This is from an email my dad sent to the family:
Coming from a large family, I picked up a few helpful hints for saving money at Christmas over the years. I thought I would share them with you...
1. E-mail each of your relatives individually and tell them that we had a drawing of names for Christmas gift-giving at Thanksgiving. Then tell each one that they got your name.
2. If you are sending Christmas cards, address them to yourself and write the name of the intended recipient on the return address part of the envelope. Then don't put a stamp on it.
It will be returned to sender for postage and you'll save a lot in postage.
3. Find a store that offers free Christmas wrapping and buy the biggest item they have. Have it wrapped for Christmas. When you get home, unwrap it and return the item to the store. You will have enough wrapping paper and ribbon for all the rest of the gifts.
4. Never buy live trees until after Christmas. On Christmas morning, tell your kids or grand kids that Christmas is still a few days away. Then go out and get a bargain on an unsold tree.
This works really well if you keep them off the phone and away from their friends for a few days before Christmas.
5. Gather the little ones and read them Santa's obituary a couple of days before Christmas. You will lower their expectations and save on toy purchases.
6. Drop subtle hints with people for a month or so before the holiday. For example, I sign most of my e-mails to vendors and colleagues with "Jim S., shirt size 17 X 35" Or "Jim S., who uses Titleist Pro Vx golf balls."
7. Whenever a vendor at work asks for my address to send the staff a holiday basket, I give him the name and address of a friend who I want to remember at Christmas.
I simply ask them to write "From Jim" on the card.
8. To get out of assembling that big, artificial tree you store in the garage for 48 weeks out of the year, simply tell the wife that the rats got into it. Women hate rats. They hate to have anything in their house that is remotely associated with rats. You won't have to spend the day putting all those color-coded branches in the stem and fluffing the boughs and spacing the lights.
9. Gather all the little kids in the house a day or so before the big night and tell them that Santa won't bring them anything unless they leave a case of Budweiser and a roast beef sandwich on rye with lettuce and mayonnaise.
10. For a really fun-filled Christmas morning, sneak downstairs the night before and switch all of the tags on the gifts.
I hope these suggestions will brighten your holidays. If not, may a sacred camel leave a holy relic under your pillow.
Jimmy who wears size L golf shirts