Merry Christmas from The Simple Dollar

As you read this, my children are likely passed out on the floor from tearing open presents, emptying stockings on the floor, running around in a Christmas-induced sugar rush, and a big dinner with friends and family.

As for me, hopefully I’m taking a big Christmas nap in a comfortable spot somewhere.

Hope you have a very merry Christmas! Please share your favorite Christmas gift (either given or received) in the comments.

See you tomorrow!

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  1. Kevin says:

    Making it home to be with our families – despite the weather & delays @ O’Hare! Merry Christmas!!

  2. Lindsey says:

    My favorite Christmas present besides spending time with my family was a Blade MCX Radio Controlled Helicopter. If you think you can’t run a helicopter you haven’t tried the blade. It is awesomely fun.

    I hope all of you simple dollar readers have a Merry Christmas and remember the reason for the season!

  3. Asiyah says:

    We bought a home and are thoroughly enjoying it for the holidays. I only asked for one thing for Christmas: the complete 7th Heaven DVD series…and I got it! Watching those missed episodes is actually more exciting than the house, lol.

    Merry Christmas!

  4. Cheryl says:

    In the spriti of thriftyness, my favorite gift this year was a recipe my Stepmother put in my stocking……for my paternal Grandmother’s Norwegian Chocolate Cake – which I have been eating since childhood, and is the best chocolate cake ever! I have been asking for it for 3 years! The best gifts are always FREE!

  5. T says:

    I think my best present given will turn out to be one I sent to an internet friend who has very little (in terms of family and income). It’s largely made up of things I had around the house: a book I’m not using I thought she’d enjoy, some picture frames (I had them from before I got married, my husband hates them, but they are still perfectly nice), a card with warm thoughts, and a CD of MP3s I thought she might like. The only actual cash outlay was a few bucks for postage.

    More than the items sent, it communicates that someone cares and helps her feel like she’s not the only (holiday-celebrating) person who has nothing to open on Christmas.

  6. Charlotte says:

    I just went to pick up my favorite Christmas present: an employment contract. I’ll be working again soon! :)

  7. Dan says:

    My Favorite gift.. Hands down, was from My 11 year old son who presented me with a wooden toolbox he made in scouts. I will
    treasure this for as long as I am here. This Xmas was the finest.

    Merry Xmas!!

  8. Mike says:

    Given: Definitely the fishing stuff we got for Dad. He hasn’t gone fishing for ten years, since his dad died, but recently he’d been taking about how he would like to try it again, but didn’t have any equipment that was in good shape. Me and my brother got him the rod/reel combo we knew he used, Sis got him a tacklebox, and Mom bought him an assortment of things to put in said box. He was happy, to be sure.

    Received: While the Wii games are going to be great, I think my favorite thing was new dress clothes. I always have such a time buying things like that for myself, but Mom and Sis somehow know what I like. Woo hoo!

    Happy Holidays to everyone!

  9. Troy says:

    The best gift is the gift of Christmas…yep, just Christmas. And that is what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.

  10. DB Cooper says:

    We are enjoying our attempt at a relatively “stuff-free” Christmas, so the gifts were few and practical. Our youngest son turned 12, so as is tradition in our family, that meant his first firearm (besides the BB gun he received when he turned 7) – in this case an inexpensive .22 rifle/410 shotgun combo. We’ve already been out shooting, and he is thrilled!

    But Christmas doesn’t have to be about buying and receiving – it can just be about being and enjoying. So enjoy!

  11. V says:

    I wasn’t directly involved in giving the following gift, but here goes: I work for a graduate program. One of our students is going through cancer treatments. My boss and dean worked with the university to ensure the university forgave her tuition for her last semester of study before graduation.

    Even though I’m not involved with giving or receiving this gift, it fills me up with pride that I’m professionally affiliated with people who are this generous.

    Happy Holidays!

  12. eaufraiche says:

    it’s my first ever christmas without my kids – they’re grown and otherwise occupied. :(
    “gifts” are that my son has safely finished his tour of duty in iraq, and my daughter married a fabulous man in oct.
    lucky to be…

  13. BirdDog says:

    The fact that I’m celebrating my 2nd Christmas out of retail management which means I actually get to enjoy the season (not too mention my three week Christmas vacation).

