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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 03:58AM

Almost everyone has joyful memories of Christmas from childhood, racing to the tree to see what Santa has brought. I remember that my parents always bought me one fairly "big" thing that I really wanted. A lot of the rest was practical stuff, like school clothes, that were less than thrilling, but needed.

Our adult kids, for the most part, earn more than we do, now that we are retired. Between them, they have six kids, and we are not sure what to do for our grandkids. We love them, but their parents can afford to give them much better stuff than we can. So we are stumped. I want to give the kids stuff for Christmas, but so many of the things they list are things I never even heard of. I am bewildered.

I am tempted to give them gift cards and ask their parents to help the kids get stuff they want. We are not physically able to do much shopping any more. And we aren't terribly close to our grandkids any more.

And here we run into the dynamics of a split family. I have one son and I adore my granddaughters - his kids) so I selfishly want to spoil them. I am much closer to them than to my other grandkids. I admit - I consult with my son to find out what his daughters want, and I do my best to accomodate, but I just don't feel that close to my other grandkids. I try not to show preferences, but that is difficult.

The one thing I enjoy is when one of the adult daughters cooks the turkey or whatever, and the rest of us bring side-dishes and salads. Those get-togethers are priceless. But THINGS. I get so hung up on THINGS to give anyone.

My ex drummed into me that gift cards are for selfish people who don't want to go to the trouble of "serious" shopping, but as I get older, I simply can't get into "serious" shopping. If it doesn't come out of a catalog, chances are, it doesn't happen.

How do you guys deal with all of this?

I would almost rather hibernate and wake up in time for the Tournament of Roses Parade.

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Posted by: Badassadam1 ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 04:03AM

Yes i dread it like you would not believe. Told someone today i just want to sneak on by it. I hate most holidays, they make people do weird sh#t like the mormon church does. I am totally against doing weird rituals every year.

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Posted by: memikeyounot ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 04:59AM

From the time I worked as an adult, I spent WAY too much time in retail, both face to face with customers and dealing with them on the the phones. And it's spoiled me for Christmas. If I didn't have some grandkids to buy a few trinkets for, I'd give up totally.

For several years, I gave my adult children restaurant gift certificates and for a while that was nice: they would all get them for the same place and enjoy a night out with siblings. This year, my oldest son is divorced and his ex isn't talking to any of us?? my other son and his wife don't like their new brother-in-law much, so that's not gonna happen. Granted, Christmas isn't necessarily the reason for that.

I hate Christmas Music, religious and "Rudolph" type, especially crap like Mariah Carey and TransAMerican Orchestra or whatever its called.

Back in my retail days of working for ZCMI (a Utah-TSCC based department store) they started playing Christmas music, one song an hour after Thanksgiving and just increased them each day.

Not to mention I had to work 6 frickin' days a week, 9-12 hours a day. It would probably have been 7 except they were closed on Sunday. I remember having one manager who came from Texas or Florida etc, (non mo) and he was livid that they closed on Sundays. He tried to get permission to make managers work Sundays to do stock etc, but the management said NOPE...Gawd doesn't want you to do that.

Apologies for being such a grinch (another thing I hate about Christmas)

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Posted by: sbg ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 09:20AM

You would appreciate what we did one Christmas Eve when I worked for a department store in Minneapolis.

For some unknown reason they decided to shrink the Misses and Junior women's departments that year and stick trim the home between us. That was the year that some company came out with a bird ornament that chirped Christmas Carols. They plugged that sucker in when the store opened and unplugged it when we turned out the lights. This started the day after Thanksgiving.

I got out of school for the end of the quarter fairly early in December and started working full time for break. For me that was 6 sometimes 7 days at a time. (we were open on Sunday) By Christmas Eve we were all ready to never hear another Christmas Carol again.

Then we hatched a plan. When the store was closing, we took the ornament, plugged it on on the dock and lowered it chirping away into the trash masher. Turned the trash masher on and listened to it die.

What a feeling of great joy that was.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 09:57AM

Hahaha! Great story.

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Posted by: memikeyounot ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 10:41PM

Wish I'd thought of something like that at ZCMI.

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Posted by: sbg ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 09:34AM

We also wrote it out of inventory as damaged not returnable to manufacturer. After all it was in a million pieces.

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Posted by: adoylelb ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 10:13PM

Love it!

