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I have no money for Christmas presents!! My entire paycheck went to bills and groceries!! What to do
Family & Parenting / 1:48 PM - Tuesday December 20, 2011

I have no money for Christmas presents!! My entire paycheck went to bills and groceries!! What to do

What can I do to come up with something for my 3 kids for presents?? I am so bummed about this. Even though they are grown, I still would like to have something to hand them, I just keep praying for a miracle, but one doesn't seem to come. I know its not about gifts, but about family being together and sharing the joy of the season, but really? Not one single gift? Throw me a bone here, lol, maybe a creative idea or 2?? What to do, what to do??????

Update: December 28, 2011.
JUST A QUICK NOTE: CHRISTMAS WENT FABULOUS!! I MADE SOME PRESENTS, BORROWED SOME CASH (LOL), AND SHOPPED AT MY JOB'S GIFT SHOP---PAYROLL DEDUCTION BABAY!! MY KIDS WERE ALL HAPPY WITH THEIR PRESENTS, AND I WAS TRULY PROUD TO SEE HOW THEY EXCHANGED GIFTS WITH EACH OTHER!! ITS A DIFFERENT KIND OF CHRISTMAS WHEN YOUR KIDS ARE GROWN,I GUESS I WAS STUCK IN THE PAST WHEN THEIR LITTLE FACES LOOKED UP TO ME FOR THE GOODIES, THIS YEAR, I LOOKED TO THEM AND FOUND LOVE AND PEACE AND GOODWILL BETWEEN US ALL...THANKS TO YOU ALL FOR THE WONDERFUL THOUGHTS AND ADVICE!! HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012, HERE WE COME!! XOXOXOXO!!

Update: December 21, 2011.
Lol,thanks again for all the ((()))--hugs and support!! I am getting on top of things as I type...have work today, BUT, lets please not slam Rosey too harshly, in her own crude way, she is right to a degree, I will begin in Jan '12(can you all BELIEVE that we are going into 2012??), instead of giving my kids money throughout the year for movies, dinners, etc...I will sack it away for this time of year!! On a side note, I recd 2 turkeys as a Christmas bonus, which I am going to give to my mom n sisters, they are the real cooks of the family, so I have them covered!! ;-)...I was just so used to having money left over after bills, but this yr I HAD to get a car, my 95 escort went kaput on me in October, and that is why I fell behind...won't let that happen again, with the Help of God, and of course all you wonderful peeps and great ideas!! I so enjoy this site!! Never gonna leave!! Have a great one, I am out the door!! XOXOXOXO!!

Update: December 21, 2011.
I HAVE TO TYPE IN CAPSLOCK, BECAUSE I AM CRYING TEARS OF BITTERSWEET JOY IN READING ALL OF THESE WONDERFUL AND AWESOME RESPONSES...I TALKED BTO MY KIDS AND ALL 3 STATED IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS, THAT THEY UNDERSTAND, (EVEN MY 19YO, THE YOUNGEST SON, WHO REALLY WANTED A BASS GUITAR--I BOUGHT HIM ONE A COUPLE OF YRS AGO--450$, YIKES!!) THEY EVEN DECORATED MY APT WHILE I WAS AT WORK TODAY--GOD HAS BLESSED ME WITH GREAT KIDS, AND ALSO WITH GREAT PEOPLE HERE THAT OFFERED SOME GREAT IDEAS, THAT I WILL DEFINITELY TAKE INTO ACCOUNT!! I CAN BAKE, AND I DO HAVE SOME GREAT PICS OF CHRISTMASES PAST, SO I WILL THINK OF SOMETHING THERE, FOR SURE!! WHILE I AM NOT A GRANDMA YET, (THANK GOD, LOL), I CAN OFFER MY CLEANING SERVICES, TOO!! ALSO, A FRIEND OF MINE (MY MAIN SQUEEZE, LOL) HAS OFFERED TO HELP PITCH IN WITH A FEW BUCKS TO GET SOME CREATIVE GIFT-GIVING, I DO LOVE HIM SO!! PLUS: I TOLD EACH CHILD INDIVIDUALLY, THAT WHATEVER I GET BACK IN MY INCOME TAX RETURN, WILL BE A LATE FESTIVITY FOR THEM!! THANKS AGAIN ALL OF YOU FOR THE IDEAS AND SUPPORT, TIMES ARE TOUGH FOR ALL OF US I KNOW, AND AFTER 23YRS AS A PARENT WHO WORKED HARD TO MAKE A BEAUTIFUL CHRISTMAS FOR MY 3 ANGELS, (SINGLE-HANDEDLY SINCE '03 WHEN THEIR DAD BAILED OUT) I GUESS I WAS JUST FEELING SO BEHIND, INSTEAD I SHOULD BE FEELING GRATEFUL THAT WE ARE ALL TOGETHER FOR THE HOLIDAYS!!!! I COULD WRITE ABOUT THIS ALL NITE, BUT I HAVE TO GET BUSY WITH SOME PICS AND SCISSORS, AND GET MY BEST CAKE PANS READY, I AM FEELING THE SPIRIT FROM ALL OF YOU!! MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR---AND GUESS WHAT, THATS THE FIRST TIME THIS SEASON THAT I STATED THAT. FEELS GOOD...PEACE AND LOVE TO YOU ALL......:-)

