Author Topic: Apparently I'm a Scrooge  (Read 13972 times)

Taryl

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Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« on: November 26, 2013, 05:44:52 PM »
I'm done with the holidays -- Christmas specifically.   I don't want a dead tree or a plastic one.  I don't want to get stuff I don't want even more than I don't want to go to the mall to get stuff other people don't want.   I don't want a new party dress.  I think Christmas cards are bad for the environment. Can't use most of them in my composting anyway due to foil and such.  Why put out a snowman or white icicle lights on a house in sunny San Diego?  Matching wrapping paper, ribbons and bows?  Where's the creativity of reusing or making the wrapping part of the gift.  I won't begrudge anyone the food for thanksgiving or for Christmas, but why so much?  Appetizers all morning, several veggie dishes to include salad, every dessert imaginable.  Then it sits in the fridge for a week and then to the trash. 

My SO and I don't have family or traditions and would love to hear what others do to make Christmas special for two people. 


Lans Holman

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2013, 05:52:48 PM »
Sounds like a great opportunity to rent out your house on AirBnb for a few days and go camping or something.  There must be people visiting San Diego who would pay a premium.  If you don't have other family you want to spend time with, take the chance to just get away from all of it.

ender

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2013, 06:25:36 PM »
Write each other letters and read them to each other?

Zamboni

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2013, 07:04:17 PM »
Baahh!  Me too!  Haven't sent cards for years.

I have heirloom stockings made by hand by my great grandmothers, so we just do stockings. These are mainly filled with things like deodorant, toothpaste, and shampoo.  I find it feels nice to buy these essential items for the other person, paying special attention to exactly what he uses.  If we don't have enough "stuff," then we put oranges and apples in there as well.  A can of tennis balls is also fair game (one of the stockings is pretty big.)  This year he's getting two of his favorite hot salsas in his stocking (that I had to special order bc they're not available in our state.)  It's a win-win, although I think I enjoy it more than he does.  Probably because I've had the same stocking since I still believed in Santa.

oldtoyota

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2013, 07:57:33 PM »
Me, too. I don't want to celebrate. My mother does, though, so I'll acquiesce.

DS and I are cutting back (way back) on presents for each other. I think we're "buying" each other a bathroom remodel instead of lots of little things. The gifts I like to get are things I would buy anyway. That makes me happy. I don't much care about receiving gifts.

I find the holiday time with the concentration of parties, parties in bad weather, travel to faraway places that are cold, and the expense of buying stuff for people who have a lot of stuff to be unpleasant and not enjoyable.

I do like to cook, and I like to feed people. This year, my gifts will be mostly photo books and food items.




Nords

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2013, 10:05:25 PM »
My SO and I don't have family or traditions and would love to hear what others do to make Christmas special for two people.
Hanukkah.

brand new stash

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2013, 08:21:28 AM »
It sounds like you don't like the trappings of a traditional Christmas, but still ask in the last sentence how to make it special. 

Especially with two people, that's pretty easy, but will be highly individualized.  I think that you and your SO need to think about what Christmas means to you...is it a religious holiday? a festive occasion? an opportunity to show love? a respite in the middle of winter? or some combination.  Then go through traditions for Christmas and other holidays and think about which ones you like.  Do you like singing holiday songs? getting together with friends? volunteering? sleeping in and having a decadent breakfast? parades? beaches?   Think critically about what things you both like and dislike and do those things, and skip the rest.  Then afterwards review what you liked and if you felt like you missed anything?  Adjust next year.    Continue.

MoneyCat

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2013, 08:40:26 AM »
I have pretty much everything I will ever need, so the commercial aspect of Christmas doesn't interest me either.  I do like to decorate because it's pretty and it brings people joy.  I like walking through the neighborhood and enjoying my neighbors' lights as well.

