Tuesday, December 24, 2019

How I'm Gifting This Year For the Holidays and Anneleise's Birthday

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm always changing up how I do gifting for the holidays with my kids. The one thing that always stays the same is I never do a million presents, I always keep things on a budget. Yes, presents are nice, but no need to go overboard. If giving lots of gifts is what you want to do, whatever floats your boat, as long as you budget for it. But personally, I do find that when my kids get a bunch of gifts at once, they don't even appreciate them, and they definitely show more appreciation for less, but well thought out gifts, than a ton of gifts given at once.

So, here is what I actually am doing about gifts and gifting this year.

First of all, I just took my kids on an amazing trip to Bulgaria. We did so many fun things, like go karting, trampoline parks, playing in the snow, ice skating, and skiing! And then we came back to our country and we went on a glass bottomed boat, saw corals and fish and dolphins up close. So my kids knew that even though I did this frugally, this was an expensive trip, and they understood that that trip was the majority of their gifts for this year. I'd much rather gift experiences than things, because things break, but experiences last forever in our memory (and pictures definitely help)!

Speaking of experiences instead of gifts, Anneliese turns 8 on December 26, and she requested that for her birthday we go ice skating. Yes, we just ice skated 2 weeks ago in Bulgaria, but she loved it so much that she requested that we go again. And I won't just take her, I'm taking all the kids. Yay for fun experiences! Yes, it is quite a bit more expensive than in Bulgaria, but birthday girl gets her birthday wish and everyone else gets to have fun!

Lots of municipalities in our region have free holiday events that they are throwing for families. I plan on taking my kids to them for more fun experiences that don't cost money and don't clutter up a home.

For Anneliese's actual present for her birthday, I bought her a beginner's purple sparkly telescope that comes with a kids activity book, glow in the dark space stickers, and a lunar chart. I also got her a space game. To be honest, these are a little on the pricier side, but I really want to encourage my daughter to like science, it's a very highly rated gift, and I know many girls who loved these, so after suggesting it to her, she was excited about it and I decided to go for it.

About 2 months ago I posted that I was looking to buy a low cost version of the game Ticket to Ride and a friend told me that she had the game that her kids no longer used and she offered to give it to me for free. When I came to her house she saw how excited I was about that game that she decided to give me a bunch more games they no longer play, some which they never used. I gave my kids Ticket to Ride that day, but hid the rest without telling my kids that I had them. They'll be gifted them soon. I have the games Sequence, Killer Bunnies (with a few different expansion packs) and a Settlers of Catan Expansion pack (we have the original)

And last but not least, yes, each kid also got an individual gift via the Secret Santa we did. This great game is fun for the giver as well as the receiver, and makes sure that each person ends up with a great gift!

Other than them, I didn't get anyone gifts other than a Lord of the Rings mug for my coffee and Tolkien loving best friend, Michelle.

What are you doing about gifts for the holidays, if at all? How do you try to do it on a budget?


  1. Oh, lucky friend Michelle! That is a hilarious mug! LotR rocks! Great ideas for a family, some I may apply myself in future. Happy holidays!

  2. Glad you had a great holiday season and b-day for your little one. I hope she likes learning about the stars. For the last 2 years I have asked my family what they want, my parents usually give me a gift card but this year my Mother didn't go shopping for anyone other than the adult kids. I noticed she was gifted a spinning spice rack and told her I would love one of those. So she gave me her gift since she has a built in spinning spice rack in her cabinets. Talk about frugal.
    I tried to keep my budget to around $20 a person and I no longer buy my husbands side of the family adult children anything since there are 6 of them. I just get the parents of the kids stuff and my in-laws. I try really hard to get everyone something I know they will appreciate and enjoy and so far, I've killed it on gift giving every year now that I'm making some extra money. Next year I want to try my hand at more handcrafted gifts. Turns out blank t-shirts and fabric paint are pretty cheap. Have a great holiday Penny.


Thank you for leaving a comment on your blog. Comments are moderated- please be patient to allow time for them to go through. Opposing opinions are permitted, discussion and disagreements are encouraged, but nasty comments for the sole purpose of being nasty without constructive criticisms will be deleted.
Just a note- I take my privacy seriously, and comments giving away my location or religion are automatically deleted too.