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Secret Santa

November 18th, 2004, 08:24 AM
I was wondering if anyone does these in their families?

My older sister and I were consdering doing this with our immediate family (to save money as we are broke), but don't know where to draw the line as to who to include/not include.

Our younger two sisters are living with guys that we really don't want to have anything to do with, and thus I don't want to include them in the game. One sister has a son with one guy (which is a guy I was in school with who sexually assaulted several friends of mine) and the other sister is only 18 and dating a drug dealer who is over 30. So you can see why I don't like them.

However, if we don't include them, it would be unfair to include my boyfriend or my sisters husband as well.

The other problem is that my two youngers sisters don't really have any money anyway, and probably wouldn't get us gifts either way (neither have jobs). Last year my mother gave them money to buy me a gift, so technically, it was really a gift from my mom that they choose.

I really don't have the cash to buy gifts this year. If I work out the secret Santa with my family and bf's family (bf's family already mostly agreed), that means I buy two really nice gifts for each family secret santa, a nice gift for my BF, and something small for my neice and nephew.

Any ideas?

I was thinking maybe doing as a "family thing" so it would be in my parents are one pair, my sisters and their significant others are another paid, my BF and me are a pair.

November 18th, 2004, 08:38 AM
If you don't include the two sister's boyfriends, then make it a "girls" choice Christmas. If it's a theme they may not have any idea that they've been excluded on purpose.

If you choose not to do that, then you should include them in the gift exchange. If you don't, you stand the chance of alienating them, which would in turn tick off your sisters. If that happens, you may lose touch and they wouldn't have anybody to turn to when/if things go/get bad.

What Terri and I do is agree with the others to not buy each other gifts. Instead, we each buy the parents something. For siblings, nieces/nephews, aunts/uncles, we agree that spending the holidays together is THE most important part of the holidays, since it's too commercialized anyways. Young children ALWAYS get gifts, as Christmas time is a pure joy to watch them go crazy with stockings, ripping the wrapping to shreds, and getting all hyper on candy/chocolates/cookies.

I hope this gives you and idea or two. You could always make Christmas dinner a pot luck kind of thing. That way the sisters don't need to spend any money, and they can still contribute. :)

November 18th, 2004, 09:00 AM
That's an idea. Never thought of that. Not sure it would work though.

No worries about alienating them, because one sister already hates me anyway, and the other doesn't really care. Last year I didn't even see them at christmas because they didn't want to travel out to where we live (they are about an hour away)

The potluck would be nice, but they are so poor, they don't even have money for food. One sister (the one with the kid) has no job, is on welfare, and my parents buy her food. The other lives with her bf and his parents, and his parents buy the food. Neither has any money at all (neither of them even have a bank account).

Each year I try and be nice and get them things, but I'm finding it futile because they don't seem to care either way.

Maybe I'll just make some cookie or cake mix in a jar mixes for them which is fairly cheap, and mail it to them, since I probably won't see them.

November 18th, 2004, 11:59 AM

The only thing I can suggest is letting them know that you will always be there for them. It is the best thing that family memebers can give each other. Certainty that they will have help from people who love them dearly, when it is most needed. I am hoping that your sisters wake up, and see that they could be doing much better. All you can do is be there when they are going to need you, and don't turn them away if they ever come to you. They probably will one day.

It is a possiblilty that your sisters' so called boyfriends may be controlling them. It happend to my aunt. Her husband only married her, so she could be the "new" mother to his children, and give him more children. After they got married, he wouldn't let her have ANY contact with her family! Although I don't know the entire story in your case, it may be the same thing happening. So you really need to be there for them once they figure out that they are in a bad relationship.

November 18th, 2004, 01:38 PM
We've had a tough time of finding a way to please everyone without having to spend a ton of money. We all buy for our immediate families but with all of the grandkids (which are my nieces and nephews) we do a secret Santa.
This is kind of hard to explain so bear with me. There's 5 children (me being #5) and 5 spouses. 10 grandchildren (that are still kids, my son being 1 of them). Normally with a secret Santa you all put the names of the people involved a hat and then everyone that put their name in picks one. But my brother having 4 kids and us only having 1, my brother has to buy 4 gifts for each of the names his kids pick, with us having to only buy one gift for the name my son picks. That's not really fair, money wise. So we put all the kids names in a hat and all of my mom's kids and their spouses pick one child and buy them a gift (not their own of course)... it works out this year because there's the same number of grandkids as adults, but I haven't a clue how we're going to do it next year, if the family grows.
Pairs sounds like it would work for you guys. Although we all believe that Christmas is for the kids, that's why we do this for the kids... I know they get gifts from Santa but I could care less if I get one. We usually make something for each of my siblings, this year we're doing the jars with all the ingredients to make brownies or chocolate chip cookies, they're cute and personal, and kinda from the heart cause you make it yourself... they're not too much to make either, which is good... god knows we don't have much money! :D

November 18th, 2004, 01:49 PM
I don't think anyone has much money, except for the celeberties and pro sports people. I think that they get paid way too much. There should be a cap on how much a person can make in a year. And whatever goes past there cap, should be split amoung the hard working people. All celeberties have to do is entertain people. What about the people who have jobs that are really needed, like truck drivers, teachers, doctors and such.