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Posted by: scmd ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 06:24AM

catnip Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Almost everyone has joyful memories of Christmas
> from childhood, racing to the tree to see what
> Santa has brought. I remember that my parents
> always bought me one fairly "big" thing that I
> really wanted. A lot of the rest was practical
> stuff, like school clothes, that were less than
> thrilling, but needed.
>
> Our adult kids, for the most part, earn more than
> we do, now that we are retired. Between them, they
> have six kids, and we are not sure what to do for
> our grandkids. We love them, but their parents can
> afford to give them much better stuff than we can.
> So we are stumped. I want to give the kids stuff
> for Christmas, but so many of the things they list
> are things I never even heard of. I am
> bewildered.
>
> I am tempted to give them gift cards and ask their
> parents to help the kids get stuff they want. We
> are not physically able to do much shopping any
> more. And we aren't terribly close to our
> grandkids any more.
>
> And here we run into the dynamics of a split
> family. I have one son and I adore my
> granddaughters - his kids) so I selfishly want to
> spoil them. I am much closer to them than to my
> other grandkids. I admit - I consult with my son
> to find out what his daughters want, and I do my
> best to accomodate, but I just don't feel that
> close to my other grandkids. I try not to show
> preferences, but that is difficult.
>
> The one thing I enjoy is when one of the adult
> daughters cooks the turkey or whatever, and the
> rest of us bring side-dishes and salads. Those
> get-togethers are priceless. But THINGS. I get so
> hung up on THINGS to give anyone.
>
> My ex drummed into me that gift cards are for
> selfish people who don't want to go to the trouble
> of "serious" shopping, but as I get older, I
> simply can't get into "serious" shopping. If it
> doesn't come out of a catalog, chances are, it
> doesn't happen.
>
> How do you guys deal with all of this?
>
> I would almost rather hibernate and wake up in
> time for the Tournament of Roses Parade.

I have no issue with anyone giving my kids gift cards, nor does my wife. My kids get too much stuff on Christmas as it is. We can use the gift cards for books (my kids don't touch electronic equipment yet)or other things they actually need, and spread it out a bit so they can have something new another time of year.

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Posted by: scmd ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 06:50AM

i dread paying the bills more than anything, though my parents and in-laws are generous enough with checks that they mostly cover costs. Sometimes I wonder what is the point. Maybe we should all just keep our money. The kids all seem to get a huge charge out of it, though, and that's even with being expected to contribute financially to gifts. I have five sibs and wife has four. All but one are married with children. We don't draw names. (Each family gives one gift to each individual. That means my siblings' kids each get six gifts counting grandma/grandpa, plus what their parents give them, and I think they each buy small gifts for their own siblings.)

My wife and I keep gifts to twenty bucks or less except for each other, our parents, and our children, and wife makes many of the gifts with her mom's help. Her mom is a talented seamstress, and helps my wife make PJs or throw quilts or something similar for the kids. My wife's mom has a bargain source for fabrics and supplies, and it's a good activity for my wife when she doesn't feel much like doing anything else. If it gets close to December and it looks like she's not going to finish, my mother-in-law and my sister finish it up for my wife so she doesn't stress out.

I find that I enjoy Christmas Eve a whole lot more than the day itself. Christmas Eve is mellow. We go to mass at the hospital chapel or the local church and play the music there. We sing together as a family, and sometimes we carol through the neighborhood. The nieces and nephews aren't usually acting like they're on crack yet. We can play quiet board games and have quality family time.

On Christmas morning, none of the children seem to have slept well and are cranky soon after opening gifts. I remember not being able to sleep on Christmas Eve. I suppose it's natural. Jillian and I put our two down for naps at the first whine, which usually happens by 10:00 a.m. If there's a good football game on, I'll grab a beer and watch it and chill for a bit.

What we really enjoy is going to our condo not far from Cedar Hills and Pleasant Grove for a skiing and snowboarding trip over the New Year holiday. I get two weeks off, and we spend nine or ten days there each Dec/Jan except last year, when we went to Austria to spend Christmas with a close friend who was my wife's family's foreign exchange student when they were in high school.
When we're in the hills above Utah Valley, there are always a few relatives to watch the little ones who are too little to ski or snowboard or to supervise them on the slopes if that's what they need. My in-laws usually rent a condo and join us mainly to make sure my wife gets fun time and rest, plus they get along really well with my side of the family. It ends up being a great combination of large family time, nuclear family time, time with my brothers and a couple of cousins that I really only get at that time of year, and couple time because of the abundance of babysitters.

I really just suffer through Christmas to get to the New Year celebration. After nine or ten days, we're ready to return to California coastal weather for my last four or five days off.