  14. tiphaine says:

    my husband got me a compass keychain :)
    Because w live in NYC and I laugh when people say ” let’s go north” because I have no idea where is north or east unless I go several blocks and make sure I’m in the right direction (Uptown or downtown).
    Now I can get out the subway and find my way like a real new yorker :) almost ;)
    I got him the Lord of the rings, hard cover illustrated edition, because he reads it every winter and his copy is old and torn apart. He said he is looking forward to have kids so he can read it aloud to them, so I got the illustrated version :) He was really happy

  15. Trace says:

    My best present was that I was able to get up at 6am, feed horses with my daughter in the pouring rain while my DH cleaned the stalls. It’s Christmas every day for me because we have these gentle giants in our lives, and my DH never complains about the extra work or expense for animals that mean nothing to him, but mean a whole lot to me. I did get a warmer barn coat! Merry Christmas!

  16. Erin G says:

    I got my sister a book by her favorite blog author (Life is a Verb, by Patti Digh, blog http://www.37days.typepad.com), and even though I ordered it in September, and followed up with bunches of emails, it never came and never came and never came. Finally I called and left a message, and Patti herself sent me a signed copy, overnighted to arrive yesterday afternoon before my sister got here for Christmas. And she loved it as much as I hoped she would. :)

  17. antiSWer says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Haven’t opened any gifts up yet, but the white Xmas and just being able to spend it with my wife is present enough for me.

    But I still like stuff. :p

  18. Anna says:

    I put the first part of this comment under the previous post before realizing it would be more appropriate here, so please excuse the duplication. (The second paragraph is new.)

    One year, when I had hardly any money, I bought two small photo albums. Then I went through years of family photos and assembled a personalized volume for each son, starting with earliest baby photos and going through college graduation. Into the first page, I slipped a fancy title page that said “The Life and Times of [Name].” Both sons said it was the best present ever.

    When I was about eight, my parents had even less money than I did later when I made the photo albums. On Christmas morning I found all my dolls lined up on the sofa, wearing new clothes my mother had made from various scraps. She had also constructed a dollhouse out of an ordinary brown corrugated cardboard carton, and furnished it with bits and pieces she had gathered. I played with that dollhouse until it practically fell apart. Those are the presents I remember most from my childhood, and I still glow when I think of the time and effort it took to make them, and the enjoyment I derived from them.

  19. Cheryl says:

    My sister has gotten very into crafting. This year I received mesh produce (reusable) bags that you take to the grocery store and an adorable stuffed dog in coffee themed printed fabrics. He is very fancy with a dog color and tag that says “Cup-Pooch-Chino”…All of the gifts came in personally sewn reusable gift bags including my son’s gift card!

  20. Lisa says:

    This is a strange feeling Christmas. My house is for sale, so it is sparsely decorated. My kids are now all adults, so they didn’t wake up here. We are giving practical gifts this year. My children, however, put their money together to make a big “canvas photo” of the family for the wall in my new home. I’ll treasure that. I miss the days when the house was full of kids who woke up early, excited for Christmas.

  21. Carol says:

    Merry Christmas to all! Favorite gift: a Harley Davidson shirt from my son! Fits perfectly and he is thrilled.

    Love this blog and all the comments, too!

    Looking forward to blessings in the New Year and more great frugal tips.

  22. !wanda says:

    Favorite gift: No one got into a big fight this year during Christmas breakfast or while unwrapping gifts. This is a big win for my family.
    Next favorite gift: My parents both really loved the gifts my boyfriend got them.
    Runners-up: 1. My mom genuinely loved the gifts I got her and is not going to re-gift them.
    2. Scotch tape. The places where I live seem to swallow it up. My parents got me three rolls, which I am going to put in different places so that I will always be able to find at each one.

  23. !wanda says:

    Er, at *least* one.

  24. Another Elizabeth says:

    My sister gave me a subscription to Taste of Home. That is awesome!!

