Having a Good Christmas Without Gifts

November 26, 2019

A Christmas tree with no presents underneath.Every year, we would have Christmas at my mom's house. My family is only me, my mom and grandma, so every year a handful of friends would come celebrate with us. Every Christmas, everyone would stress over who is getting who what. I always thought it was funny because really we were all fighting because we want to give more and more.


Anyways when my mom got diagnosed with cancer, we had one last Christmas. It was me, my mom, and grandma only. I told them "let's not do presents." My mom wanted to still do Christmas for my grandma and me, but she didn't want anything because she wouldn't have time to enjoy it. We all decided we all are having a no present Christmas. Honestly presents were the last thing on our minds.

As sad as it was that Christmas was the best Christmas. Just the three of us together. I learned that the presents isn't what makes Christmas, it's truly just being with the people you love the most. That is the best Christmas present. Thank you for letting me share.

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4 Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

November 22, 2005

Christmas is caming and I don't have money to buy gifts for my kids and I know that all we need is our love. I just would like the kids to be happy so how can I make a good Christmas for my kids without gifts?

Mommy4 from Lincoln, ME


By Charlotte (Guest Post)
November 22, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

First are memories. Decorate your tree together. Make your meal as special as you can with little details like specially folded napkins. Play games together, especially table games. Read seasonal stories.


If you have time and a few items around the house that can be recycled you can create some simple gifts for the children. This site has a ton of ideas > Some of the ideas shown may spur your own thoughts as well. Simple things can be made special with a little bit of creativity.

It is the love behind anything that is the most important. Best wishes!

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By Connie A. (Guest Post)
November 22, 20050 found this helpful
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Christmas is about giving not getting. How about baking cookies with your kids and as a family take them to an elderly person who would enjoy a visit from kids as well as the sweet treat. Your kids will learn the lesson that making others happy and putting a smile in someone elses heart is what Christmas is all about. Merry Christmas and happy sharing !

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By Cheryl from Missouri (Guest Post)
November 22, 20050 found this helpful
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You could write down stories (funny or heart warming) about different things they've said or done. Things that make them special, unique and loved.


It will be especially meaningful in your own handwriting. I would have loved to have something like that from my now deceased mother.

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November 24, 20051 found this helpful
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Even small towns usually have a church or organization that helps families in need. Do you have a thrift shop that might have something for a small gift for each child? Baking, helping serve a meal to the homeless, playing in the snow in Maine, making snowflake ornaments and other crafts can be such fun. We pulled taffy Christmas day in my modest household. Just love each other, that is what they will remember. Kindness and love go a long way to help a child form into a fine adult, money isn't the secret to happiness by a long shot.

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By janicej (Guest Post)
November 25, 20050 found this helpful
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When we were young and didn't have money for fancy Christmas decorations and presents, I would figure out how to make a special christmas ornament we could all make and decorate the tree with it. Every year we would make new ornaments and date them. Thirty five years later, we are still putting those ornaments on the tree.


They help to bring back many special memories. We also played board games with the kids. To this day, they love playing games and have continued playing games with their families. We baked together and the kids loved it. Include family and friends in the things you do and the memories will be priceless.

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November 4, 2008

I am a very young disabled woman, 44 and I am on SSI, there is just no extra money at the end of the month. No matter how I work and rework the budget it just isn't there, short of moving to the slums I have no extra. I have a newly married son who is 23 and his wife, I want to be able to give them something for Christmas, but I have no money and Christmas is so commercialized.

I know they do not expect anything because of my situation but if anyone could give me some ideas I would really appreciate it. I love them so much and just want to share the holiday with them somehow.

Dana from West Sacramento, CA


December 19, 20150 found this helpful

Hello and Merry Christmas to you and your beloved family. I too am faced with the infinite love for my daughter and making Christmas special for her too is a challenge financially this year due to two recent surgeries and being off payroll since July till present. So broke I almost can't pay attention. What I've done so far is:1- I located a pretty can and will make it into a basket.
2- for .88 cents each I purchased light switch covers at Home Depot, mod podge glue and decorated it with a collage of her favorite things, pictures of Alvin Ailley dancers. You tube has great how to videos. I will include a decorative book for a journal. Some Swiss Miss cocoa pkgs. and whatever other doodads I might find. Best wishes and God be with you in all you do.

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June 9, 20160 found this helpful

The best gift ever was from someone who wrote me a letter about myself through the giver's eyes. It was very plain--not an attempt to flatter, and not one of lengthy detail. It named things that I had done that were appreciated, and some things I did over and over that defined some character traits.


It was written on recycled pieces of paper bags cut with wavy lines with shaded borders and a tiny ribbon holding the "pages" together.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 7, 2011

I am a very young disabled woman, 44 and I am on SSI, there is just no extra money at the end of the month. I have a newly married son who is 23 and his wife, I want to be able to give them something for Christmas.

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