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November 15th, 2008


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09:33 am - Thoughts on Christmas with no money
I'm not going to whine, don't worry, I'm rather used to holidays with very limited funds.

But I am not used to being a grownup with lots of friends and family and not being able to get anyone Christmas gifts. I haven't been buying gifts during the year (something I often have done lately) because I'm so broke, and I just can't see having much (any?) resources free in the next month, or afterwards.

Anyone have idea for alternatives to gifts? Cards are pricey, too. And I am not a crafty person, so making stuff doesn't seem real appealing.

*sigh*

Maybe I should just come to grips with the fact that my awesomeness is gift enough, and let you all know it? ;-)
Current Mood: chipperchipper

(40 lit candles | Light a candle)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:persephone_kore
Date:November 15th, 2008 05:45 pm (UTC)
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For fandom friends, you could offer drabbles. For real-life friends and family, or for fandom people you're especially close to, you could write letters about what you think of them -- heck, get a pack of heavy paper and some pretty stickers, fold the paper neatly and slap a sticker on the front, and you have cards to write them in if you want. Time-consuming, but not very expensive, and a chance to tell them important things that you don't often mention.

This is, admittedly, not very helpful when you exchange gifts with relatives whom you only see on the holidays and don't actually know very well, but then it's hard to pick out gifts for them anyway.
[User Picture]
From:rabidsamfan
Date:November 15th, 2008 06:11 pm (UTC)
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Drabbles and letters are both awesome ideas.

For people nearby 'gift certificates' for an hour of babysitting, or an afternoon of house cleaning make great gifts or some other time-gift are great.
[User Picture]
From:sarcasticval
Date:November 15th, 2008 06:10 pm (UTC)
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Maybe I should just come to grips with the fact that my awesomeness is gift enough, and let you all know it? ;-)

Of course it is! *grin*

I usually don't do gift exchanges for that very reason (cashflow, not general awesomeness) so I promise not to get you anything if you'll do the same ;)
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:November 15th, 2008 09:42 pm (UTC)
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I usually don't do gift exchanges for that very reason (cashflow, not general awesomeness) so I promise not to get you anything if you'll do the same ;)

See, that's my other problem. I am ashamed to admit this, but I'm going to feel somewhat guilty if people get me presents when I can't get them any; but otoh, I'm going to feel really bad if I don't get anything, too. (Just like regular life: I feel like shit because I don't have the energy to care for people like I usually do, but I desperately want people to take care of me anyway.)

Uh...that's probably kind of emotional TMI, but whatever. :-)
[User Picture]
From:feliciakw
Date:November 15th, 2008 06:53 pm (UTC)
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Um . . . honey? You're a writer. 'Nuff said.

As has mentioned above, letters and notes (how do you feel about poetry?) are all well within your ability to provide. It could be fic for your fandom friends, letters or poetry for RL friends and family.

Just . . . a paragraph relating a favorite memory. Or a list of things, both silly and serious, that remind you of the person. If you're comfortable with something structured, try a haiku or other structured poem (haiku is the only structured poem style I'll even attempt).

That's the kind of gift that people cherish for a very long time.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:November 15th, 2008 09:43 pm (UTC)
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I don't do well with poetry. It has to be inspired, and I can't write it unless I have that, and I can pretty much never write it "to order."

I'll think more about this, see if I feel like it's something I can do, that it would be worth the time.
[User Picture]
From:tree_and_leaf
Date:November 15th, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC)
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Drabbles and so on for fandom. The letters are a nice idea, too.

Also, baking. Baking ingredients needn't be all that expensive, and everyone loves home made Christmas biscuits (or I suppose I should say cookies...) Jam's good for presents, too, but it's really the wrong time of year (though you could make raspberry or fruits of the forest jam out of frozen fruit).
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:November 15th, 2008 09:44 pm (UTC)
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I'm not a good cook. Not that I can't cook--if I have a book, I can--but I'm not...good at it. No jam, that's too hard. *g* But yeah, maybe I could make cookies or something for local friends.
[User Picture]
From:lizamanynames
Date:November 15th, 2008 07:08 pm (UTC)
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Maybe I should just come to grips with the fact that my awesomeness is gift enough, and let you all know it? ;-)

Works for me! XD
[User Picture]
From:jhall1
Date:November 15th, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)
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Maybe I should just come to grips with the fact that my awesomeness is gift enough, and let you all know it? ;-)

Yep. :)

You could always claim that you are campaigning against the commercialisation of Christmas. :)
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:November 15th, 2008 09:44 pm (UTC)
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LOL!
[User Picture]
From:kerravonsen
Date:November 15th, 2008 11:02 pm (UTC)
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When I was a child, I had a thing about making sure that ALL my gifts were handmade. Though I am a crafty person, that didn't mean the gifts had to be complicated. In a family of bibliophiles, the best gifts turned out to be bookmarks. You can never have too many bookmarks if one is a bibliophile. Another one was stationery, but that's probably less useful nowadays.

