive responses.

I do, however, want to clarify a couple of things. I am in no way upset about not getting as many presents! Christmas has never been about what I've gotten. NEVER! My joy comes from my loved ones opening up the gifts that I've gotten them. I just love to see their face when they open something they love!

No one has lost a job, no one has had medical issues, etc. that would make participating in Christmas difficult or impossible for them. We have had family members over the years that have lost jobs or had health issues that prevented them from being able to buy for everyone. We always tell them that all they have to do is be present at Christmas and collect their gifts because we were all still buying them things. No problem! We would rather have their company than their gifts.

My beef is that there is no other reason they want to change everything except to be cheap. My sister-in-law even went so far as to say that we shouldn't buy each other birthday presents either because we're just basically swapping the same $25 back and forth between us...geez!! It just drives me crazy!

If it were a monetary problem, I wouldn't even have posted anything. I would never be upset by someone's inability to exchange gifts.

OKAY....I feel better now LOL
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  #20  
Old 08-09-2009, 08:27 PM
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Some people have more of Scrooge in them than the Christmas Spirit. That's a shame, but don't let it drag your Christmas down. We started drawing names when my brothers' and my families started getting bigger. We just didn't have the money to get for everyone. I'm used to it as that's what my parents, aunts, and uncles did. One of my brothers (he's single) has gotten something for everyone anyway. That's his choice. He doesn't expect to receive from everyone; he just gets for everyone. We understand and are glad he is able to do that. Perhaps you could suggest that homemade gifts should be given instead of store-bought gifts. Hopefully they wouldn't object to putting some of their time into their gifts.
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