  25. Griffin says:

    Fave gifts: a book on beading with pearls and $100 to spend on beads. :D Of course I’ll say thank-you by making her a nice bracelet.

    Also a nice coffee mug (love those!).

  26. Sari Lynn says:

    My favorite gift to give is a gift certificate to Kiva.org – the recipient can use it to make a micro-loan to a budding entrepreneur in an under developed country. When the loan is repaid, the money can be either withdrawn, or re-loaned to someone else. It is truly a gift that keeps on giving.

    I prefer not to receive gifts – I challenge my friends to instead do a “mitzvah” or “good deed” for someone who needs it. I love reading their notes of what they come up with. Truly, nothing makes me feel richer than being able to help someone else!

  27. Candi says:

    MY best gift this year just came unexpectedly. My older neighbors house was significantly damaged in a fire back in June. The next day I took a laundry basket full of bathroom supplies as even if his had survived they were certaily unusable. Well just a couple hours ago he knocked on our door with a huge Christmas gift. It was a large basket full of summer sausage and cheeses. What he doesn’t know is that I LOVE getting those as gifts and I am so happy. It was unexpected and appreciated.

  28. Mommit says:

    We got blown away with an unexpected act of colusion by the State of Iowa and a couple of other entities this week. We hadn’t really done any Christmas shopping, but the money we had budgeted simply evaporated, not to mention that our high Christmas spirits basically disappeared. That anyone (personally or acting on behalf of a government agency) could be so mean-spirited and selfish during this season is amazing (and unconscienable) to me.

    And so, my favorite gifts this year were the look on my three-year-old son’s face when he saw the tree this morning (we managed to scrape together a couple of small gifts for him, since this is the first year he really understands Christmas); and the fact that even after this week’s “issues”, I still have the capacity to believe that somewhere there really is peace on earth and goodwill toward others. It may not exist in the government or the court system, or even in my own “step-family”, but I know it’s out there somewhere.

  29. karen says:

    This year..just making it home to see mom and dad..we celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve since I volunteered to work Christmas Day..since others had little ones. We had a huge ice storm on the 23rd..and I was heading to see my parents after I got off work at 1am on the 24th..it took me over an hour and a half before I finally got there…Just making it there was Christmas enough for me.

    What I remember most about my Christmas’ past was when he had lived in homes without fireplaces. We as kids were always concerned how Santa would get to us without one..Well Mom had a fix for that..she had bought some paper that when wrapped around something like a box or the back of a bookcase..it looked like a fireplace. So every year that we didn’t have a fireplace..Mom got out the magic fireplace paper and would turn the bookcase around so we could wrap the back of it..and we would hang our stockings from nails that Dad would hammer into the back of the bookcase. And we would put that bookcase against a wall near the tree so Santa could get to it our tree easily.
    Talk about Frugal…Those kinds of memories are hard to replace..they were the best.

  30. Donna says:

    One of my former students came up to me after the Christmas Eve service last night. We chatted, which is not unusual, as once in a blue moon, he will say hi to me. Although, this time, at the conclusion of our conversation, he gave me a big hug. I was most honored.

    He was one of those kids I had to speak to often in class. I am so proud of how he has been maturing these past two years, and becoming more responsible for his actions. So, this hug speaks volumes, to me. It means that, somehow, I have been influential in his life…for the better. That is a a teacher’s greatest reward. I am certain he will be a fine man someday.

  31. SS says:

    Happy Holidays to Trent and his family,

    My favorite gift was an old friend spent the
    day talking and looking outside at the snow. We
    are in our snow clothes-Warm clothes. It was fun.
    Also, I am appreciate that my daughter 18 is doing
    good at her job. We see each other almost everyday.
    We were going to see a movie today. I got a flat at
    home but, I am glad it didnt happen while we were out today. Everything is closed. Tomorrow I said.
    I only bought presents for my daughter, her boyfriend, and my dear Sister who has M.S. I got
    her some comfortable slippers. I did well with my spending this year. I did get myself some needed things-like warm snow boots, and some skin care.
    I am having a lovely Christmas. Thank you for your
    great stories and blog. I read them everyday.

