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I am beginning my 2011 Christmas planning. I need to lower the money spent on gifts, due to the additional number of grandchildren. I am on a retirement income. Any ideas?
By Linda Baker from Hendersonville, NC
I buy a certain amount each month. Some other ideas would be to buy them a movie pass, a gift card to a fast food place or a gift card to some place like WalMart. My grandkids love when they get gift cards to fast food places or WalMart. They range in age from 14-24.
I am on a budget and this past year my children have given me 4 grandchildren. Although I would love to buy them all expensive gifts, I just don't have resources. How do you grandmothers deal with the problem of lots of grandchildren and not a lot of money?
I'm not a grandma, but one grandchild out of 23. My grandparents always gave us each $10. It adds up to quite a bit, but it saves the hassle of finding a lot of gifts, and spending an exuberant amount! Another good idea that I would appreciate is start writing your life story. Give them what you have done by Christmas, and then pieces of it as you finish it for each special event. A third idea is write a personal letter to each one. As a kid, they may not appreciate or understand the significance, but when they are older it is something they will treasure forever - and it will make it so much more meaningful to know that they aren't "just another grandkid" but they as an individual are special to you!
I would love it if my children's grandmas would read books they loved as children onto cassettes for my children to listen too. I also wish they would tape all those wonderful family stories that are going to be lost, and make a special family tree notebook. Even tape stories of how you felt the first time you saw the grandchild anf other times that were special for the two of you. If you feel like you must include more McDonalds gift certificate are inexpensive and kids LOVE em!
Homemade items! Mittens, scarves, blankets, cookies, or cross-stitch their names and put it in a frame. You might also consider McDonald's gift certificates or a "gold" dollar. How about making up a booklet of the story of your life, including pictures of you as a child? It would mean so much to them in the future.
Jann McClain - Abilene, TX
I am a grandmother on a budget. When the grandchildren started to come along we made the decision not to buy toys. I refuse to buy clothing because I hated getting that from my grandmother. So I make things. Brownies, crocheted items, etc. Throughout the year I pick up crayons, books etc. and have those on hand for little presents. If the children are older, gift certificates for a special night at
grandma's house might work.
depending on the age of the child. there are various ways to do something for each child. You could make a little pillow for them to lay of the floor and put thier name on them.
I'm not a grandmother, but I have some ideas...
Homemade gift baskets....color books, crayons, markers, reading books, etc. (you can even print coloring pages form the internet.)
Craft baskets are fun too. (different color paper, markers, glue, scissors, pipe cleaners, eyes, pom poms, etc)
If your grandchildren live close enough, overnight coupons or afternoon coupons. include the things that you will do such as a lunch date-(either out to a restaurant or teach them how to make a lunch.), baking cookies, movie and popcorn, tea party, etc. I know my daughter has always loved doing things like this with grandma and she has learned to cook as well.
My grandmother had 13 grandchildren. We never got birthday or Christmas gifts from her. But every once in a while you would get a box from Gram and it would be full of gifts. It was always a surprise and that made it even more special. We each had our own crochet motif (mine was a butterfly). She would use up her bits and pieces of crochet cotton and crochet your special motif. Clothes were passed from grandchild to grandchild - but the rule was that your motif was sewn onto the shirt, dress, whatever when it was handed down to you - that made it "yours". My other grandmother opened a bank account for each of us - she added to it on each birthday or Christmas - it might only be a dollar or two but by the time college came around it was a nice sum.