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Christmas Shopping: Dog Friends vs Family

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  • Christmas Shopping: Dog Friends vs Family

    I am going overboard shopping for dog folks. At the same time, I’m asking my two sisters to not exchange gifts: it will be the Express sweater exchange or the email link exchange. No fun! All I want is dog stuff, car maintenance, entry fee money . But my sisters are not agreeing to not exchange.

    I don’t want to spend the same amount of money on my sisters as I am on dog friends/instructors. Worried I will exceed my means. But this is the opportunity to show the dog people who have helped me so much all year that I appreciate it. Am I being ridiculous? Unreasonable? Unrealistic?

    Agility mentor: $35 portrait of her dog who died suddenly. She will treasure it. Have to frame it: that’s $7 – 10?

    For two OB instructors: $40/each crate covers + embroidery. Minimum embroidery is $12/piece: no exact price until covers are in hand. At least $104 for both.

    For third OB instructor: $39.95 custom article bag that will say Teacher’s Pet. She currently uses an Easter basket to carry articles of all sizes to class for students to size.

    For agility instructor: a "Class Survival Kit": whistle, Excedrin Migraine, candy, soda. Exactly what she needs! $25? I could customize a tote bag ($17) or just throw it in a gift bag.

    Oh, and the dogwalker needs recognition. Waterproof gloves or a thermos…something for cold weather.

  • #2
    I guess you don't like your sisters very much.

    The holidays are not about the gifts and the amount of money spent. It is about caring for people. I guess I don't see why you can't find an appropriate gift in your budget for your sisters.
    Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule


    • #3
      I have much more fun shopping for dog or horse people than family!


      • #4
        Sounds like a cop out...don't like the sisters much? Although I can sympathize, my husband and I both come from large families...were were the only ones married on both sides for a long time. So, 10 presents to cover both sides. Of course, our siblings didn't understand why we couldn't afford to buy presents for everyone. We had just bought a house a year before and had a new baby. We tried asking they draw names for one gift, but they wanted to spend as much on the one gift as we would have for all the gifts total. So, we opted out. My family was OK with it, husbands, not so much. Tough, too bad. But, I didn't go spending money on friend's gifts either...we baked for everyone, so just the cost of ingredients.

        Christmas is a retail holiday anyway...I choose not to play the excess consumption game.

        I still bake. Since my grandmother died, I make a fruitcake for my brother and sister (with lots and lots of bourbon). My other sister hates fruitcake, so I order her chocolates from her favorite Ocean City, MD candy company.


        • Original Poster

          I like my sisters. But not the links.

          I like my sisters! We are close in age, friendship, and geography. Sounds like I need to re-think how I'm feeling about emailing each other links.

          I really don't like emailing links to the exact item/s we want, each of us guessing or feeling out the acceptable price range, assigning a link to a sibling. Zero creativity, thought, or surprise! And neither my younger sis nor I can think of anything, anyway.

          It has taken the fun out of it.

          I like thinking long and hard about a person. Then creating or finding that personal something which I am proud to give. That's why the dog gifts have been so fun!

          Maybe that's backwards/selfish of me? The gift is for the receiver; not for me to feel warm and fuzzy....
          so if big sis wants a gift card, that's ok Ugh we've never devolved into gift cards before.

          LauraKY- yes we are large: 2 immediate sisters, 3 stepsibs, one nephew, 2 sets of parents, multiple sets of grandparents. So we sisters get together for a big baking day then gift-wrap the baked goods. Now that is fun and a present I am proud to give.
          Last edited by Bicoastal; Nov. 17, 2011, 12:01 PM. Reason: Guess my problem is two-fold: not wanting to spend equivalent money on Assigned Gifts or gift cards.


          • #6
            Why not do more homemade type gifts? that way you dont have to go overboard in budgets.. I am going that route this year with almost EVERYBODY on my list..family and doggie friends included!


            • #7
              I don't see why your sisters need to know how much you spend on your dog friends.

              While I appreciate how you like to give gifts (I'm the same way) you have to understand ultimately you have to give the give the recipient wants. If that's a soul-less gift card, so be it.