In our household, Christmas is a religious holiday but it's also a time to enjoy the company of family and friends in a spirit of celebration.  Many of the gifts I give are either donations to charity or gifts to friends and family who have material needs that aren't being met.  To me, Christmas is a special time of year in which people can choose to turn off their negativity and simply spread some good cheer.

aglassman

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2013, 09:01:43 AM »
I really hate the card giving tradition in the U.S.  Is it like this in other countries?  Why do I have to spend $3 PER PERSON on a piece of paper that has some random S*@% written on it I'd never be able to come up with?  Just sign your name at the bottom! 

I've just decided that I'm doing self made cards this year.  Also, dw and I set a $30 max on gifts for each other this year.  No exceptions.

For traditions, we have two.  One involves a gift exchange with all the siblings and SOs.  It's like secret santa, we pick names at Thanksgiving.  There is a $20 limit.  This saves us from having to buy 10 different gifts!  The other tradition is our "buffet dinner" where we make a dinner buffet with things we normally never make like spinach dip, and fondue.  Then we watch The Grinch, Disney's Christmas Carol, and a buch of old Disney Christmas cartoons.  They don't make em like this anymore. Goofy learning to ski, the chipmunks driving Mickey and pluto crazy when they sneak in on the Christmas Tree, and my favorite, an epic snowball battle between two snow battle ships.  Cheap and fun! 


Bruised_Pepper

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2013, 10:09:33 AM »
I've watched the movie Santa's Slay every Christmas since I was a sophomore in college.  Yes, it's as bad as it sounds. 

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2013, 10:10:31 AM »
Plan a nice brunch for the two of you, bundle up and take a walk, hold hands, come home and watch a movie with some cocoa.

The holidays for us secular folks are about family and relaxation. It doesn't have to be hard. :)

Peanut Butter

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2013, 11:14:41 AM »
I've watched the movie Santa's Slay every Christmas since I was a sophomore in college.  Yes, it's as bad as it sounds.

My Christmas tradition is watching the MST3K of "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" while decorating. (I have one small box, so it doesn't take long.)

To the OP, I'm with you. I have informed my friends and family that I will not be participating in the gift-getting or receiving this year. There was much whining.

golden1

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2013, 11:41:10 AM »
I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate the idea of greeting cards.  HATE.  Such a waste of time, effort, energy, paper, everything! 

I take a picture of the kids - type a summary of what we did in the past year - and send out a nice email card to all my friends.  So much better.  I have people tell me that is tacky though.  Whatever.

Charlotte

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2013, 01:59:54 AM »
We watch Bad Santa every Christmas morning, then spend lunch with DH's parents. Nice, calm, relaxing. My MIL and I both wear our pj's and slippers. It's a great day!

Our big Christmas event with the whole family is on Christmas Eve. We opted out of present giving years ago, and now just get to enjoy the chaos. And relax on Christmas Day!

kiwibeach

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2013, 10:18:56 AM »
We go to the beach after breakfast on Christmas Day, but it's summer here.
We bailed from the family dramas four years ago, now it's us and the kids, and we do whatever we want, everyone chooses some special food a couple of weeks out, and that's what we eat, so bagels for breakfast, BBQ for lunch, leftovers for dinner.
We often meet friends at the beach too, accidentally or by design for morning tea, it's very relaxing. Yet I know that most people find it odd that we are not driving all over the countryside, or spending the day with extended family. When I hear their stories of stress and hours of driving, I'm reminded of why I like our Christmas.
I do need to find a Christmas Eve movie though, that might be this year's addition :-)

citrine

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2013, 10:51:45 AM »
This year, DH and I are not hosting Christmas!  I don't care where people go, but they are not coming here :)  We have the kids Christmas Eve and will either cook or go out...probably Chinese.  DH and I planning on chilling in our pj's and relaxing.  Maybe go for a walk and watch movies :)  We are also not going to host Thanksgiving next year!  It is liberating to not do it, but I just don't care anymore!