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Posted by: angela ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 06:27AM

No, not really. I don't get all caught up the commercialism of it, so that is not a problem.

I do enjoy the lights, and the music. That low stress ambiance of it. The spending time with people I haven't seen in a while. The good will.

From what you posted Catnip, the challenge isn't Christmas in and of itself. It's the things, the material that you feel the pressure of.

Do you self a favor. Make it easy on yourself and do the gift cards. OR even better. Don't do anything, and start reminding those you love Christmas isn't about things.

Be the example. :)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/06/2017 06:30AM by angela.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 06:44AM

A gift card is a thoughtful present, even if you didn't go out and buy some "thing" for your children & grandchildren.

My preference is to do what brings you joy for the holidays, and what's within your ability to accomplish that. If it means less stress by purchasing gift cards rather than major shopping, wrapping, shipping, etc., then it will mean more in the end that you didn't knock yourself out to get all worked up over a holiday. And are able to enjoy the time you have for other things you value more.

Not having grandchildren myself I can't say whether I'd have favorites or not.. With my own children I tried my hardest not to have favorites and as what I referred to when they were growing up, be an "equal opportunity mom." I would imagine if you're closer to some it would be harder not to favor them over grandchildren you're more distant with. But children pick up on the favoritism and may feel jilted if you don't share and share alike among them.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 09:12AM

It's very difficult to drive and park in the Christmas hustle and bustle in addition to everything you so aptly mentioned. Sometimes I'm glad I have only two grandchildren because that's as many as I can handle at a level I like.

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Posted by: slskipper ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 09:32AM

Seeing as how I recently lost my job and the US economy in general is heading for an absolute disaster except for the top 1%, I very much dread Christmas. It's hard to want to "get Christmas right" when you have been voted off the team.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 09:40AM

I'm so sorry.

I'm sure it is no comfort that those pesky private jet expenses get a break, and estate taxes.

Hiring is up though in some areas. I hope you can find something suitable that you enjoy soon.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 09:37AM

I HATE the forced "buy sh!t" season. It means crowds, deadlines, interruptions at work, expected family participation, and 2 months of Christmas kitsch and music.

I guess I'm just old and over it.

I will set up my nativity scene and include my son's old toy action figures as the wise men (I'm thinking Superman, Batman and Ironman or maybe the Mutant Ninja Turtles). Maybe I'll put Yoda in the manger). :-) Or maybe army figures would work, you know, to mock the War on Christmas.
If it weren't for humor, the holiday would be annoying and exhausting.

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Posted by: samwitch ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 09:58AM

Amazon gift cards are a great gift! Kids love being able to choose something for themselves, which usually doesn't happen at Christmas. My kids were always way more excited to receive them than most of the physical presents I spent hours shopping for.

Dread Christmas? Oh, yeah, I do. I'm not a Christian of any kind, so the massive retail orgy and glorification of consumerism annoys and puzzles me. There are so many cultural expectations: decorating, cooking, entertaining, gift-giving, attending events, etc. I dislike or am bad at all these things, so the holidays often feel more like a survival game. Plus, in the Morridor, people drive like maniacs all December -- so many accidents, everywhere.

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 03:41AM

Thank you so much!!

Ms. Santa, Your post made me giggle like a little kid! Yeah, there were MANY reasons why the ex got "drummed!!"

Thank you all, for putting things into perspective. None of us (except for my sweet DH) attend church any more, so Christmas is pretty much a secular thing at our house.

I'm still able to drive to the local supermarket and buy a handful of gift cards and nice cards for "Son, Daughter, Granddaughter, et al." That much, I can manage.

Thank you again for the input.

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Posted by: Jimbo ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 10:26AM

I hate almost all Xmas music . If not for this constant garbage going on constantly wherever a person goes x mas might not be so bad . My family does not go all bonkers buying gifts and we get together and go to dinners and movies which is good . I could list every Xmas song I hate but the list would be almost endless, but the top 3 are
1 Cristmas Shoes - sappy garbage that realy makes no sense .
2 Santa Baby - I want I want i want I want I want . look bitch you will get nothing and like it
3 Any song by a rock and roll artist with Bruce Springsteen and his horrible rendition of Santa Claus coming to town and that horrible synthesized Paul Poop Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas time Stick,with Born to Run and Hey Jude guys . You,are slowly killing me with your holiday shiite

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Posted by: scmd ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 04:24PM