Ideas:
- if you have a spirograph, either stationery or bookmarks decorated with cut out and pasted spirograph images
- bookmarks based on large butterfly clip paper clips; the paper clip is the actual book-mark, then you attach stuff to it to decorate it. Me, I do macrame on it with thick yarn, but even tying on ribbons would be nice. It's the most useful kind of bookmark I've ever had, because it doesn't fall out, it doesn't damage the book, and it doesn't wear out.
- paper or cardboard bookmarks covered with self-adhesive clear contact (or clear wide packaging tape). You don't have to be super-arty to decorate them, heck, stick stickers onto them if you like. Or get different colours of construction paper and make a design by cutting out gradually smaller rectangles in colours that go pleasingly together and sticking them on top of each other. Or print out bible verses on them. Or decorate them with pretty rubber stamps.
- yarn and bead bookmarks; thread three strands of yarn through large beads, make it a loop (or attach in some other way) and then plait the yarn into a long tail. The tail part goes in the book, and the bead part sticks out the top of the book.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:November 15th, 2008 11:37 pm (UTC)
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Yeah.... I really am not at all crafty. To the point where stuff like this kind of drives me nuts unless someone else plans it and I just sort of participate. Heh.

(Although, those butterfly clip bookmarks are kind of cool. Better than the paper ones, which my house was always overflowing with as a child. We stopped buying each other bookmarks long ago, there were always so many! *g*)
[User Picture]
From:whitemartyr
Date:November 15th, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
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your awesomeness is gift enough!!!

Orr... how about a letter, or is postage too much? I mean just a classic old handwritten letter?

I'm crap with presents and everybody knows it. So, what do I know? :P

[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:November 15th, 2008 11:38 pm (UTC)
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Oh, for some of my long-distance peeps, I could certainly do letters. :-)

I am also crap with presents, but that mostly just means that if I try, I really want the presents to be good. Because pointless presents always seem dumb to me. Heh.
[User Picture]
From:kalquessa
Date:November 15th, 2008 11:21 pm (UTC)
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Drabbles sound good. I can't remember if you bake? Because if you do, cookies/brownies/zucchini bread make really good gifts for RL friends.

But seriously, you shouldn't feel like you have to buy/do anything right now. I'm sure everybody understands that you don't have any extra money right now.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:November 15th, 2008 11:40 pm (UTC)
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I can bake. I often don't, because I'm just not a gifty person and there's no one here to bake for on a regular basis. Also, money. (Also, LA and no central air conditioning, *snerk*)

I guess I'll just have to see if I can come up with anything, and then make up my mind not to worry about it.

(I am in such a mood. I think I need to write wee!chester fic or something, or h/c with lots of c. Can't even blame today on hormones.)
[User Picture]
From:sallymn
Date:November 15th, 2008 11:57 pm (UTC)

Couple of things I've seen...

(Link)

One of my cash-challenged but unhandy friends went for the 'cookie in a jar' idea like this for her more culinarily competent relatives. You can find quite nice cheap jars, and don't have to do the cookery :)

An aunt with a garden but not much money made up potplants or cuttings.

Then there's always IOUs for those you can think of something you can promise... :)

[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:November 17th, 2008 06:11 pm (UTC)

Re: Couple of things I've seen...

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Yeah, I may end up going with the IOUs, as there is no garden here (yet). Although... I do seem to remember a couple of friends who wanted cuttings from our Meyer Lemon tree.

Hmmm, my mom used to do the 'cookie in a jar' thing, that might work too!
[User Picture]
From:scionofgrace
Date:November 16th, 2008 01:52 am (UTC)
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While I combined it with a gift certificate to a restaurant, my brother and sister-in-law probably would have been perfectly happy with just the offer of free babysitting.

Time spent with someone can be a gift enough, especially if it's someone you know well.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:November 17th, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC)
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The problem with giving the gift of time (which I used to do all the time when I was a poor teen) is that many of my friends and all of my family are too far away. :-P But for the local ones, it might work pretty well.
[User Picture]
From:leelust
Date:November 16th, 2008 04:37 am (UTC)
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the fact that my awesomeness is gift enough
Like it's not? Seriously, do what you do best - write.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:November 17th, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC)
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:-D

I'll see what I can come up with, around the projects I'm already working on.
[User Picture]
From:sciencewizard
Date:November 16th, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
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For anyone out of town, write thoughtful letters. For in-town folks, make chocolate-covered strawberries (or if the strawberries are too pricey, use dried apricots).

1. Melt chocolate on 1/2 or 1/3 power in the microwave.
2. Dip strawberries.
3. Set on wax paper to cool.
4. Cool in fridge.
5. Put in cute little boxes, or when you run out of cute little boxes, use plastic bags tied with cheerful ribbons.

Actually fairly straightforward... used to do this for Hanukkah in high school when I get sick of shelling out for cheap plastic tchotchkes that no one ever really used.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:November 17th, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC)
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*adds to list of ideas* I've made chocolate-covered strawberries before, and iirc, it was hard to get it to work. But that might work a try.
[User Picture]
From:scorptilicus
Date:November 17th, 2008 09:51 am (UTC)
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Uh... your time and presence?
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:November 17th, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC)
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Only works for local peeps, unfortunately. But that's certainly on the list.

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