Merry Day After Christmas! Santa Bring You Everything You Wanted?

Hope everybody had a wonderful Christmas!  We spent time catching up with family and exchanging small gifts.  Nobody went overboard on spending, which is exactly the way we all like it.  My parents have a penchant for re-gifting things from many years ago, and most of this year’s presents are no different.  One of the boxes contained 15 year old polo shirts that emitted a strong scent of moth balls!  I will cherish them forever, or until they fall apart, whichever comes first.

Our family realized early that buying presents for each other was quite unnecessary after we kids grew up.  We therefore made an unspoken pact to gift each other things with no effort or pretense.  In fact, it’s almost become a game as to how much of our used stuff we can offload onto each other!  I gave a couple over-sized shirts from 2003 to my father, and a packet of dried plums to my mother.  We all laughed at our gifts and took some happy photos.

Our idea of Christmas is the reunion of family.  We’re a family that’s constantly scattered throughout the world, and when we get to reunite, we don’t waste much time giving gifts.  Instead, we talk stories over meals, lots of meals that test all our dietary New Year’s resolutions.

May none of you have to go back to the office until Monday, January 4th or work too hard if you do!  We’ll be coming out with some fun short posts for the rest of the year since it doesn’t seem like too many people are around.  Happy Holidays!

Related Post: “Losing Your Way To More Money” (If you want to lose weight, you should read about my 6 month experiment.  Only one thing matters and it’s not exercise!)

Keiju,

Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”

 

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

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Comments

  1. Moneyreasons says

    Sounds like a great Christmas!

    I have two young kids, so our Christmas routine is a bit different than your currently. But I’m sure once the kids get much older, we’ll go a similar path as your family. Already my wife and I just get each other something to put under the tree…

    Your “Losing your Way to More Money” was a great read! I’m doing something similar presently, and next year I’m going to incorporate more physical activity and quality foods. My experiment was to to save money and invest it in a dividend producing fund, then use the money from that fund to pay for some lunches…

    After reading your food experiment, I’ve now decided to add to my New Years resolutions… I’m going to go read thru your archive to see the great articles I may have missed. A few a day, starting with the earliers, then going forward.

    Have a Happy New Year! (I’m one of those unfortunates, that will be working next week)…
    .-= Moneyreasons´s last blog ..Thinking about 2010 New Year, Random Thoughts =-.

  2. David @ MBA briefs says

    You have a great attitude towards the holidays, too many people get wrapped up in the gift giving and unnecessarily stress themselves out. Plus how many of those perfect gifts get returned by the receiver? I agree the important thing is to spend quality time with your family.

    Interesting article on “Losing your way to more money”. I took a class on nutrition when I was in college and the professor and one of the first things the professor taught us was the only way to lose weight was to burn more calories than you consume. There’s no way around it. I hope people who make a New Years resolution to lose weight take the time to read your article.
    .-= David @ MBA briefs´s last blog ..How to analyze stocks like a pro =-.

  3. David @ MBA briefs says

    Gah! Too bad I can’t edit my comment, usually read them before I click “submit”. I’m sure you got my point. Weight loss is a good analogy for debt reduction, you can’t lose weight if you’re consuming more calories than you’re burning, and you can’t make money if your expenses are greater than your revenue.

    Looks like you had a good year, your Freedom Fund is up quite a bit and you’re up to 33 on the Wise Bread list of PF blogs. I doubt anyone else has jumped as quickly up the ranks as you, and I’ll be looking for you in the top 10 before long. Thanks for adding me to your Sites I Read, I appreciate the link.
    .-= David @ MBA briefs´s last blog ..How to analyze stocks like a pro =-.

  4. Credit Card Chaser says

    Speaking of re-gifting, my sister decided to play a prank on my brother by wrapping up a $20 bill in bubble wrap and then wrapping enough duck tape around it so that it was almost as large as a volleyball. My brother got back at her by giving her about 15 presents all wrapped up under the tree – 14 of which was just random things that he grabbed from her room :)
    .-= Credit Card Chaser´s last blog ..Gift Card Inactivity Fees Will Soon be a Thing of the Past (Kind of) =-.

  5. admin says

    @Matt S.
    Glad you don’t have to work!

    @Moneyreasons
    Ah, you’re too kind. Just some old random musing from the past that I thought would be relevant since everybody has fitness and weight loss on their list!