- Asked by Female, 36-45

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Make baked goods
Give certificates for cleaning or babysitting
I can my own spagetti sauce from veggies in my garden and made frozen french bread dough and included a box of pasta.

Get creative!
Do you knitt
Garden




- Response by seasons4, A Sportif, Female, 46-55, Financial / Banking

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STOP MAKING IT ABOUT GIFTS!!!!!

You're depressing yourself un-necessarily!

Your children understand. They really do. Just having all your kids around you that day will be enough.

YOU mom,are enough.

Let it go!!!! You're not Santa Claus. LET IT GO!!!!



- Response by hnygrl, A Career Woman, Female, 46-55, Managerial

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Community Rating: Community Star

hand make them a gift. picture collage is good. You know your abilities on what you can make....bake them some christmas goodies.

- Response by lasttrueromantic, A Creative, Female, 36-45, Teaching

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These are the posts I hate the most at Christmas time. You had 52 weeks to put aside some money to buy your children a gift. Put even $5. a week aside and you would have $260.00.
A miracle? You need to grow up and learn how to budget for important things not be so irresponsible. Rosey

- Response by roseytalks, A Thinker, Female, Who Cares?, Tampa, Who Cares?

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Where is your husband to buy them gifts? isn't it a shame for a girl to work to pay for groceries and to pay the bills, while she must only take care of her husband, kids and house...do you really have men in your country or punks and crazy kids not holding some responsibility...3 kids and no father, that's a harsh life!!! if you want extra money, try to work from home or work something temporary which pays on day or hour...if not sell something that you don't need...or get a loan from someone...there are many solutions...your kids deserves something on Christmas, i wish if i can help...but i'm too far away...i wish you luck!

- Response by tonymetal26, A Creative, Male, 26-28, Law Enforcement

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Oh here is another one
Get out pictures of your kids growing up and make them a scrap book.

- Response by seasons4, A Sportif, Female, 46-55, Financial / Banking

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give them an IOU times are hard they'll understand

- Response by nelly88brady, A Thinker, Female, 22-25, Administrative

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As adults, they should understand!!!! Make a nice dinner, watch some Christmas movies and before that day, write each one a nice letter about what each one means to you and share stories of them from a baby to now, in handwriting, on some nice paper---not on notebook paper and not typed and printed from the computer.

One of my most treasured gifts of all time was a beautiful letter on parchment paper that my Mom wrote to me when I was getting ready to leave home as an adult. She wrote it like she was telling my birth and growing up years to someone who had never met me, but she had to describe special moments and how she reacted. It was my biography!!! The little stories and funny moments from her own eyes and the love she poured into every carefully thought sentence was so heartwarming......and I thought when I got it 25 years ago, that it was cool, but it wasn't until I realized how much I meant to her, that it hit me.

And now that she is gone, I still take out that letter (about 15 pages) an reread it....and cry....and wish I had written her one back.

I can only hope she knows I love her so.




- Response by A Thinker, Female, 36-45

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Get out Pictures of when hey were young.....make them all scrapbooks...or get tone of those frames where you have 10 or 15 different pictures...and give them each one to hang in their homes..... Id Really like something like that

- Response by boxer1, A Guy Critical, Male, 46-55, Self-Employed

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Dig in the attic for old memories, especially pictures, spruce them up and wala a gift. But avoid the cliche of giving embarasing Mom gifts, so even though you think the kid at 5 doing something idiotic is cute they won't appreciate it. One of my favorite presents was an old picture of my Dad, that one of my Aunts gave to me, I had never seen any pictures of him from when he was young.

- Response by jjcabin, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 36-45, Washington, DC, Technical

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This answer you may like.....