Taryl

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2013, 06:14:48 PM »
Thank you all for your comments.   We have just come home from a fancy pants thanksgiving dinner buffet.  My husband threw up at the end due to chronic viral pancreatitis and I lost my appetite after the third plate of sea food and never got to the turkey etc. 

In the future we'll take the dogs to the beach for a long walk and a swim, set up the shade tent and enjoy our free ebooks.   I'm done with the commercial world.   Too bad it's taken so many years to discover the simple love of a husband and two dogs.   

Osprey

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2013, 01:54:29 AM »
Thanks for everyone's suggestions and for the OP for asking.
My family never celebrated the holdays and maybe that's why I love them so much. Lights and carols and little kids running around. It's comforting to me.
So Mr Osprey and I are usually on call on Xmas (since our Xian colleagues make such a big deal out of getting the day off) but this year, for the first time ever, we're both not working on the day. Hooray for giving up overtime!
We're finally gonna get to do the movies + chinese food thing and I'm quite excited!

Elaine

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2013, 07:48:15 AM »
We do Chrismark, which is where we watch Peep Show, smoke some pot, and open presents together. It's pretty great.

Will

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2013, 07:54:04 AM »
I think I might splurge and start a new tradition this year: the casino.  There are a couple within a short drive of here.  A few hours of gaming (won't take more than $25 in cash, and who knows?  Might win something.) followed by the reasonably-priced buffet.  Not the most mustachian thing ever, but hey, once a year won't hurt.

MissStache

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2013, 08:26:13 AM »
I think I might splurge and start a new tradition this year: the casino.  There are a couple within a short drive of here.  A few hours of gaming (won't take more than $25 in cash, and who knows?  Might win something.) followed by the reasonably-priced buffet.  Not the most mustachian thing ever, but hey, once a year won't hurt.

My kooky aunt, who I love dearly, goes to Vegas every Christmas.  She LOVES it.

madgeylou

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2013, 09:25:42 AM »
We do Chrismark, which is where we watch Peep Show, smoke some pot, and open presents together. It's pretty great.

hahahaha sounds awesome. "but it's not traditional!!"

Elaine

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2013, 10:17:42 AM »
We do Chrismark, which is where we watch Peep Show, smoke some pot, and open presents together. It's pretty great.

hahahaha sounds awesome. "but it's not traditional!!"

hahaha, nice!

somepissedoffman

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2013, 01:08:15 PM »
I'm mega-scrooging this year.  There are just a lot of things I dislike about the whole season, primarily the gross abundance of unhealthy food.  I also think it's terrible to teach kids about Santa and gloss over Krampus.  come on.
I'm starting my own tradition of going on a long bike ride this year, as I apparently have the day off.

galliver

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2013, 02:43:06 PM »
This comic reminded me of this thread. http://theoatmeal.com/comics/christmas

Question to those who self-identify as 'scrooges': would you really rather live in a world without holidays, or do you just enjoy Grinching at the Whos enjoying their trees and twinkly lights and glitter snowflakes? Or is it that you can't seem to inject meaning back in the season? (I can understand that. I don't think I'll do Halloween again until I have a kid to dress up and take trick-or-treating. Glad other people enjoy it, but I can't get into it, plan a costume, etc.)

My personal outlook is that there is a reason people developed holidays and celebrations all over the world. Not all of them involve twinkly lights and glitter wrapping paper--they might feature red envelopes of money, candles, fasting/feasting, parades, fireworks, paint, etc.  but people everywhere felt the need to mark time, take a break from work, reflect, give, and so forth.  I was raised with Christmas(-like) traditions so they have positive associations for me and they are what I continue to celebrate. I ignore ads, Black Friday, etc. I just focus on what matters to me about the holiday--visiting my family, the shiny decorations, time to reflect on the year and thank everyone who contributed to it, give thoughtful gifts to my friends and loved ones (I don't stress too much about whether it's "what they wanted.")

mikefixac

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2013, 09:19:52 PM »
My wife gets on me for not getting excited about Christmas.