Jimbo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> 1 Cristmas Shoes - sappy garbage that realy makes
> no sense .
> 2 Santa Baby - I want I want i want I want I want
> . look bitch you will get nothing and like it
> 3 Any song by a rock and roll artist with Bruce
> Springsteen and his horrible rendition of Santa
> Claus coming to town and that horrible
> synthesized Paul Poop Simply Having a Wonderful
> Christmas time Stick,with Born to Run and Hey Jude
> guys . You,are slowly killing me with your holiday
> shiite

I actually LIKE much Christmas music, but the three songs you listed I passionately hate. I was sure that "Christmas Shoes" song had to be a joke the first time i heard it. I couldn't believe it was for real and still can't believe anyone takes it seriously. It's not allowed in my home or car. My kids don't know it, and let's hope it stays that way. If I ever hear of their teachers using it in class or for programs I'll complain about separation of church and state even though I couldn't care less if they had the kids singing "O Holy Night" or "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" on continuous loop the entire school day.

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Posted by: Dorothy ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 10:28AM

I don't kind of dread Christmas. I really dread it.

FWIW, I read somewhere that 40% of gift cards are never redeemed. No wonder the stores push them like crazy.

I vote to make cash gifts be in good taste. But my BIL's family has messed that up by over-gifting making my cash gifts obviously lacking. Phooey.

I've begged for some sort of way to lower the expense and the dread--nope.

To top it all off, I have to show up to family events stone cold sober, well, I don't dare do otherwise. I can't risk saying all those things my brain is screaming.

My favorite ever gift came from my MIL. It was mailed at great expense. It was a "Luggable Loo". Which is, in fact, a five gallon bucket with a toilet seat and RV toilet paper. Those prepper Mormons...never mind my kid had passed away 5 weeks earlier.

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Posted by: knotheadusc ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 10:58AM

Could you give something intangible for Christmas? Maybe pay for lessons, give movie tickets, show tickets, or a museum? In the long run, that may turn out to be a more appreciated gift.

One of the best gifts I ever got (and still use 23 years later) was a membership to a credit union. My sister started it for me and deposited $100 for my college graduation. I still have that account and have done lots of business with that credit union. It may not be romantic, but it sure was useful to me as a young woman.

Just something to think about.

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Posted by: Phazer ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 12:14PM

No. I enjoy the time off from work. Putting up the tree and giving presents. Though some gifts often are cash.
I'll save myself from having to head over to the returns line.

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Posted by: readwrite ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 12:19PM

Around mormons (and non-mormons), [I wear] dreadlocks are key.

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Posted by: Fascinated in the Midwest ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 12:23PM

I second Knotheadusc's recommendation of experiences: a visit to a museum, lessons, movie tickets, show tickets, etc.

For young children, I'll add kid-friendly magazine subscriptions (think Ranger Rick, Highlights, etc.). These kids have all the stuff they want, courtesy of well-earning parents.

Why not have something special arrive each month in the mailbox for them to enjoy? Perhaps even time spent with a parent reading the magazine?

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Posted by: Anon10001110 ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 12:27PM

I suggest amazon.com. I don't work for them but I use them a lot to find whatever toy my nieces and nephews are into. Usually there is a line of toys i.e. legos that I can find something for the price I want to spend. They will even wrap it if you want or get it mailed to you and wrap it yourself. Just an idea. I agree that being there for the get together will be the memory they have much more so than the gifts.

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Posted by: GC ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 12:34PM

We don't exchange gifts at all in our family, except with our own childre. Makes life much easier at xmas!

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Posted by: Lethbridge Reprobate ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 12:41PM

The only part I've ever liked is having my family here. My son and his family live 300 miles away so it's a big deal to have them come here. I love Christmas morning with my grandchildren. This year will be tough as my wife's passing in October has left a huge void in my and our lives. We were together for 47 years. It just won't be the same without her. So blessed that my family want to be here to help me get through it.

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Posted by: scmd ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 02:58AM

Lethbridge Reprobate Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The only part I've ever liked is having my family
> here. My son and his family live 300 miles away so
> it's a big deal to have them come here. I love
> Christmas morning with my grandchildren. This year
> will be tough as my wife's passing in October has
> left a huge void in my and our lives. We were
> together for 47 years. It just won't be the same
> without her. So blessed that my family want to be
> here to help me get through it.

I was thinking about you, Ron. I'm so glad your son and his family are traveling to be with you.

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Posted by: saucie ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 01:49PM

scmd Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lethbridge Reprobate Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > The only part I've ever liked is having my
> family
> > here. My son and his family live 300 miles away
> so
> > it's a big deal to have them come here. I love
> > Christmas morning with my grandchildren. This
> year
> > will be tough as my wife's passing in October
> has
> > left a huge void in my and our lives. We were
> > together for 47 years. It just won't be the
> same
> > without her. So blessed that my family want to
> be
> > here to help me get through it.
>
> I was thinking about you, Ron. I'm so glad your
> son and his family are traveling to be with you.




