This time of year starts to suck the money out of our bank account faster than, well, some money sucking thing. Anyway, once October hits we have many birthdays and Holidays that seem to cost a lot.
October has two birthdays.
November has four birthdays, plus money for food at Thanksgiving.
December has one birthday plus all the gifts. We have family, immediate friends, Church groups, Moms groups, business groups, school teachers (both kids this year) and also donation gifts (Toys for Tots, etc.).
Even if you allow only $5 for each person we're still going to hit over $300 easily. So what to do. Well. This year I'm making lots of things. Supplies were purchased several months ago to spread out the cost through the year instead of focusing on December. I don't plan to make too many food gifts as I don't want to have to eat jars of cookies. I think instead I'll do coffee or hot chocolate or hot punch and a nice set of mugs. The dollar store has some nice ones as does Walmart. I picked up three for a dollar each at Walmart. I can make gallons of punch for less than $10. I'm also going to make homemade ornaments for folks. They are really cute too.
So anyway, my suggestion if you have lots of gifts to get is to make what you can, buy inexpensive items you know they want/will like. I have a friend that would kill for a gift card to Quicktrip. Even just a $5 card will make that person happy. I'd rather give what they really want than to spend $30 on a sweater they may never wear. It's the thought.
Here is what I want for Christmas...
I want new tennis shoes, new volleyball shoes, a hand chopper thing (I need to find a link - too lazy now) or a gift card to Starbucks. $3.25 for a white chocolate mocha is too rich for me. I use the Swiss Miss stuff you can mix with milk. It's no where near the same, but it's cheap and pretty good. I would also really, really, really like a job.