We live in a different state to a lot of our family. this year we are visiting two families in a whirlwind trip to two states over ten days. Of those ten days three will be spent on aeroplanes.
Now because we are visiting them we will take their birthday and Christmas gifts with us..why pay postage if we are visiting.
Normally I try to get all the birthday and Christmas gifts organised before November so I can post them all off at once through Office works. Its cheaper to post through Office works than Australia Post. I pay $20 per family for all of the gifts to be sent. If I were to send the same items through Australia Post it would cost me close to $100 per family.
Today I have pulled out what I have accumulated over the last few months as gifts. I still have a few to go. Moving house put a hold on my Xmas shopping … I was sort of busy.
Each person gets a book for birthdays. The men get a t shirt for Christmas and the women get something girly. The kids get a toy, something to eat and something practical for Christmas. With 16 people to buy for it it starts getting complicated, hence my getting books for birthdays and t shirts for the men. Yes its boring but its not the gift its the thought I am told.
Now the cost of the gifts… well for the coming 12 months it has cost me less than $100 for everything. I am able to buy in bulk with the Grand-kids… I see something on special so I buy enough for eight kids. One is a girl but as she is a big tomboy I get her the same stuff as the boys get. I do try to go the girly colours if I am able to but it doesn’t really matter. While they are young it is easy to do. In the future things will change as they develop interests and the gifts are tailored to these interests but for now its mass toys purchases lol.
People will argue that I should spend more money but I disagree… kids destroy most gifts on the first day so why spend $100 on a gift that they will destroy when a $3 gift can be destroyed just as quickly. (who cares if a book gets torn accidentally or a piece of clothing gets stained or someone drops a gift and it cracks, if its cheap) The best gift my Hubby ever received was a $2 back scrubber. After ten years it is still going strong. because it is made of a cheap material it is easy to clean, sterilise and to make sure it is still hygienic. It is used everyday by both of us and looks like it could last another ten years. So how much you spend on a present is not important. Gifts that can be used, gifts that are relevant, gifts that will not matter if they are destroyed by a child are the way to go…put the thought into it and it becomes a special gift. Leave the expensive gift giving to the Grandparents who think by buying expensive gifts it proves they love the child more…sigh I refuse to compete with someone elses insecurities.
I send letters to the grand-kids regularly, writing stories, sending pictures and addressing it to the kids themselves so they know they are important to us. Now this is the expensive part of life… three letters once a month at the very minimum at $1 each… that’s $36 per year then if I was to do this once a week we get up to $156 per year for letters. I prefer to send the letters than only giving them two gifts per year… Christmas and birthday. They will remember the letters and stories more I think. Also by sending the letters I can do it without noticing the expense as it comes out of the Grocery money.
I am not sure what others do with their gift giving but this is how we do it.