    Despite you having to work next week, I’m sure it will be dead! I used to love working during the holidays, but now, I have nobody to back me up when I take off during the busy months, so I have to conform to taking off when everybody else does!

    @David @ MBA briefs
    Yup, get your point completely. Weight loss is so easy to understand. I used to think we were genetically conditioned to be fat/skinny, until I saw The Biggest Loser and other similar shows. The winners ALL lost 40-60% of their overall body weight and look great! It was their choice to let themselves go, and get themselves back in shape. Genetics might only play 20-30% now, vs. 50-60% what I thought before.

    There’s no way I’ll ever be in the Top 10 on the WB list with the way it’s structured. MAYBE, if they separated out the “conglomerate sites” and the “solo sites”, perhaps, but how does one compete against Wise Bread, Bitter Wallet (is this a PF site?), Moolanomy and others with a bevy of fabulous PF writers? There are also other sites who blog full-time and write everyday. Hard to compete, and not sure if I want to as mentioned in my “Everything Is Rational Post.” I also want to curb my obsession, b/c blogging is quite addictive, and I know if I don’t curb myself, I’ll go nuts at the expense of my vacation, friends, family, and full-time job! :)

    Thanks for coming along the journey.

    @Credit Card Chaser
    Haha, good stuff Joel. I’m sure your brother was PUMPED to get that $20 dolla bill!

    I played a prank on my wife actually and wrapped the brochure of the new $55,000 Land Rover 4 SUV. I told her, congrats to her, for when we get back to SF, a nice Black on Black LR4 will be waiting for us, and here’s her preview! She kinda turned a little white, and I had to come clean. :) Maybe if bonuses are good! Doubt it though. But, the electronics in my passenger side seat and heat warmer all died. Maybe it’s a sign!

  6. LeanLifeCoach says

    I’m with you while we enjoy the remainder of the year home from the office! I will relish every moment.

    No doubt the next 20 spots on WB will be tougher than the last but give yourself some credit. Keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll get what you deserve.

    I think everyone you have drawn to your site would agree you have a unique perspective and an innate ability to verbalize it in a concise and entertaining way. Keep up the great work!
    .-= LeanLifeCoach´s last blog ..The Best Gifts Are Free =-.

  7. admin says

    Lean, thanks mate. There are 100 spots for us all in on the first page of the WB list, and 100,000 spots in Alexa, so let’s shoot to all be there sometime next year!

  8. Money Funk says

    Wow, I wish I could have Christmas celebrations like yours…. in Hawaii and gifts from home… great! I would have tons of great stuff to give away. But I see its a bit of white elephant celebration… dried plums? LOL. Glad you are having a good time and kickin’ some whoop ass in Tennis. :)
    .-= Money Funk´s last blog ..Merry Christmas! =-.

  9. Bytta @151 Days Off says

    Merry Belated Christmas, Sam!

    I worked all the way until Christmas eve and will be back to work (our) tomorrow, on Monday where I’ll be the only person working in my building (or anywhere in Australia, really) on public holiday :) No, I’m not complaining. In fact, I love working alone with no phone calls. And I could wear my pyjama straight from bed :) Bliss!

    That’s a nice tradition, the re-gifting. My family doesn’t have gifting tradition for Christmas, although the kids sometimes get some cash. I have more than 100 family members and relatives back home (overseas) so it’s common to party-hop until late, exhausting and stuffed with awesome food. I miss them. This year I spent Christmas with my beloved husband who was working during the day. Overworked? Oh well, we make sure we’ll reap the reward soon :)
    .-= Bytta @151 Days Off´s last blog ..Is Frugality the New Superiority? =-.

  10. admin says

    @Don@MoneyReasons
    You bet! Thanks for following along.

    @Money Funk
    But, my mom loves dried plums! OK, maybe it’s a gift to her, which is really for me. Gave her some “Typhoon Island Style Popcorn” as well, but told her she has to give half to my wife :)

    Gonna go up to that gated community again this morning and play with this ex-ATP tour pro player I bumped into yesterday. Will be exciting! Sunny SoCal ain’t so bad either!

    @Bytta @151 Days Off
    Hi Bytta! Long time no hear from you! Glad you’re enjoying work during the quiet time. 100 family members back home huh? That’s A LOT! lol. The best solution would be to buy 100 lottery tickets at $1 a piece. Those are the best.