I make it clear to family not to buy me gifts. When I know I'm getting one, I have to go to Amazon to return the favor. I know, I'm a bah humbug.

We should have a contest. What would be the best sayings as everyone sits around the plastic tree, ripping off paper to get things that force them to stand in line at Walmart the next day?

Then I can memorize them and torment family as they open gifts they don't want. I already know I'm in trouble with wife because I'm sure the gift I bought her is not expensive enough.

Charlotte

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2013, 02:53:12 AM »
Mike -- If you don't "return the favor" they might actually stop. Just a thought!! (From someone who does not return the favor and still gets a few small gifts ever year.... I'm okay with it, and so are they!)

happy

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #27 on: December 22, 2013, 03:30:39 AM »
Another Xmas Grinch here. I can't stand it. But to keep the peace with family I more or less go along with the core of what they want to do.

I have my own quiet rebellion though: I refuse to get into the "gotta get this done before Xmas" thing, never send Xmas cards, avoid as many preXmas celebrations as possible,  don't do Xmas trees/decorations unless my young nephew is coming for Xmas day.

Oh and now we have cars wearing antlers....

lbdance

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2013, 11:16:48 AM »
I've tried to reign in the waste this year. Christmas with the in-laws. We already did a 'secret santa' draw a name out of a hat kinda deal for presents for the adults. This year I tried to suggest that we just bought for the kids but some people couldn't let go of the idea of getting a present. So I managed to drop the expected $ spend from $50 per present to $20. Will see how it goes on Christmas day. (I haven't heard any comments of scrooge but not sure what discussions I caused when I suggested / pushed no presents)
Our presents to each other for the past few years have been instead to buy something we need for the house. This year we replaced the outdoor umbrella (when it was on special) and got a new paddling pool (great for cooling off and not having to go to the pools etc). The quality wine glasses purchased with fly buys points are wrapped under the tree for my hubby. He might have forgotten they were coming.
I have also managed to control the Christmas food. Have offered to buy it all so there is not too much leftovers. Skipping the snack food as most people won't arrive till around lunch.

Zamboni

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #29 on: December 22, 2013, 10:16:41 PM »
If I lived somewhere that had enough snow to ski on Christmas day, then that is what I would do.

Oh, and our tree isn't even up yet.   Bah!

Empire Business

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #30 on: December 22, 2013, 10:24:39 PM »
If I lived somewhere that had enough snow to ski on Christmas day, then that is what I would do.

Oh, and our tree isn't even up yet.   Bah!

My husband tried this, but there is an unusual lack of snow in our mountains this year.  I was all in favor of him going for it if it worked.

I own zero decorations.  No tree ever.  I do go visit my relatives on the holiday and bring the required gifts.  I enjoy hanging out way more than the gifts.

shamelessHedon

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #31 on: December 22, 2013, 10:29:20 PM »
I friggin hate christmas.  The compromise here is we have a get together the weekend after. (Clearance shopping.) Everyone only shops for kids and our parents. No sibling gifts. Everyone brings a dish to pass.

We call it Giftmas. 

ichangedmyname

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #32 on: December 23, 2013, 05:49:32 PM »
This will be my third Christmas in the US and I have to say I'll give anything to spend it in the Philippines with my family. Christmas season there is not about presents it's about family time, catching up with your high school or college buddies, staying up till the wee hours of the morning chatting with cousins and aunts and uncles playing cards singing karaoke... so many more things to do. Maybe next year...

wtjbatman

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #33 on: December 23, 2013, 07:27:55 PM »
I respect scrooge's rights to dislike (or even hate?!) Christmas, but I don't like scrooges who try to preach to you about how terrible Christmas is, how the holiday season is just a front for runaway consumerism, etc. It's just as bad as those people who try to cram Christmas cheer down your throat every day. It's possible to really enjoy Christmas and the holidays for the idea of being thankful and spending time with family, and not whether someone got a new Xbox One or shiny necklace.

galliver

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #34 on: December 23, 2013, 08:47:31 PM »
I respect scrooge's rights to dislike (or even hate?!) Christmas, but I don't like scrooges who try to preach to you about how terrible Christmas is, how the holiday season is just a front for runaway consumerism, etc. It's just as bad as those people who try to cram Christmas cheer down your throat every day. It's possible to really enjoy Christmas and the holidays for the idea of being thankful and spending time with family, and not whether someone got a new Xbox One or shiny necklace.