November 18th, 2004, 01:54 PM
And I just found out, my mother and sisters ( 5 of them ) are all coming down to my house for Christmas. James and I don't even have the money to buy my three youngest sisters ( ages 12, 14, and 15 ) the smallest gift. We wouldn't even be able to buy them each a small stocking stuffer! But hey, they are going to be happy just being able to see me the first time in 8 months, and being able to go to Washington DC, if they want to. And as far as I know, my family doesn't have the money for gifts for James and I either, being that they are traveling 1300 miles, just to see us. Money doesn't make a gift. The thought and love you put into a gift does.

November 18th, 2004, 02:13 PM
Maybe, instead of people buying gifts, or even pot luck, you could suggest that everyone do something to help make the supper, not necessarily bring something. That way the guys can chill in the living room while they "bond" and the gals can get away from the testosterone (sp?) and relax with a glass of wine.

The sisters will feel like they're helping out without costing them anything. It'll also be a good bonding moment for you. One can mash the potatoes while someone else makes gravy. You get the idea.

November 18th, 2004, 03:00 PM
this is what gets me the most about christmas, the pressure to buy. its hard and often competative. i grew up with 24 aunties and uncles, and all of them were married and had at least 2 children, my living grandmother has 6 lining children, 27 grandchildren and 8 great grand children, so present buying is a challenge. we dont allow the adults to buy for one and other, we only buy for the childrenm and once you turn 18yo you odnt get pressies but a card, and that is nice. i dont care about the presents, jsut weather my family remember and love me.

i also make presents for extended family so you could do that for those awful BFs. i buy a cheap coffee mug around $1 at the dollar shop, and make coconut ice (slice in sml pieces) or smal shortbread biscuits. i fill a bag and put it in the cup and then wrap it all in some nice cellophane with a nice bow on it, i usually do that for hubbies grandparents and for stocking fillers. its personal, useful, tasty and thoughtful and the most special thing, i made it, its cheap, about $2 for each pres and every one gets a treat.

food is the best present, if i cant buy a prest for a birthday or similar, i jsut make the cake, its cheap, easy and nice. last year i made the christmas cake for a friend who i could not buy for but had us over for a meal, the6y really appreciated it and it lasted the week as it was big so it saved them money and hassle of buying a cake :thumbs up

but my sister is a single mum, and i think it is really important to spoil them at this time of year, they have a hard job and i think its really special to treat them at times. so if you ppl out there know a single mum, how bout making her a nice batch of cokkies for a bit of a treat. :love:

November 18th, 2004, 03:43 PM

This may be a suggestion to get them to come up for the holiday. Tell them that you would pick them up and bring them back home, if they would come up, and stay at a hotel, or even your homes, for a few days. Get some good sister sister bonding time in. Hey James and I were thinking about flying my 15 year old sister out here for a couple weeks, if she got all her grades in school above passing this year. Her vaction would have cost us nearly $500. A lot cheaper than driving a few hour for our sisters to be able to be with the family. And maybe that could be there present to them from you. Maybe one pair could pick up, and the other pairs could pitch in for the hotel rooms or something.

Just a thought.

November 19th, 2004, 08:13 AM
Thanks for the ideas everyone.

I don't think my sisters would like to visit. Like i said, they don't really like me (and I don't really like or trust them either). Last time my youngest sister came to visit, she stole a bunch of stuff from my apartment (and she was only there for 15 minutes!). My parents caught her in the car when they were leaving, and gave me back my things.

YOu have to keep in mind that my two younger sisters were devils. They have stolen or ruined over $5000 of my personal items (from cloths to stereos to everything!). I actually have a deadbolt lock on my bedroom door when I was in highschool to keep them out. They were so desperate to steal my things they actually broke the door down once! They have no sense of remorse for anything they do.

I just feel bad not giving them it's an obligation or something, because that's how it always was. Maybe I should just get over it, because they won't get me anything, and I'm broke anyway. I'll just tell my parents I won't be able to get them gifts this year, so they don't buy extra to "pretend" it's from them. I would rather spend money on my older sister and her family because she does so much for me and I owe her a lot (she is 16 years older than me, and I think because of the gap we get along really well)