Me too.... After a loved one dies, the holidays are the worst

to get through. I'm glad you won't be alone.

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Posted by: Elyse ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 12:45PM

We mostly give gift cards.
Everyone likes them and we enjoy getting them.

But if you are not close to certain people, why bother? Only give gifts to the people you love.

From what I've seen, those large Mormon families are just too expensive for most people. The bad advise of church leaders to have lots of kids for the cult just ruins everything.It never ends.

So glad we kept our families small.

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Posted by: schweizerkind ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 01:07PM


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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 01:29PM

If you ignore X-mess hard enough and long enough, all you're left with is figuring out what to do for New Year's Eve, which for me is usually nothing, except to be awakened at midnight by the cheerful gunfire of many of my within earshot neighbors.

Just to be on the safe side, I double the thickness of the aluminum foil of my skull cap.

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Posted by: valkyriequeen ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 02:00PM

I don't like Christmas or the whole month of December, for that matter. Trying to get gifts that please everyone,and dollar amounts equal for everyone. One year, I got a $3.00 spatula from my daughter and son-n-law. The next year, it got upgraded to an apple corer/slicer. The crowds,traffic and inconsiderate morons who won't cough into their elbows instead of spewing their germs all over! But the reason I don't like Christmas time is because we have experienced too much sadness. My sister-in-law passed away from a brain tumor on Christmas morning. Last year, we had to put one of our dogs to sleep 2 weeks before Christmas. My mom lay dying in the hospital from pneumonia that was brought on by cancer. She was lying semi-conscious in the darkened hospital room and Silent Night was being piped in. No singing, just the tune. I've hated that song ever since. So December is not my favorite month; I'm always glad when January arrives.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 02:05PM

Don't know why. Life is going quite good, but I am in no mood for Christmas. My kids are 32 and not married, no grandkids (and I don't want any, so not a problem). I enjoy getting everyone something they "should" want. I am always on the lookout all year long, so I'm pretty much done shopping.

I love gift cards personally. My sister gives me gift cards for restaurants. I think kids would enjoy going out in a few weeks and shopping when Christmas has died down. Otherwise, your gift is just one in many.

I can say this--my dad's parents give us pajamas every year on Christmas Eve. My aunt had a Christmas Eve party every year until her death about 6 years ago. That is when my grandparents gave us pjs. One year, my grandmother had to have surgery in California (you had to go to CA for hips and cataracts). That year we didn't get pjs. It was a really sad year for me. I still remember it.

I have always given my kids pjs on Christmas Eve and still do.

It really isn't a very expensive gift and they get it before the big hoard begins. But I don't know if you can start it when they are already older.

Anyway, that is one of my favorite memories of Christmas. I buy myself some, too.

I finally put up my tree. I'm going to Disneyland Friday as we love Disneyland and not because we were mormons. When my ex left us, I took the kids to Disneyland. It became our escape. Any time I could make enough extra money, we'd go to Disneyland. We went 2 years ago at Christmas and it was actually cool instead of hot and it was so nicely decorated. It was the best trip there I'd ever had, so we're going again. We're all tired of getting more stuff. We've got more than enough stuff.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/06/2017 02:05PM by cl2.

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Posted by: scmd ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 03:04AM

cl2 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Don't know why. Life is going quite good, but I am
> in no mood for Christmas. My kids are 32 and not
> married, no grandkids (and I don't want any, so
> not a problem). I enjoy getting everyone something
> they "should" want. I am always on the lookout all
> year long, so I'm pretty much done shopping.
>
> I love gift cards personally. My sister gives me
> gift cards for restaurants. I think kids would
> enjoy going out in a few weeks and shopping when
> Christmas has died down. Otherwise, your gift is
> just one in many.
>
> I can say this--my dad's parents give us pajamas
> every year on Christmas Eve. My aunt had a
> Christmas Eve party every year until her death
> about 6 years ago. That is when my grandparents
> gave us pjs. One year, my grandmother had to have
> surgery in California (you had to go to CA for
> hips and cataracts). That year we didn't get pjs.
> It was a really sad year for me. I still remember
> it.
>
> I have always given my kids pjs on Christmas Eve
> and still do.
>
> It really isn't a very expensive gift and they get
> it before the big hoard begins. But I don't know
> if you can start it when they are already older.
>
> Anyway, that is one of my favorite memories of
> Christmas. I buy myself some, too.
>
> I finally put up my tree. I'm going to Disneyland
> Friday as we love Disneyland and not because we
> were mormons. When my ex left us, I took the kids
> to Disneyland. It became our escape. Any time I
> could make enough extra money, we'd go to
> Disneyland. We went 2 years ago at Christmas and
> it was actually cool instead of hot and it was so
> nicely decorated. It was the best trip there I'd
> ever had, so we're going again. We're all tired of
> getting more stuff. We've got more than enough
> stuff.