              I love the ideas you've chosen for your dog friends. For years when I celebrated Christmas with my closest dog friends I got the BEST gifts! My favorite was four hog panels covered with no climb wire (put together by one of my friends) and t-posts so I could make a 16'x16' pen for puppy turnout.

              Regarding the whole gift exchange thing, ten years ago one of my older brothers informed me, that my brothers had discussed it and from then on there would be no gift exchange between the four of us. The reasons were varied, ie. we were all adults; money should be spent on the nieces nephews under 21 - no presents for those over; it was inconvenient since we all lived so far apart. They (my brothers) didn't need anything, they could buy whatever they wanted. I WAS CRUSHED. I was the one living on air at times, yet still I mananged to send them stuff they USED because I THOUGHT about them. They apparently couldn't be bothered to think. One of my SILs was on board with that, the younger two were horrified that this was sprung on me, as I was the only single sib w/o anyone to share Christmas with.

              In tears I informed him that if he didn't love me enough to send a present, that was fine, but NO ONE was going to tell me who I could send a gift to. In the years since, I've stopped gifting that brother and my eldest. Since I still spend Christmas with my middle bro and his family we've always continued to gift. Families are weird, and I've come to realize that gifts really must come from the heart. If they don't, it's just merchandise disguised as affection. I'd take home made cookies over a prepackaged 'bath set' gift any time.
              Last edited by Kryswyn; Nov. 18, 2011, 11:51 PM.
              ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
              Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

              "Life is merrier with a terrier!"


              • #8
                Perhaps the system my sister and I use would work. When she moved across the country, gift-giving became difficult - we didnt see each other to know what the other wanted and there was the issue of sending it. Finally we decided that we would exchange a small, mailable rememberance gift - sometimes comical, sometimes sentimental. Then we would take the money we would have spent on a big present and buy something for ourselves! We have to report to each other by January 25th what present we got. And if anyone asked - the answer was "It is a Christmas gift from my sister."

                It is a great excuse to shop the sales and indulge yourself!


                • #9
                  I can kind of understand the issue with e-mailing each other links. While sometimes it is nice to know what someone wants, it can also make it less fun and awkward with price ranges. Maybe it would be worth it to aks your sisters how they would feel about having a year with homemade gifts or a year with gifts or a year where you get rid of the lists and the links. Direct links to certain items does kind of take away the fun of the gift exchange. It does kind of get to the point where if everyone is saying exactly what they want, then at some point maybe we should just all get ourselves a present and then forget the rest of it.


                  • #10
                    That does sound like a Christmas magic blocker. General ideas I can understand, but an exact link with exact price? Nope. I would boycott the system and say, "I will send you a gift selected by myself with thought instead."

                    The only thing remotely similar I've ever done is that once years ago my Mom, realizing her non-horsey-IQ, asked me to take one of the big annual catalogs I get and mark all the items under $100 that I wanted. I then gave the catalog to her, and she "shopped" from it for Christmas, birthday, etc. Neat system! But there were dozens and dozens of things marked, and she picked on her own; I never knew exactly what the box contained until unwrapping. And the whole "you mark what you want" was her idea, not mine, just because she wanted to get me some useful horsey stuff but didn't know enough to shop well.


                    • #11
                      Both my brother and sister live far away now, both have 100x my income, and more 'stuff' than you can shake a stick at. I tend to get them "consumables" that I know they like or some small thing that caters to their personal interests. For instance I got my sister a lovely (just like the big horses) leather halter and made a mini-sized cotton lead rope for her newly acquired mini donkey one year.
                      "The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear" ~ Socrates


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MsM View Post
                        Perhaps the system my sister and I use would work. When she moved across the country, gift-giving became difficult - we didnt see each other to know what the other wanted and there was the issue of sending it. Finally we decided that we would exchange a small, mailable rememberance gift - sometimes comical, sometimes sentimental. Then we would take the money we would have spent on a big present and buy something for ourselves! We have to report to each other by January 25th what present we got. And if anyone asked - the answer was "It is a Christmas gift from my sister."

                        It is a great excuse to shop the sales and indulge yourself!

                        I don't have siblings, but this is a great idea!