What kind of gift-giving traditions do you have in your family?
Does it seem to anyone else like the cousins and nieces and nephews just keep multiplying? Oh, I guess that’s because they ARE multiplying, huh?
Buying for multiple extended family members can add up QUICKLY. Let’s take just 10 extended family members, at $25 per person, and just that adds up to $250 and you haven’t bought anything for your spouse or your own children yet. WHEW! That’s a lot of extra money!
Here are a few ideas for keeping down the costs of extended family gift-giving.
1. Draw Names/Secret Santa
Here’s how it works… you put everyone’s name into a hat and draw a name of someone to get a gift for. The amount you can spend is already set, and you draw as many names as there are people in your immediate family. So if you have two adults and two kids in your family, then you’ll draw two adults and two kids names! If your limit was $20 for each gift, then you’ll only be spending $80 total instead of that $250 (or more).
2. Do a white elephant type exchange where everyone brings one gift.
Basically, everyone brings a gift that they think someone would enjoy (or, if you want to have fun with it, then everyone can bring something that they think would be funny, or however this type of exchange would best fit with your family). Then you draw a number and go in order opening one gift at a time. You can “steal” someone else’s gift and force them to open a new one, or you can open a new one yourself!
It’s my absolute favorite Christmas party game!! And I would definitely recommend having a kid exchange and an adult exchange (probably separately).
I also think this would be a ton of fun using gift cards! Everyone would bring a wrapped gift card of a certain amount to the family gathering. Then the game would be played just like any other time, but with gift cards instead!
3. Make It A Game
See who can get the best gift with the LEAST amount of money! One day, when Ryan and I have a slew of grandkids, this is what I want our family to do! You can mix this one up with some of the other ideas to (like a white elephant exchange or a secret santa).
Basically, the goal for each gift is to try to find the BEST gift for the LEAST amount of money, with a maximum spent of around $10 or so. I personally think this would go awesome with a white elephant gift exchange. 🙂
4. Set a gift limit amount.
If your family just isn’t into the family games, then consider at least just setting gift limit amounts. Chances are, if you’re feeling the financial gift burden, then others in the family are as well. A limit of $5-$10 is plenty for children, and possibly just consider forgoing gifts for other adults in your extended family altogether.
5. Have everyone give an edible gift!
What about doing a family cookie exchange? I remember one year I made homemade fudge for our extended family’s gifts and it was a HIT. It was super inexpensive and looked fantastic. You can find ALL KINDS of fun fudge recipes on Pinterest too! 🙂
How has your family saved money on extended family gift-giving? Do you just forgo it altogether or have you found another creative way to save?
Be sure to check out all of the other AWESOME blogs that are participating in the 12 Days Of Christmas series:
Christmas Homeschool Fun: 1+1+1=1
Christmas Decorations: Songbird
Tips for a Healthy Holiday: The Thrifty Mama
Travel Tips: Mom’s Travel Tales
Christmas Recipes: Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures
Christmas Family Fun: Life as Mom
Homemade Christmas Gifts: The Happy Housewife