    Still love the concept of your site’s name!

  11. Valentina says

    Christmas is really easy on my budget – kids are grown and gone and no grandkids, so the gifting is nothing like it was while the darlings were growing up! My husband is an only child so no large extended family, and my siblings are in Australia and we have an unspoken agreement of no gifts! This year it was a quick getaway to LAX for a few fun days with my daughter, return home for a great get together with my son, and goose dinner for Christmas with DH (which he cooked – it was awesome!)

    Awesome 2010 for you, yours and everyone here!

    best………….valentina

  12. Charlie says

    nice, I like it. Another fun way to exchange gifts is white elephant. It always gets some great laughs and is fun to play with big groups. Happy holidays!!

  13. Little House says

    What a refreshing way to view the holidays! It’s about family and memories, not about things. I want to add something about regifting: A few years ago my husband and I attended a party in which they were playing the white elephant game. We had just moved into a rental home, and realized we had a bunch of unused stuff. We shoved it into a huge packing box (we had many of them laying around) and that was our gift. The guests fought over it because there were so many items that they were thinking of regifting to relatives! It will always be a lasting memory.
    .-= Little House´s last blog ..Are you shopping today? =-.

  14. admin says

    @Valentina
    Ah, that’s great all the kids are out of the house, and so far away in the present giving sense! I’m sure spending time with your daughter and son were a good amount of fun.

    @Charlie
    Never played “White Elephant” before, but perhaps we should for next year! Good idea.

    @Little House
    Another White Elephant player, nice! Seriously, I’m sure so many of us have so much STUFF and junk. One woman’s junk, is another man’s treasure right! Re-gift 4 life! Even someone will buy my green marble if I put it on Craigslist. :)

  15. Marc says

    Christmas is getting easier around here – my wife and I for the first time this year didn’t get each other gifts, and my family also decided to forgo any gift giving. My in-laws still did gifts, but just a book or a sweater here and there. Christmas is just about getting together. I look forward to the big family meal, not the gifts.

    Although, sometimes gifts are fun – my very frugal, atheist, history teacher of a brother-in-law got a Joel Osteen book from his out of town aunt. As soon as he opened it we all cracked up (no knock against Joel Osteen, just at the extreme inappropriateness of the gift). He said “I hope she doesn’t call, because I don’t know what to say.”

  16. Bytta @151 Days Off says

    Thank you very much. I’ve been busy with work. End of year time is the last push for us to meet the target. Yep, lottery ticket sounds great, never thought of that. Hmmm… maybe I should do that to my in-laws. I wonder if they’d get offended, lol. But hey, if their numbers came up, they would love me until the apocalypse.
    .-= Bytta @151 Days Off´s last blog ..Is Frugality the New Superiority? =-.

  17. admin says

    @Lydia aka Ms. MoneyChat
    Thanks, Lydia. It’s a pretty hilarious scene when we gather around all our special presents! lol.

    @Marc
    Haha, Joel Osteen for your atheist bro-in-law. He might redeem some value out of it though, perhaps a door stop?? :)

    @Bytta @151 Days Off
    Trust me, the joy of receiving a lottery ticket is MUCH greater than the $1 cost of the ticket. OK, so maybe you buy two or three each, but still, so cheap!

  18. RainyDaySaver says

    Mr. Saver and I are also ready to do away with the pretense of giving presents. I’m much more thankful for the time I get to spend with family and friends this time of year. Thinking a “used gifts swap” would be infinitely more useful — maybe re-gifting an old (but working) digital camera to someone who doesn’t have one, etc.
    .-= RainyDaySaver´s last blog ..It’s a Crazy Christmas Week =-.

    • admin says

      FinanceDad – I tell ya, I saw my niece get 20+ presents, and the toys just piled up and up and up. I wonder if it would be better to spread the presents out, one a month instead, so she will be able to better appreciate the gifts.

      I’m gonna give my kids one fun thing, and one educational thing in the future!

    • admin says

      FinanceDad – Agreed. I may even force my kid to read/complete/experience the educational gift first before being allowed to play with the fun gift! :) I look forward to checking out some of your posts. Thanks for visiting. Sam

  19. Tim says

    I have to say the best piece of financial advice I ever received was off my day who told me to read the book rich dad poor dad! A beautifully simple yet life changing book and it certainly made me see things in a different light.

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