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Thread: Were your parents frugal or generous at Christmas?

  1. #1
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    :gift: Were your parents frugal or generous at Christmas?

    My mother believed in giving one non-clothing item and one clothing item each Christmas. There were never any stockings and she did't buy candy. Christmas dinner was a duplicate of Thanksgiving dinner. She never baked cookies.

    How was it in your home as a child?

    "Hail him who saves you by his grace,
    and crown him Lord of all."

  2. #2
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    My parents went crazy. We got a ton of presents! Now our boys get quite the haul every year too.

    Our big dinner was always Christmas Eve. Fondue & homemade French onion soup. Christmas Day was usually just grazing on meat and cheese trays, assorted crackers and dip, etc....
    I love Outdoor Christmas Lights!!

  3. #3
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    My parents were frugal. My father could have afforded more, but he gave my mother a very small budget to work with, so she did the best she could. She tried to spend the same amount on each of us four children. I rarely got what I asked for, but it usually turned out nice. We didn't expect a lot of presents, so we usually weren't too disappointed. My mother would always buy several smaller, less expensive gifts when we were little, so it would seem like we were getting a lot. When I was very young, my maternal grandparents would come over on Christmas Eve, I think, and my mother made home made oyster stew; or was that New Years? lol, hard to remember now. Everyone loved the oyster stew except me. I was the picky one in the family. We always have a big Christmas breakfast and my mother's parents joined us for that, until they moved out west to Colorado Springs, where my grandmother was originally from, when I was 9. it always started with half a grapefruit, usually pink or red, that had been sectioned, with alternating red and green maraschino cherries in the centers. oh, and everything was set out in fine china, sterling silver, and crystal goblets. same with dinner, which was the main focus, meal-wise. it was also a duplicate of Thanksgiving dinner. We were not allowed to open any gifts until after breakfast, which was agony for us children, since the grown-ups would sit around the table afterward for what seemed like hours talking about very boring things, lol. we never had dinner til maybe 7, 6 at the earliest. and I always thought this was normal and was very surprised to grow up and find that most people have Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner much much earlier. my job, for years, and partly because I volunteered, was to polish all the silver, among other things. all the china, silver, and crystal were my mother's, which she inherited.

  4. #4
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    We didn't have any relatives come over at anytime except in 1966. Breakfast every day of the year was whatever each of us prepared for ourselves. My sister and I polished the silver (it was silver plate). The "china" was ironstone. That's funny about your Christmas dinner. My mother liked to have it at 2:00 pm and she was always very punctual.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaMike View Post
    My parents went crazy. We got a ton of presents! Now our boys get quite the haul every year too.

    Our big dinner was always Christmas Eve. Fondue & homemade French onion soup. Christmas Day was usually just grazing on meat and cheese trays, assorted crackers and dip, etc....
    Three out of our four children spend a huge amount of money on their children at Christmas. Your meals sound nice, not making the cook work herself to death.

  6. #6
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    My family was very, very frugal. My mother was on Government Assistance my entire childhood - but she really, really did her best at Christmastime. We always had lots of decorations (which I think she got from my Grandmother). Christmas eve was always spent at our Family's house (First my Grandmother every year, and then, after my Grandpa passed, we alternated betwen the aunts/uncles). We got a few small presents from them, which we got to open that day. And it was always a pot-luck turkey dinner. Christmas morning breakfast was ALWAYS bacon & eggs, but luckily my mom let us open our presents first.

    For being so poor, we actually got a LOT of presents. Firstly, our Stockings were stuffed to the brim. Sure, they might have been dollar-store toys and candy - but I think it was my mom's favorite thing to put together - she even wrapped every item inside. My mom would always try to get us one thing herself, that we "asked for", otherwise, she got a bunch of toys, games, art supplies, socks, etc donated from our local church & charity. I'd say I had 10-15 gifts a year!

    I appreicate everything my mom did to make Christmas a special time of year now - I realize that I get my love of Christmas from her.
    "Christmas: it's not the giving, it's not the getting, it's the loving." - Garfield
    I'm Co-Admin of AllThingsChristmas Forum - Click Here to Message Me with questions or if you need help!

  7. #7
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    I LOVE your story, Chantelle! That's really touching.

    "Hail him who saves you by his grace,
    and crown him Lord of all."

  8. #8
    Sadly I didn't grow up with very giving parents, and my parents also didn't make a lot of money so giving wasn't their strong suit. I on the other hand have turned it into an obsession and my son gets spoiled like crazy every year.

  9. #9
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    Even when I was very young, and my parents had significantly less money, my sister and I always seemed to have a lot of presents. Now, I honestly don't know what kind of budget was set. I know there was one though. My dad was a Teamster, and we managed on a single (blue collar) income my whole childhood. Now that I think back, I suppose we got a lot of "cheaper" stuff, but it was sure fun to open it all though!!

    For my wife and I, we both have good jobs, and we waited a bit before having kids. As a result, we can manage a little more for them. They seem to get that one "cool" thing they each ask for each year. This year will be no different. We work hard, and we are blessed.
    I love Outdoor Christmas Lights!!

  10. #10
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    We didn't have much money growing up, so I would say frugal. I know every year I asked for things that I didn't get. My friends also received more expensive gifts than I did, but somehow none of it bothered me- I was really happy and grateful for everything I got. I've been thinking about it alot this year, that I'm glad I didn't get everything I wanted back then. If I had, I would just be expecting everything on my list, rather than wondering what I would get. There was a rarity to things back then, that made me appreciate every little thing. I, also, have my mother to thank for making my Christmas memories anything but frugal, no matter how little money we had.

    I don't remember baking Christmas cookies, except occasionally, but my mother was always busy making craft gifts for our school Christmas bazaar.

    Christmas Eve was never really celebrated when I was a child- just church and an easy to prepare meal (I remember one year was Spaghetti O's- a big deal to me!). Nothing Christmasy was usually on tv (back in the days before cable). I would be so excited waiting for Santa, that most years I would make myself nauseous. lol As we got older, my sisters and I placed more emphasis on the Eve rather than the Day, because we loved the anticipation.

    We never had relatives over for the holiday growing up, either. They were all down in NYC. We went to see them some time afterward.
    We never opened any presents on Christmas Eve and we never had to wait to open presents on Christmas morning (Thank God!).

    Merry- do you have happy memories/feelings of Christmas as a child?
    The holly's up, the house is all bright, The tree is ready, the candles alight; Rejoice and be glad, all children tonight.

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