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F.... Keeping up with the Jones's

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Old 12-12-2007, 12:58 PM   #16
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Re: F.... Keeping up with the Jones's

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Originally Posted by Daseal View Post
Honestly, I hate Christmas. I have to spend forever agonizing about what to buy people. Once I decide what I want to get them, I have to go into a horribly overcrowded mall and fight my way through seas of people and it takes me forever to find what I'm looking for. Then I have to wrap them. I'd rather Christmas be just like Thanksgiving, get together, have a meal, enjoy company. The present aspect isn't something I really enjoy (that includes giving and receiving). And then when people ask me what I want, and I say like kitchen utensils, they get mad.
Sage Wisdom! Could not agree more. I have problems trying NOT to hate Christmas, or at least what it has become.
This year I am trying some diffesnt things to try and regain some Christmas spirit.
1) I was at a place that had a Christmas tree for a Battered womans shelter. The kids and mom's had put stars on the tree for "Very Basic" things they would like to recieve for Christmas-NO frills. I grabbed about six of them and had a lot of fun buying the stuff on the requests. I am going to let my family and friends know that they are going to get less from me (that they don't need anyway) so people that really need it can get......something they REALLY need.

2) I am going to cook 6 briskets for a men's halfway house that I know of. It's a good place doing a good service for the residents and the community as well. They probably get tired of eatig turkey during the holkidays. I know I do.

3) I am going to go to a midnight mass on the Eve.

Not sure what else, but still thinking. Hopefully, this will restore some of the good feelings Christmas is really about
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:37 PM   #17
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Re: F.... Keeping up with the Jones's

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Exactly. The number one trait of all millionaires in America is that they don't spend money.

Those who take on debt are in for some pain. Debt means you bought something you couldn't afford. If you can't afford it then don't buy it. Outside of a house one should almost never incur debt.
I agree, but I'll add education to the short list of "good" debt.
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Old 12-12-2007, 02:18 PM   #18
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Re: F.... Keeping up with the Jones's

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I agree, but I'll add education to the short list of "good" debt.
Yep. A good way to look at it is if the federal government allows you to deduct the interest on your tax return, it's "good" debt. Definitely true for mortgages and student loans.
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Old 12-12-2007, 02:50 PM   #19
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Re: F.... Keeping up with the Jones's

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Gift giving isn't a huge deal in my family. Not to be too sappy, but really it's about spending time together and creating new memories. My mom has been instrumental in driving home that point.

Don't get me wrong, we all exchange gifts. But they're simple gifts. Especially for the adults. My 1-year old niece will get showered with gifts of course.

This year, I'm getting all noble. My gift is my sig, and last Friday I braved the elements and spent the evening volunteering at a kids museum
Nothing against how your family does things in the least bit, but my wife and I decided this year that we were putting a $20 limit on what we get for our 18-month old daughter.

She already gets mountains of clothes and toys from grandparents and aunts and uncles, we just decided we'd get her a few small things and stuff her stocking and whatnot with empty boxes to rip paper off of.

When it comes down to it, she'll have just as much fun shredding wrapping paper as she will playing with some new whizbang toy which she won't remember and will be shelved in two months anyway.

I think equally as criminal as the parents who blow the money on themselves without saving for college are the parents who rack up debt buying their kids toys and clothes. There seem to be parents who define their identity on how much they spend on their kid's entertainment, as if it's virtuous to go into debt to buy your kid an Xbox 360...
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Old 12-12-2007, 02:57 PM   #20
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Re: F.... Keeping up with the Jones's

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I think equally as criminal as the parents who blow the money on themselves without saving for college are the parents who rack up debt buying their kids toys and clothes. There seem to be parents who define their identity on how much they spend on their kid's entertainment, as if it's virtuous to go into debt to buy your kid an Xbox 360...
Well said. And it's parenting like that which probably leads to so many young adults living well beyond their means and going into debt. If they grow up getting everything they want, they have a hard time refraining from buying everything they want when out on their own.
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Old 12-12-2007, 03:58 PM   #21
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Re: F.... Keeping up with the Jones's

Well the kids in my family aren't spoiled by any means. We didn't always get what we wanted growing up, but always what we need. We don't break the bank or sacrifice more important necessities to buy some toys
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Old 12-12-2007, 04:06 PM   #22
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Re: F.... Keeping up with the Jones's

My parents made me budget for my own christmas gifts. Every year they set a dollar limit and handed me a Sears Wishbook. It was actually fun to see how much stuff I could squeeze in within the limit. It definately taught me the value of a dollar.
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Old 12-12-2007, 04:08 PM   #23
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Re: F.... Keeping up with the Jones's

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My parents made me budget for my own christmas gifts. Every year they set a dollar limit and handed me a Sears Wishbook. It was actually fun to see how much stuff I could squeeze in within the limit. It definately taught me the value of a dollar.
You picked gifts out that 500 page Sears Catalog that used to come in the mail? I loved that catalog, those were the best!
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Old 12-12-2007, 04:15 PM   #24
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Re: F.... Keeping up with the Jones's

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You picked gifts out that 500 page Sears Catalog that used to come in the mail? I loved that catalog, those were the best!
The Sears Wishbook ruled.

Of course, the only real department store we had around here in the 70's was Sears. I feel like I spent half my childhood in that store.
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Old 12-12-2007, 04:15 PM   #25
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Re: F.... Keeping up with the Jones's

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You picked gifts out that 500 page Sears Catalog that used to come in the mail? I loved that catalog, those were the best!
Remember that time when a guys johnson was hanging out of his underwear in the Sears book? It was by accident but man everyone wanted to get that book to see what all the talk was about.
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:51 PM   #26
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Re: F.... Keeping up with the Jones's

I think Hog1 is on the right path. My wife and I make good money and can afford pretty nice gifts for our kids, but being an engineer I started looking at things differently over the last couple of years. What I found was that regardless of what we get our kids it always winds up in a closet, broken or put away in their room someplace 6 months down the road so we keep it simple, like things that they need, then we decided that we would take 300 bucks, spend 150 on cheap toys and 150 on socks, t-shirts, underwear etc. The toys go to the kids in the local childrens hospital and the socks t-shirts etc. go to the veterans in the VA hospital here in town. My kids have more fun donating and watching other kids than they do opening big expensive gifts at home. Not to say we don't get our kids stuff, we do but its more needful things rather than stuff they want. I agree with many of you that Christmas has become the "I just one up'ed you-HA" holiday and thats not what it's about. I just want some time off to spend with my family. My wife's family used to do the name drawing thing and it ended up a competition so last year she told her mom that we are opt'ing out and getting gifts for those that really need them. By the way, I hope everyone does have a good relaxing holiday.
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