Have any old jewelry that isn't worth keeping, especially made of gold, that you're willing to give up in exchange for good quick money?



- Response by richard77, A Jock, Male, Who Cares?, Self-Employed

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Credit card?

- Response by ooonutmegooo, A Hippie Chick, Female, 22-25, Food Service

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miracles do happen. believe and trust in jesus

- Response by A Father Figure, Male, Who Cares?, Other Profession

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Try Happy Birds crafting haven. It saved my bacon this year.
Good luck and God bless.

- Response by irish1975, A Sweet Sarah, Female, 36-45, Dublin, Alternative Medicine

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Dont you think baked goods would be wonderful. Also wonderful is the fact that you're so responsible that you paid off your debts first. Good for you. Have a wonderful Christmas.

Also, my partner loves to comb through the Sally Anne's for Silverware which she cleans up and gifts.....wonderful stuff.

- Response by patresi, An Intellectual Guy, Male, Who Cares?, Who Cares?

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You have some great ideas here: their favorite baked goods, photos of them growing up in a scrapbook, I'm making 6 minute peanut brittle and it is inexpensive and easy. Let me know if you want the recipe. I also have a recipe for pumpkin bread as well.

- Response by hulagirl55, A Sportif, Female, Who Cares?, Who Cares?

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Bake them some cookies and write them each a letter as to your memories of each when they were young and how much they mean to you. Tell them you don't have $$ this year for presents. Do you have any gold jewerly you can sell?

- Response by kmf1, A Life of the Party, Female, 46-55, Minneapolis, Who Cares?

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How about doing like a scrapbook type thing for each kid....maybe buy a cheap game you all can play together....might I suggest next year, start saving even $20 a month towards christmas for at least one small gift if you absolutely have to give one....MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

- Response by A Life of the Party, Female, 36-45, Other Profession

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I vote for the baked goods. You can make about 24 cupcakes for around $5.00. (I did this for my birthday last week. I saved a bunch of money and really impressed my friends.)
Cake Mix 1.25
Oil .50 or less
3 eggs .75
Water FREE
Cup cake papers .95
Can of frosting or make your own 1.50
Sprinkles 1.00 (Other toppings, chocolate chips, miniature candy canes, colored marshmallows, M & M's, be creative.)
Become the "cupcake queen". Good Luck. Let us know what you decided to do.


- Response by cancel9, A Sweet Sarah, Female, 56-65

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freecycle.org?????

- Response by A Thinker, Female, 29-35

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Overall...it's best to get USED to it because the US is a judged nation and the entire world is going to go into economic depression the likes of which has never been seen. This is ALL by design and they have their sites on the U.S. and we'll end up being at the level of the third world nation sooner than most think.

I personally don't keep Christmas for decades now, but it's a good lesson to learn to get used to doing without the level of decadent materialism we've all become accustomed too as those who adapt their lifestyle and spending habits now will fare much better when most of what they have now, at least all the spending people do, the vast majority of which is useless and needless, especially at this materialistic time of year.

Glad you got lots of good suggestions from people that come from the heart. Such gifts are often remembered FAR more than the easy way of just spending money on someone for something.

- Response by richsifu, A Rebel, Male, 46-55, Science / Engineering

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Money is tight right now for my husband and myself because one of his clients stiffed him and another is delaying paying him until after the New Year... so, all our bills are getting paid but we didn't have very much for Christmas gifts.

So, here are a few of the things we did for gifts:

1) I went through the house and found stuff we owned that we no longer needed, stuff that was still in good condition, and we wrapped those things up and gave them as gifts to nieces and nephews and also my Mom. The gifts are actually perfect for the recipients - a cookbook for a niece who loves to cook and after we gave the wrapped present, we found out from her Mom that it was on her wish list, but they couldn't afford to get her one! We also found an old CD for my Mom which I know she will love, and so on.

2) I scanned a picture of my Dad and went to the Kinko's store to enlarge it and print it on nice card stock and then put it in a frame I picked up from the Dollar Store - $5 total cost. While this cost a few bucks, if you don't even have that much, you can take old pictures and make a montage of them on construction paper and that is still a nice present.

3) The sound of your own voice. Record yourself singing the lullabys you sang to them as kids, or telling them a favorite bed time story, or sharing cherished family memories with them, or giving them positive lifetime affirmations or words of wisdom - just speak from the heart for each child for 10-15 minutes and give them these recordings of love.