  32. Naomi says:

    My best gift this year…. is my to healthy boys one is 2 months on is 2

    Runner up- I have a daycare in my home and it is not that you expect a gift but it is always a nice way for people to say thanks for loving my kids over the last year…. it was the 23rd and not even one card it was kinda bummer (did i do a bad job this year ect) theynChristmas eve we got some of the most wonderful cards (and a few gifts) one even from a new family… it is always nice to know people appreciate you….(that is why we leave a candy cane in the mail box for you postman)

  33. Tami says:

    Merry Christmas Trent and to your family!
    Best gift I got this year was a Savior, Jesus Christ. I hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas evening!

  34. Eve says:

    my favorite gift was from my cousin, over the summer he showed me the u-tube segment when the boy said, ” I like turtles” Ever since we text back n forth text to each other I Like turtles(makes me Laugh), anyway his family sent me a card with a recorded message,”I like turtles from his family and than xmas music kicked in, oh he also sent me some of those old school pecan turtles(yummy) my husband is recovering from prostrate surg so times are somewhat tough, but my cuzin is the best and made me so happy and kids laughed with me merry xmas

  35. Lana says:

    My favorite gift so far was supposed to be a give but is turning into a receive, too. I am learning to sew, and I bought fabric and a pattern to make an apron for my Mom. I ran out of time to actually make it at home, so I brought the materials to my parents’ house, and my mother and sister and I have spent most of the afternoon working on it together. Much better than the usual Christmas bickering.

  36. Merry Christmas to you! My favorite gift is that my son is home to share Christmas with me!

  37. Linda says:

    My awesome gift is that my husband is well and alive and that we are happy as all get out. We are blessed beyond words.

  38. morgan says:

    Trent and family, have a Very Happy Holidays.
    Morgan
    (from Brazil)

  39. Jeanie says:

    All of our Christmas’s are special when family can come all together with good food and conversation.
    It was great to have all the grown kids and our sweet grandson all here for a meal and gifts for the kids and grandson to open.
    That is all the Christmas I want and need. Love and Peace. Which I have gotten, I am so Blessed!

  40. hippykidz says:

    The Best this year was my seven year old opening his DS. We had told he and his brother they need to be eight to have one. (Doesn’t that damned Santa know the rules?)With DS clasped firmly in both hands high over his head I’m sure the cry of NINNNNTENNNNNDOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! woke our elderly neighbors. That one will probably be the THE christmas memory for years to come.
    Wishing all the Best memories for you and yours!

  41. colleen costello says:

    My best gift today was how PLEASED my 14-year old daughter was with all her gifts. She is too old to ask for toys anymore and was really not able to give me much of a “wish list.” I worked REALLY HARD to come up with a whole variety of things I hoped she’d like, given what she is “into” at this stage of her life. I mail-ordered a lot of unique things, one a black-and-white throw pillow with silk-screened, classic electric guitars… no more butterflies and rainbows, kind of the end of an era.

    This morning she was SO pleased with just about everything I had selected for her, and all my thinking and plotting paid off… She was as excited this morning as when she was a little girl, and I was thrilled. When you are a Mom — even when your kids turn into teenagers! — giving really is better than receiving, especially when all the goodies make them so happy.

  42. kim says:

    This was definitely the best Christmas ever. My 87 year old grandmother came to visit. Right after arriving, it became apparent that she was having chest pains. We later found out she’d been having them for a month. She lives alone and hates to be a bother, so she never told anyone. We insisted on taking her to the emergency room and found out she’d had a heat attack. Three days and an angioplasty later, we spent a lovely Christmas together. Her Christmas visit probably saved her life. Best present ever…hands down.

  43. Jennifer says:

    My favorite gift that I gave was to my 31 year old bachelor brother who is actually still in school (doctorate). He spent last summer traveling the world on a boat as a professor for the Semester at Sea program. All summer he was sending me pictures of the awesome places he was visiting. I picked the best 15 and had them made into a collage mug at Snapfish. Him riding a camel in front of the pyramids in Egypt was my favorite picture. He loved it! And I had a great time doing something that I knew he would never do for himself and that I knew he would like. It was so much fun.

