As you know, for the past year John and I have been working hard to pay off debt and save more money. Christmas time is no exception. John comes from a large family. He is the last of 6 children. All of his brothers and sisters are married and all of them have children. The list of people to buy for is insanely long. I think the thing that bothers me most is that John isn't very close to any of his siblings. We spend all this money on people he doesn't even talk to. It is frustrating.
The last time we went back to Kentucky for Christmas, we gave everyone a gift card. Talk about EXPENSIVE! This year I decided that we were going to have a frugal Christmas. All of his brothers and sisters will be receiving crocheted top hand towels (crocheted by me, of course). Some of John's nieces have already started families, so those nieces will also be receiving hand towels. All of the kids/teenagers will get a regular present (ordered from Amazon with my Swagbucks money).
My side of the family is a little trickier. I am much closer with my family than John is to his, so in general I tend to put a lot more effort into my gifts. I know that this is unfair, so this year I am sticking to the towel hand gift for all of my aunts and uncles too. However, I do plan on buying something nice for my mother, grandmother, and my favoritest cousin (who is more like a sister). I am hoping that I'll have enough Swagbucks money left over to buy their gifts too.
So that is my attempt at a frugal Christmas this year. My kids aren't getting anything from me, which sounds mean, but really they won't even notice. John and I have already agreed to forgo buying each other gifts this year. The trip to KY definitely still has the potential to be expensive (putting the dog in the boarding kennel, buying gas for our LOOOOONG road trip, the inevitable dinning out, etc), but I feel like I am minimizing the costs as much as possible.