4) Certificates of service - redeemable for their favorite meal or baked good, laundry or house-cleaning, pet-sitting or a massage - whatever they need that you can do for them.

5) Host a play-do party for them - make home-made play-do (very cheap) color with a few drops of food coloring, and play Christmas music while you all share an hour together of simple play time. Or get a puzzle from the Salvation Army, or a board game, and do it together. Maybe spend a few bucks on baking some cookies. Sometimes it's fun to spend time together doing something sorta child-like and silly... :)

- Response by curvysmartgirl, A Creative, Female, 46-55, Dallas, Artist / Musician / Writer

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I think you need to be honest with yourself and your children here. This is a very tight Christmas for my family not because we have fallen on hard times such as yourself but we just sold our home and purchased a new one. We don't close until the 13th of January and can't really afford to make any big purchases until then. We informed our 13 yr old son and told him that Christmas will be small this year. He is OK with it because he is excited about moving. So basically our new home is our "family" Christmas present with the exception of a couple small gifts. It is what it is.

I remember when I was a single mother and Christmas was always a struggle for me. I always felt guilty for not being able to provide my son with a Christmas that he wanted, but we have always been honest with each other. I have always been up front with him on what Mom could afford and at the end of the day he seemed to be greatful for what he got. I have never gotten the "oh but I wanted that" from him. He is truly an amazing son.

Your children know where you are at and hoprfully they will see your love for them and show understanding during the holidays. They are grown now and at this stage in life time is more precious then gifts.

- Response by kdtxchic30, A Thinker, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

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Ok, first of all, roseytalks is a jerk. Karma will get her, and she will lose all of her "saved" money soon.
I had $16,000 saved up and ready to buy gifts for all, and my ex husband stole it last December (I then divorced him of course). Then I started saving money again, and my daughter's father suddenly reappeared into her life after 8 years of absence and dragged me through the court system for some visitation, costing me $30,000 and thus sending me into $9000 debt again. Things happen, even with planning.
This year, I am making pajamas for my immediate family members and a quilt for my daughter, and cookies for everyone else. They all know it, and are excited to receive a hand-made gift from me.

- Response by mamameag, A Thinker, Female, 29-35, Tampa, Who Cares?

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will be praying for you that your financial status improves.
have been there myself.

- Response by flwoodpecker, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 36-45, Other Profession

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Well Roseytalks continues to be just as vile as ever.

Just tell them the situation. This entire buying gifts at Christmas time is nothing but social engineering that has nothing to do with the meaning of the holiday. Honestly Jesus has nothing to do with the true meaning of the holiday. It's a Pagan ritual that goes back thousands of years before Christ.

It's sad to watch people stress themselves to the point of shortening their lives because a bunch of greed-driven slime brainwashed primitive generations before us, and the weakest of us now still can't see it's all a scam.

What the hell does Christmas have to do with consumerism? Nothing, you dolts.

- Response by vabyss, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 36-45, Who Cares?

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Like some stated here, Christmas is not about gifts. It's about being together as a family. You go to the dollar store and make something for them. Beleive we understand when our parent has tpo work hard to make ends meet. I tell my parents every year that i dont want a gift. The biggest gift I prefer is to spend it with them and thank god that I have them another year and hope that there here for the following xmas.
Now not trying to be rude here, but you had all year to get gifts. I know its not easy to get them early. one thing I would suggest is putting 20-50$ on the side each pay check so that at the end of the yr depending how much you save ypu might end up with 1000$. I learned that the hard way and I know how it feels not to give someone something for christmas. I went 2 yrs with giving my parents and brothers gifts :( Good luck to you. Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

- Response by pooh89bear, A Career Woman, Female, 22-25, Baltimore, Retail

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presents are not what X-mas is about..be thankful that you have the groceries and hopefully you were able to buy a good holiday meal that you can make..there is nothing like mom's cooking and hugs on X-mas..it worth more than gifts

- Response by michellekia, A Thinker, Female, 36-45, St.Louis, Other Profession

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In my culture we did not give presents for Xmas. We cooked lavish dinners and listened to good music with the entire family. America is a very materialistic country. Our children are becoming that way.

Our children only want things from us and we work long hours to provide for them.

You have to be honest with your children and tell them that this year you do not have the money. They should be thankful they have a family a mother that loves them and takes care of them. There are so many kids who do not have a family.

This is all I can say. Do not feel guilty. Being poor is not embarrassing.

- Response by A Career Woman, Female, 36-45, Chicago, Other Profession

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