  44. kristine says:

    The most satisfying gift we gave was to my brother in-law. We are of modest means- my husband and I are both teachers. My bro-in-law is Sr. VP of a major bank. He can buy absolutely anything he wants, and does. He is always a riddle at gift giving time.

    My in-law parents are elderly. I am an artist as well as a teacher, so I made a caricature of his parents, surrounded by the things they always say…”I have a coupon! Have you seen the prices of homes in the Poconos lately?” and “He doesn’t know sh__ from shinola!” My husband and I laughed like crazy coming up with the 15 sayings we included, and my brother in law was so verklempt he could not speak for a few minutes. There are some things money can’t buy, and the all-around laughter was priceless!

  45. Lou says:

    Two and a half weeks ago I helped a disabled friend clean out his closet. His new cat put me into an asthma episode, which turned into a sinus infection that migrated to my middle ear. The ENT guy cut my eardrum a week ago & sucked out some nasties, but the opening closed up within a day & the ear filled up with more nasties. On Christmas Eve, I finally had a tube put in the eardrum; that was one of the more unpleasant experiences of my life, as the anesthesia didn’t work & I cried – a lot! Although I missed a family Christmas Eve gathering, I have been pain-free for the past 24 hours. Some of the best things in life aren’t things. Being pain-free: My best Christmas gift ever!

  46. Jessie says:

    I played a big joke on myself this year – had let all the food run down, thinking I would do my Christmas food shopping after I got off work last night at 6 pm. Little did I know all the grocery stores were closing at 6 pm. For dinner today I had Stouffer’s frozen lasagna, all I was able to grab from the KMart, the only store still open, at double the usual price. But it tasted like heaven when I thought of all the people out of work this year, and so many who had nothing at all for dinner. I am grateful for a day off, food and a warm home. I can buy my ham tomorrow. Happy holidays to you and your family!

  47. Kandace says:

    My best gift this year was seeing the joyous expression on my husband’s face when he opened the box containing tickets to the musical “Wicked.” It was a five hour ordeal to get them, but it was worth it!

  48. Battra92 says:

    Christmas this year was one huge disappointment after another. Once again my uncle and his family managed to ruin everything.

    First my grandmother expected us to pack up all of our presents and bring them to her house. Nope, not happening. Second she wanted us to be there at the crack of dawn despite knowing that none of us are morning people. Third, my uncle had to go on and on about how we did all sorts of things when we were two while all the while his mentally retarded kid ran wild and unrestrained breaking ornaments, messing up the table etc.

    We had no gifts outside of a few things in our stocking but honestly that doesn’t matter much to me. I’ve been in a perpetually depressed state for the last week so I’m just glad to be going back to work tomorrow and it will all be over with.

  49. Julie says:

    Lou, you are an inspiration to be so positive after such an ordeal!

    Recieved: Spending a quiet Christmas day with my hubby and 2 kids after the mayhem of what is always a loud and crazy Christmas Eve (all day event) with family that ends in fits from children who are overtired and overstimulated.

    Given: A really cool, retro Batman and Robin for our 3 yr old – he made up little stories with them nearly all day and listening to his little pretend-play chatter all day was priceless.

    Merry Christmas!

  50. L says:

    Best gift given- an embroidered re-usable shopping bag for my mum, who genuinely thought I had bought it not made it.
    Best gift received- a lovely watch from my beloved.
    Best part of the day- calling my family on Skype and my gran getting to see me on the computer- it made her day!
    Merry Christmas!

  51. Laura says:

    I got your book!! YAY!

  52. Prasanth says:

    The best gift I got for this Christmas is a painting of “Santa” by my 6 year old son.

    I’m a Hindu, not a Christian but celebrating Christmas has always been a tradition in my household ever since I was young. Last year, me and my family were in Michigan and enjoyed taking part in the Christmas celebrations there. Another memorable Christmas I had was in Philippines a few years back. Christmas was one of my favourite celebrations as I grew up in Kerala state in India which has a sizable Christian population.

    Wish you a merry Christmas and a prosperous, happy, fun filled and peaceful new year !!