You are fantastic.

Bruised_Pepper

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #35 on: December 23, 2013, 09:28:10 PM »
It's just as bad as those people who try to cram Christmas cheer down your throat every day.

This is why I actually embrace Festivus.  Christmas gets really fake--people expect you to cheery and "get in the spirit" and do everything according to arbitrary traditions.  To me, Festivus means being honest with yourself.  It's a reminder to be you in that  time of year where that's very hard to do. 

Richard3

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #36 on: December 23, 2013, 09:31:32 PM »
If I lived somewhere that had enough snow to ski on Christmas day, then that is what I would do.

Oh, and our tree isn't even up yet.   Bah!

I have and it's great - slopes are empty until after lunch, at which point it's time to go get some drinking done. :)

Empire Business

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #37 on: December 23, 2013, 09:34:46 PM »
It's just as bad as those people who try to cram Christmas cheer down your throat every day.

This is why I actually embrace Festivus.  Christmas gets really fake--people expect you to cheery and "get in the spirit" and do everything according to arbitrary traditions.  To me, Festivus means being honest with yourself.  It's a reminder to be you in that  time of year where that's very hard to do.

I am ready for the airing of grievances.

eyePod

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #38 on: December 24, 2013, 06:20:43 AM »
I exercise my tolerance muscle during the holidays.  There's a bunch of people who I really can only take a small amount of because of their complaining, bigoted views, lack of acceptance of even their own family members, but still, they're family and they're people.  Give them their space to be a part of my life even though I don't agree with them.

oldtoyota

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #39 on: December 26, 2013, 07:21:20 PM »
I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate the idea of greeting cards.  HATE.  Such a waste of time, effort, energy, paper, everything! 

I take a picture of the kids - type a summary of what we did in the past year - and send out a nice email card to all my friends.  So much better.  I have people tell me that is tacky though.  Whatever.

I like it. We write stories. We send them out. People write us to say they like the stories. We don't write boring cards, so that helps. We sometimes send them on paper. Sometimes, we send them via email in the email or as a PDF.


CommonCents

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #40 on: December 31, 2013, 07:24:59 AM »
If I lived somewhere that had enough snow to ski on Christmas day, then that is what I would do.

Oh, and our tree isn't even up yet.   Bah!

My parents first learned to ski on New Year's Day as somewhat newlyweds.  They say it was great, no one on the sloops at all.  Didn't ski much again till we moved to Alaska, and they put together an entertainment fund so we wouldn't go crazy over the winter.  Season passes for 5 of us and some racing lessons then was under $1000.  Now that's one mid-week season pass.

Itchin4Scratch

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Re: Apparently I'm a Scrooge
« Reply #41 on: January 02, 2014, 06:39:43 PM »
We make our own Christmas cards, usually a hilarious photo of the family.  People love them!
We buy a living tree as a Christmas tree (doesn't have to be evergreen), and then plant it after Christmas.
We cut up last years cards that we've received and make ornaments out of them.
We reuse gift bags for presents.  I haven't bought wrapping paper in years!
We give only one or two presents to everyone, even the kids.  We usually only get things we needed anyway, or something that is really thoughtful.  No crap-because-I-couldn't-think-of-anything-else allowed.  I hate getting crap.

Both of our parents on the other hand are very anti-mustacian.  They love getting crap, giving crap, wrapping crap, and just being all out wasteful.  It is very hard for them to understand our traditions.