Someone in our family always sees to it that each kid gets to open one gift one Christmas eve, and it always turns out to be pajamas. my mom said she always wanted us to have our new pjs on so we didn't look quite so raggedy in the pictures that were taken as we opened presents the next morning. My wife had pj duty this year and sewed cute ones for every niece and nephew, plus one nephew's wife. she thinks she might want the duty permanently because it's more enjoyable, less expensive, and easier than shopping for other presents.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 12:58PM


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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 10:12PM

? What are PJs?

Do they have some (any) practical use?

I'm confused, says the resident nudist:-)

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 10:17PM

My oldest son was born on 7/4;
that & Christmas would be a great time for healing / End of Shunning / possible reconciliation from the TBMs in the family, but NO, they're TOO BUSY WITH CHURCH DUTIES, CALLINGS & ATTENDANCE....


U don't need to ask why thoughts of holidays & LDS, Inc. MAKE ME PUKE :-(



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/08/2017 10:18PM by GNPE.

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Posted by: Mother Who Knows ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 05:31PM

Surely, there must be something you DON'T dread, so you can focus on those good things, and eliminate the bad things.

You are on the right track, in identifying the specific problem of Christmas shopping. Yes, it's hard to think of gifts--especially if you aren't around the recipients very much. You don't know what things they already have, you don't really know their interests, their taste in clothes, their sizes, what kids their age want.

I used to give sports equipment. But these days, everything is too technical. My children always had jobs, and they would buy whatever they wanted, when the Christmas sales began. My son is 40, and I had to call him and tell him NOT to buy a certain item, that I'm giving him for Christmas. I spoiled the surprise.

I've given zoo passes, ski passes, individual ski tickets (not as expensive as passes, tickets to The Nutcracker, concert tickets, movie tickets that include popcorn and a drink. I like to give books. If they already have the book, they can easily trade it for another. Highlights and National Geographic are good family gifts. My children love to receive a Hickory Farms gift package. Harry and David is good. My mother used to say, for people who can afford to buy anything they want, to give them something they will use up. Food, soap and lotion, paper goods, books, etc.

I agree that gift cards are the best choice. My grandchildren love gift cards. So do teen-agers. You can get cute cards and little boxes and gift card holders. Amazon is good, because the kids can buy online, without having their parents driving them to a store. Other stores have a limited selection, right after the Christmas sales, and things can be picked-over. The kids like being able to choose for themselves.

Once you have purchased the gifts, you will feel much better about Christmas! Christmas brings some good movies to the theaters. If you like to eat out, the restaurants are decorated nicely, and there are pretty lights to see, when you drive. You should get some days off of work, which are days to cherish, and to spend doing what YOU WANT to do.

I got specific, about the things I didn't enjoy at Christmas. Christmas can be a romantic time, and a time for parties, and used to feel bad about being single. Most of the time, I'm happy being single. Specifically, what made me feel bad? The ward party was the worst! Couples and families sat together, and my kids refused to go, so I went alone, because I had to play the piano. The Mormon Christmas fireside and the Messiah performances were like date-nights. One time, I went alone to the fireside, and everyone was saving seats for it, and everywhere I sat down, someone said, "This seat is taken." I ended up just leaving.

The bottom line, is DON'T DO the things that make you dread Christmas. I stopped going to the Mormon firesides, the Ward party, the Primary party, the RS party, and whatever. I don't go places ALONE anymore. I dreaded some of the family Christmas parties, until I realized there were only two relatives that made my life Hell, and I simply cut off all contact with those two. Now, I can enjoy all the nice relatives, in peace. This season, I had a toothache, and a subsequent dental bill, which has cut into my spending money. I just told the family I was "shaving a little off of Christmas." Only one gift per person, instead of two or three. I wasn't going to help with Santa stuff, candy and sweets, little stocking stuffers, novelty gifts for the adults, decorations, and all those little things that add up when multiplied by 12, the number of children and grandchildren. I'm not bring a surprise "host-gifts" to every party. No one else brings them. I'm not mailing Christmas cards to people I haven't heard from for a few years. Entertaining is a huge expense! I'm giving only one dinner party for my family, a gingerbread house-making party for the grandchildren, and Christmas day buffet of eating all the goodies people bring us. No taking people out to dinner. No downtown lunches with friends. No new clothes for parties, etc. No beauty parlors, manicures, etc. By just cutting back in a reasonable way, I will save money. One thing I will not cut back on is the little gifts I exchange with various friends and neighbors.