  53. Michelle says:

    I took the time (after 20+ years of saying I would) to sing in the choir at church during the Christmas season. I attending 3 masses in 24 hours and had lots of practice time this month, but it was worth it. Last night at the Christmas Eve candle light service I felt so blessed and at peace – a big accomplishment given my daily life.

  54. Anne says:

    The best gift I received wasn’t a gift to me at all. Rather, it was the opportunity to be inspired, awed, and reminded of what really mattters. And what really matters isn’t “stuff”.

    Today my cousin and her husband spent their day serving meals to the homeless. Why is this so inspirational? Because yesterday morning, Christmas eve, their home and all their possessions were destroyed in a house fire (cars included). They, along with their 7 kids, escaped the fire without even the shoes on their feet. But they escaped with their lives. And so they went out to serve people who are less fortunate than they.

    Frugality is really about priorities and figuring out for yourself what really counts at the end of the day. I could not imagine a more powerful and moving testimony to this fact.

    Merry Christmas to all.

  55. Suzanne says:

    We are living a very frugal life yet we have most of what we need. My husband and I spent very little on gifts for one another this year, focusing only on what was urgently needed, a couple of tools for his plumbing work. The only thing I had requested was wool long johns but these were not received, nor was anything else and I really didn’t care one bit. Imagine how surprised I was as I was leaving our friend’s house after a beautiful Christmas dinner and she gave me a pair of brand new wool long johns that had shrunk in her dryer and are now a perfect fit for me! God certainly does provide! As a bonus, she gave me three pair of comfy wool socks, that had also shrunk and now fit me perfectly! This is what I wear when at home and I was hoping for wool rather than the cotton I currently own to keep a little warmer. They are even the color I had wanted, navy!

  56. GigiB says:

    Merry Christmas to all!!
    Our favorite gift this year was given to a needy family at our Church. We (my husband and I) decided we wanted to bless someone else since we had been so financially blessed this year. We checked with our Pastor to find out who might need some help, and he immediately mentioned a family whose children we pray for daily (everyone at Church chose children to pray for earlier this year). We laughed and were delighted to bless their entire family in a way other than prayer. We got gift certificates for the grocery store and Wal-Mart (say what you may, but they’ve got the lowest prices around) totaling about $500. We put them in a card with a type-written note (not including our names) and dropped it in their mailbox late one night (UPS won’t deliver anonymous mail). We heard later that they went to our Pastor and cried tears of happiness. That was gift enough for us. They’ll probably never know it was us…which is perfect, and they’ll have had a wonderful Christmas. Besides Jesus, who could ask for more? God IS Good…all the time! May God bless you all, and remember; without Christ, we’d have nothing to celebrate. So again, Merry Christmas!

  57. jayfish says:

    As with most everyone, the best “gift” was time spent with friends and family. My sis and her hubby gifted me with a new Mac computer in October, so my Christmas was early. Given limited mobility and serious illness, my giving is pretty much limited to gift certificates or gift cards, but I’m very proud that my knitting group made and donated 794 caps for babies to our local county hospital and more than 70 scarves to our local cancer treatment centers. I’m truly blessed and wish I could do more for those less fortunate than I, especially in these troubled times. Merry Christmas!

  58. Sandy says:

    All the family (15 people and growing) drew names for secret Santa and we bought gifts up to only $ 15-20. We made some personal notes with them and had great fun unpacking in turn for 2 hours and reading aloud our notes and rhymes!! It was great spending Christmas with everybody together!! That was truly the best gift (although I liked the gift receipt to the local book store a whole lot too!!).

  59. Caytlin says:

    I received an engagement ring for Christmas. <3

    And I baked everyone wonderful goodies that were well and thoroughly enjoyed.

    It was a good day.

  60. MVP says:

    A beautiful ruby and diamond heart pendant necklace from my yet-unborn child (via my thoughtful husband). You see, rubies will be my child’s birthstone. We’re pregnant for the third time this year. Heard the heartbeat and saw a gorgeous ultrasound image last week at nine weeks – more than for the previous two pregnancies. So, my husband’s already given me the most precious gift of all. And we believe this one’s going to stick around.

