Christmas money - what do you do with it?

My dad gave me money for Christmas this year (my mom passed away in October and she always did the Christmas shopping) and I’m not sure what to do with it. I feel like I should buy something specific with it rather than just frittering it away on mundane daily stuff so I can point to something and say this is what my dad got me for Christmas. And I do have my eye on a Blu-ray player, which it will cover or this really cute pair of diamond earrings, which it won’t…

What do you guys do with Christmas/birthday/other gift money? Spend it on something specific, save it, or fritter it away?

I usually spend it on something nice that I ordinarily wouldn’t buy, like a fancy dinner, or artwork.

It goes into my wallet and gets spent on normal expenses.

My folks gave me some money for Christmas. It was really a sort of “inheritance” - grandpa got some dough from his dead cousin, he gave some to my folks, they split it between me and the bro.

Anyway, they suggested I buy an LCD TV with it like I wanted. But the next day my sump pump died and I used it to have that mess taken care of. Whee!

I collected all the money we got for Christmas this year and bought a DSLR camera, which was conveniently on sale last week. I’ve been wanting to get into photography, and this was as good a time as any. I do prefer to buy something special when I get money, just so I can tell whoever was kind enough to send it what I got.

In the years I’ve been un- or under-employed gift money has been frittered away on mundane expenses like food or car insurance. I’ve had a steady job or the last three years, so gift money is spent of things I want but can’t really bring myself to buy. My last birthday cheque from my MIL was spent on a dress, and this year’s Christmas money is going to get spent on some stuff that’s been on my amazon wish list for a while.
Buying one object with the gift does make the thank-you email easier to write.

Generally, gift money goes towards stuff that’s frivolous that I just want.

This year, however, I gave the money my folks gave me to my sister. To give to my parents for their gift.

(Ok, turns out my parents gave me cash instead of the standard gift card. Turns out that the amount they gave me matched what I was going to give them! So, I gave their money to my sister, and kept my cash in mah wallet. Ta-da!)

I squirrel it away in my hidey-hole (oh, stop that, I hide it in an old jewelry box!) for ‘emergencies only’. Unfortunately, ‘emergencies’ (gas money, medicine,no cat food) crop up around here on a weekly basis. I can’t find my ATM card and the banks never seem to be open when I need cash due to The Big Joyous Christmas Holiday. (It’s never very much money involved, so if I have the opportunity to spend it on myself, it’s for lunch out. Otherwise I send a donation to the Humane Society, SPCA, or Smile Train and feel good all over for a while.)

I want to just put it into savings but my folks would be disappointed by that. Especially since they gave me and my sister a shitload each to make up for not being able to go out shopping (Mom’s been on chemo). Something totally superfluous would be nice. So I’m thinking of having the dings and minor paint damage fixed on my car.

I spend it on stuff I normally wouldn’t buy for myself. This year I’m spending it on an entertainment center for the living room. My setup now is fine how it is but everything is on a converted bookshelf and it’s been like that for over 5 years now and I don’t mind how it is but now I can buy the entertainment center and not feel guilty about wasting money on something that didn’t need to be replaced.

Welll, I’m leaning towards buying the earrings as I will eventually buy a Blu-ray player anyway. The earrings will have more meaning. Apparently, I’m the queen of rationalization…

Actually, in a tragedy of irony, I will use my Christmas money to buy socks and underwear.

No money this year, but a buttload of gift certificates to a favorite bookstore. Enough that I’ll be able to go quite a few times, with judicious rationing of course. The tough part will be choosing whether to be greedy and keep it all to myself when I wind up seeing books the husband or kid will like.

I never get money just gift certificates. Mine were mostly for book stores, so I will buy books. (Yay!)

Can you at least get yourself cashmere socks and sexy underwear?

I sort of split it. If I receive $100 my approach would be to buy myself something tangible that I can report about and thank the giver with about $40 of it, and then spend the rest on things the budget doesn’t usually allow. I have a friend who’s much more financially secure than I am and she invites me to lunch fairly often and treats. When I have a little extra scratch the first thing I do is invite her and pay.

All my Christmas money this year went into our wedding fund. We’re getting married in about 2.5 weeks… and we need all the cash we can get!

(Geez… this really is coming up fast!)

I put it toward getting some guy whacked. It makes it really hard to write a thank you note.

Come on people, 18 posts and no one posted the mandatory Hookers & Blow. I can’t take this burden on by myself!

I took our checks and deposited them in our general account…very practical, very boring. If one could afford it, I’d go with the nice meal or something slightly extravagant.

Much like a candy bar, it’s the contents not the wrapper that’s sweet. And cashmere is not that great in S FLA.