Times change. The good news is that, these days, we can do whatever we want to do or have to do, and cut out all the stuff that isn't fun and isn't necessary.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 07:34PM

And books. I love going to movies and so do my children. I always bought and still buy my kids books off amazon, used books. They cost $1 and $3.99 for shipping. They are often old cool copies of books. There was a book my mother read us when we were young that is no longer in print and I found one for $1 for both my sister and I. Those are the fun gifts. I have more fun finding little gifts that my kids and my siblings like than getting the big gifts.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 05:54PM

With retail dread, yes.

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Posted by: cinda ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 07:28PM

No, I don't at all "kind of dread Christmas"; I totally dread it. Being on disability allows for zero discretionary funds to use on gifts for anyone :( This year will mark the third Christmas I have spent in an Assisted Living facility....not delightful by any stretch :(

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 07:40PM

I hate it. I asked at work who dreaded Christmas. Most do.

One is stressed out because she has 22 presents to buy. I asked why. She just said she "HAD to." That says a lot.

What happens if you give someone a gift card for $50 and they give you one for $75? Makes both feel bad. I hate gift cards except I will take one for Starbucks gladly. Even worse, someone gives you a present and you don't have one for them. Aaaaahhhh!

If you don't have Christmas though, how will you have stuff to return on the 26th? And how else are a lot of people going to lose their houses to fires?

Egg nog is good.

If you have children it is good unless you are really poor. Or really rich with spoiled kids staring at their phones who already have everything anyway.

Dread.

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Posted by: boilerluv ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 07:48PM

Definitely dread it. My family is not a "Hallmark family,"--you know, like the families in the Hallmark commercials, with beautifully decorated trees, everyone hugging and kissing and stringing popcorn for the tree, etc. etc. My autistic grandson won't speak to his siblings because they are transgender--both of them, and autistic kids do NOT deal well with change. My son has emotional issues and doesn't want to see anybody else in the family at holidays. Actually the autistic one is the easiest. He loves to do things on his own--be independent, go on the bus by himself to a restaurant he likes, go to a movie or to the mall, etc. So he is getting gift cards to his favorite store, restaurant, and movie theater. Plus some of his favorite candy. I like the idea of gift subscriptions to magazines your grandkids would love--or movie or show tickets, etc. I have often heard and read that in later years, kids value their memories of experiences much more than they value "things." I wish you good luck--when my grandkids were little, I used to pick a Saturday in December and take them to eat at a restaurant they liked (sometimes a pizza place) and then go to a nice store where Christmas ornaments were marked down already. They each picked a favorite ornament for their tree at their house. If you did something like that, and then added an Amazon.com gift card on Christmas itself, would that work?

I just wish it were over. Between working, fighting cancer, addressing cards, wrapping gifts, and hearing the same Christmas music over and over and over....it's too much. I have already announced that we will not be "enjoying a family dinner around the festive table" this year. I am done cooking. We will get together, exchange what gifts there are,then go out for Chinese, and call it a happy bleeping holiday. :)

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 01:03PM

and you made me remember something. BUT I wanted to say how difficult it must be for you this year with battling cancer on top of everything else.

After this thread, I'm finally in the mood for Christmas, except I haven't cracked out the Christmas music yet and I love Christmas music, except when we were in Kohls last night and they were playing old Christmas music with Bing Crosby, etc., and it reminded me of my childhood. They were singing Silver Bells. Reminded me of my mother who died December 3rd 9 years ago. My mother and her mother LOVED Christmas and I put my tree up for them this year. And all the Christmas things they gave me.

BUT one of my best memories of Christmas was taking my younger brother (who I'm the closest to, he is 11 years younger and I took care of him a lot). He would have about $10 to spend and we would find something for everyone in the family and then we'd go eat out. Your story reminded me of that. Those were the best times.

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Posted by: thingsithink ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 08:10PM

Why not start a new tradition?