  61. Lynn says:

    My best gifts were a new refrigerator, my furnace repaired, and my cable back on!

  62. Víctor N. says:

    I recieved my present in advance this year! My mom, who is undergoing chemo for the 2nd time around, is responding wonderfully to the treatment! My gift is many more Christmases with her and my wife and kid! Couldn’t be happier! Merry Christmas to all!

  63. Rachel says:

    This year my favorite gift was from my mother. In an effort for savings and cutting down this year, my mother made me and my boyfriend a romantic dinner for 2. She made my favorite meal, my favorite desert, and some merlot. :) It was wonderful and relatively inexpensive.
    Also, I got some cash. I was excited to be able to put it in our savings and build that emergency fund! Always an exciting time :)

    Merry Christmas Trent and his family :)

  64. CPA Kevin says:

    Hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas….I sure did!

    Spending quiet time with my son and wife on Christmas morning and most of our nieces and nephews and family yesterday was gift enough for me. We are truly blessed.

  65. charlotte Wilson says:

    It was good to be with my family: husband, two daughters and three dogs. That was my best gift. Otherwise I am glad that it is over. It is overwhelming to me. Bah Humbug!

  66. MJ says:

    Well this Christmas was a special one for us. We welcomed our second child early in December, a baby girl. My wife and I agreed to spend minimally on each other on concentrate on the kids. I ot her some small things and she got me a couple personal finance books. But then she handed me an envelope and said it was my big present this year. To my surprise she had been scoking money away ALL YEAR and got me a table saw so that I oculd build my son his fist “big boy” bed. It was the best gift I have ever received. However, the gift of the year was my son’s baseball mitt. He isn’t even two and he and I must have played catch for a total of 3 hours yesterday. Best memory ever. Man I miss playing catch with my dad.

  67. Tanya says:

    My favorite gift was not for me, exactly. We are expecting our first baby in April and my mother-in-law gave us a sweater my husband wore as a child! And we found a picture of him wearing it. We are so excited to see our son in the sweater next year :)

    Merry Christmas!!

  68. Lori says:

    My favorite gift was a figurine of a little girl riding Dumbo at Disneyland to remember taking my two year daughter old to Disney last year. Dumbo was her favorite ride!

    I also got your book! I’m excited to read it as I have been following your blog since the beginning.

  69. Anastasia says:

    The best gift I gave was a G1 to my husband. He loves it! The best gift I got was a popcorn maker from him. It looks like one at the movies, only a lot smaller. I’ve been having a lot of fun with it :)

  70. Izabelle says:

    I got to host Christmas in my new house, with my father’s side of the extended family (everyone!). We had not had this luxury for over 15 years as my parents and my grandmother live over 400 miles north west of my home, while my father’s brother (with his family) lives almost as far but in the opposite direction.

  71. Chris Clark says:

    I was able to give gifts to my family (all very practical but still fun) who are dealing with unemployment and under employment and worrying about paying the mortgage. It was fun to find things they needed and would like while still keeping our Christmas budget within reason.
    I was able to enjoy my 6 year old nephew being so excited about Santa and seeing how much he truly believed. It was incredibly sweet and precious to see.
    My sister-in-law sent me the Ticket to Ride game, and the 1910 expansion, which I have read about here and I got to play with my Aunt, husband and Grandma after we ate Christmas dinner.
    All those things, plus the fact that it is my first Christmas of being married made it a really special year overall.

  72. jim says:

    Merry Christmas Trent!

  73. Bill M says:

    Merry Christmas!

  74. Jen says:

    Best gift received: donation to my theatre company, Babes With Blades.

    Best gift given: a pin in the shape of a gingerbread woman holding baking utensils, wearing an apron that says, “Baking Spirits Bright.” I gave it to my mom in honor of her annual weeks-long holiday goodie-making spree.

  75. Jade says:

    Best gifts received: A hand panted figure skate Christmas ornament from my mom, a Star Trek calendar from my uncle, Target gift cards from my boyfriend’s mom, figure skating magazine subscription from my aunt, a Sony PlayStation from my grandma, and an original GameBoy from my dad.

