Hello out there! I hope that you are having a great Saturday today and the rest of the weekend is looking up.
Today’s question comes to us from “Jane” in Phoenix, AZ. I do have to apologize to Bob for not getting this question to him sooner, he will have to have a cantankerous response in the comments.
“Dear Cantankerous old Coots, I just read your Friday column about Black Friday and I had to ask a question. I just got back from a madcap day of shopping and spending way too much time and money for way too little items to hold. I have seen that Bob likes to make his gifts and Justin will be doing similar things, so when is the right time to say goodbye to the shopping and spending hamster wheel and give homeade items? And, If I give homeade stuff, will my family be mad that I didn’t spend money on them? Just wondering, “Jane”.”
Well “Jane” as usual this is not a question that is easily answered. Bob will probably have a better take on it in the comments. I for one like to spend money on my kids. I like to give them toys. I like to give fun things for Christmas. But, the past couple of years there has been so many toys that they don’t care about at the end of the season that we are scaling back. We are having each of the kids make presents for their siblings instead of picking up the first thing that they see in the store that is in thier price range. They are very excited about it. As for other family members, (extended) it just gets to be a silly hassle trying to find gifts. My parents don’t need anything, I don’t have the money to buy all of my nephews presents as well as my sisters so they get a family gift. And this year family gifts are baked. We are going to make cookies (from Bob’s shortbread recipie check it out at juicy maters.com) and these cookies will also be given to the neighbors for the holiday on fancy paper plates. We may even spring for some colored plastic wrap but it is not likely. So if the family doesn’t like the fact you are not going to spend money on them tough. Maybe you should have that talk with them now, the we can’t afford much, let’s just do family presents talk. That should help. if not, screw ’em. –Justin
Ralph chimes in:
As you think about making your own Christmas gifts, I suggest that you keep this in mind. When was the last time you received a homemade gift and how did it make you feel. For me, it brings back all the Christmas gifts my kids made for me over the years. Were they great gifts? I have to say no. Did I use them? I have to say no. Did I like them? I have to say no. What I can say is that I pretended to like and use them because I loved my kids. So my advice to you as you consider giving something homemade for Christmas is that you ask yourself if the recipient will love the gift because it is you that is giving it. If you have a speicial relationship then it won’t matter what you give and homemade is ok. Otherwise, I suggest going to the store.
Thanks for the question “Jane”! If you have a question that you would like a cantankerous take on email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave it in the contact form to the right. Thanks for reading!