Gather everyone around the Christmas tree, and read posts from RFM about how shitty Christmas is. Then remind all the children this is what they have to look forward to, so enjoy it while you can.

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Posted by: Ms. Santa ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 08:16PM

>>"My ex drummed into me that gift cards are for selfish people who don't want to go to the trouble of "serious" shopping.."


He's your EX drummer for more than one reason, I see.

Play the answer(s) to this in your head, and see if you hear the steady thump thump thump of reality:

"Hey, kids! Mamaw is torn as to whether to give you all brand new fuzzy slippers, or a $20 Visa gift card! Whaddya think?!"




Ah! ....There's the drummer boy you are looking for.....

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Posted by: waunderdog ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 08:57PM

The only thing Christmas means to me anymore is that I don't have to hear carols for another year.

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Posted by: incognitotoday ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 09:44AM

I completely quit Christmas. No cards, parties, shopping, giving or accepting gifts. Took all Christmas music off my iPod. Just plain ignore it. Feels so awesome. Kind of frightening at first worrying what others would say. Now, it’s so peaceful!

If you don’t believe, what’s the point?

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Posted by: moehoward ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 04:20PM

When the kids graduated from college, we all decided to discontinue Xmas gifts between us. We all go out for Chinese food on Xmas Eve https://youtu.be/sE154vtGZms and then a nice dinner the following week. I pick up the check and its the best money spent.

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Posted by: Christmas Fairy ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 08:01AM

I love Christmas, and I don't "believe." I haven't believed in Jesus for 10 years, and Christmas is just as much fun as ever! In fact, it's better, without religion making it all serious. Sometimes, it's best to be shallow.

Now that I don't attend Mormon functions, I no longer feel self-conscious, lonely, or lesser-than, because I'm not married. There is no set way that Christmas "should" be. We can eat Chinese take-out or pizza or sandwiches for Christmas dinner, so the women don't have to spend the whole day cooking in the kitchen. We can ski on Christmas Eve, and go to a movie on Christmas Day, if we feel like it. We can serve the charities of our choice, with lovely like-minded volunteers. We don't have to force ourselves to do things we don't want to do, or be with people we don't want to see. I used to dread Mormon Christmas.

OMG! Thingsthink--you are so cynical, you are funny!

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 08:43AM

I would give their parents a budget for each kid (equal budgets to be fair,) and tell the parents to send you an Amazon link with whatever the kids want. That way you can order it and ship it directly to the family, or wrap the gift and reship it.

I buy gifts for my niece and nephew. I normally have a wine shop deliver a half case of wine to my nephew and his wife. I give the wine shop my nephew's number so they can schedule a delivery. I give my brother and his wife, with whom I spend the holiday, a half case of wine and some stocking gifts. We made an agreement years ago to dial back considerably on the gift giving. It's reduced a lot of holiday stress.

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Posted by: Topper ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 01:53PM


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Posted by: readwrite ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 09:10PM

I'dread it somewhere, maybe on red it, that I dread it

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Posted by: saucie ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 09:31PM

I love everything about it. I love christmas.

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Posted by: Red ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 09:41PM

Truth be told, I've always hated the holidays. Now that I am no longer religious, I can be open about it. I know it brings a lot of joy for some, and I love how happy it makes my kids, but beyond that, I can't stand Christmas. The crap weather, the stupid consumerism, the religious overtones, the obnoxious in-laws ... yuck, no thanks.

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Posted by: liesarenotuseful ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 01:15AM

I love Christmas. Even though I'm not an active mormon, even though I'm not sure who Jesus was, I still love it. The lights, the music, the tree, the train around my tree,the movies (Elf),the gifts (no matter how humble), the dinner, the family, the snow, the magical anticipation in children's eyes.

As for not knowing what to give grandchildren as gifts, my mom always has given money. Sometimes $10, sometimes $20. I think the kids loved knowing they could count on that. My mom often gives me discounted cheeses with various flavors of crackers. I love it!

I realize I am lucky to have loving family relationships, and I don't want to trigger pain to those who dread it with good reason.

I just wanted to answer the question truthfully.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/09/2017 01:18AM by liesarenotuseful.

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Posted by: Dorothy ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 10:36AM

There has been too much crap over time for me to look forward to the holidays BUT... speaking for me... I love that people love the holidays. It makes me happy that a bit of that Norman Rockwell feel is a reality for people.

While I don't mind griping and kvetching, I want to know that lots of folks are not suffering. I certainly hope that most folks love Christmas music, otherwise we're all being annoyed and someone should really tell the stores.

Enjoy and share!

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