    Best gifts given: A picture frame with lots of pictures of me and my boyfriend given to my boyfriend, a t-shirt for my dad that said “Let me drop everything and work on your problem”, A (fake) million dollars and a wagon (made of legoes) full of spending money for my grandma (it’s what she always asked for!), a picture frame and a couple of pictures from a camping trip for my dad’s girlfriend, and $3 cash for my mom instead of a card (every year she gets these lame funny cards and always says “Why don’t you just give me the cash?” She was in tears because someone finally listened to her).

  76. Scott says:

    Another day spent living and loving with the woman I call my best friend and wife. The chance to view the world thru my own eyes and the ones around me. These are the best gifts and they are free and available everyday.

  77. Annie in KY says:

    Merry christmas and Happy New Year to all on here–love reading the comments. To annie
    wow–what a testimony of the spirit of Christmas when that family still helped others in need when they lost everything they owned the night before—astounding and such an inspiration!
    Le’t see–my fave gifts–we were more into frugality this yr. than ever before–trying to survive until social security hits in March
    1. Had to be my grand-daughters calling and thanking us for the pkgs that were sent to MI and DE—we never got home this yr and surely missed all on the DAY!

    2. No snow had to be a good gift–everyone back home in MI has seen more snow this winter so far than in yrs. and yrs. back, so no snow to us here in central KY was a treat haha

    3. My most cutest gift came from a sis in northern Michigan–we are full-time rv’ers and live in our rv’s, both in KY and in MI—somehow in a little antique/thrift shop she found a gorgous little 5th wheel trailer lamp with a light that made it look all lit up inside—that was my most awesome gift! haha. I will treasure it for yrs. to come.

    4. Hearing our grown kids in their 30’s now, voices, was also a wonderful gift for both of us—family! You can’t beat that gift, and also our folks voices who are in late 70’s and 80’s and one on dialysis even—hearing their voices gives us such a gift of hope!

    Well, everyone have a wonderful New Year coming up and many blessings this New Year ahead, and maybe our guys and gals can get back home this yr who are in other countries right now.

    Thanx so much to the author of this newsletter—I need to be more “up to par” on finances, but Trent has a way of making the newsletter sooo easy for even I to understand–I appreciate that and congrats on the new book!!! Annie in KY

  78. James says:

    My girlfriend gave me a really cool audio card with Linus reminding Charlie Brown what Christmas is all about. Inside she said “Thank you for being exactly who you are – I can’t explain here because there would be no space, but make sure I tell you in person. Merry Christmas and be blessed always.” Having a God, and people, who love us for exactly who we are – what else could you ask for?

  79. Caroline says:

    Harry Potter Clue! Board game enthusiasts should know it’s even more fun than regular clue. And I say this as a 27 year old. My parents enjoyed it too, and they haven’t read the books (yet).

  80. Roger says:

    Merry Christmas, Trent. I don’t really have a favorite Christmas gift, although I greatly appreciated the digital camera that my mother gave me.

  81. Cindy Grier says:

    Merry Christmas Trent!
    My favorite present was your book! Both of my kids age 18 and 25 gave me a copy! I am going to keep both…that way I can share! I have been reading The Simple Dollar for 1 year now and it has changed my life! Thanks so much and God bless.

  82. Judi says:

    my favorite gift was sex and the city limited edition dvd/cd the cd has all the songs that played in the movie included also was a wedding album and certificate of authenticity. Its awesome. Given to me by my daughter.

  83. Tracy says:

    Received: A collection of Star Trek PEZ dispensers, complete with candy! New cubicle decor…

  84. Vanessa says:

    Awakening to the squeals of my five year old daughter at 6am, then lying awake in bed for the next hour listening to the whispered excitement between her and her brother over their Santa gifts. (They are not allowed to wake us until the sun is up, but can play with anything that is not wrapped-and Santa gifts never are.) Most of all, sharing giggles with my husband as we listened to my 11 year old riding his new ripstick around the living room…thump “ow”…thump “ow”…thump”ow…

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