Yes, we're broke. I am turning my law practice into a full-time thing and letting go of the dog walking cash cow. So here we are in the middle for the holidays.
What we didn't do: use credit cards, borrow, give gifts to adults. The exception was my parents who got a nice German steak knife set I picked up at a yard sale in September at a reasonable price.
What we did do: start looking for holiday presents early and in our closets. That led to my 10 year old niece getting a mink stole I got on a whim from a thrift shop months earlier. Her brother got a large cache of comic books from my husband. We got small, old-fashioned toys at my synagogue for my other nephews at Hanukkah Mart day. And I got this all done and in the mail by Thanksgiving which did loads to reduce stress.
Our gift to each other was three events we did together. My husband got to pick one, I got to pick one, and we would both agree to the third one. It worked out all right, except my husband picked a play at Studio Theater called "Breathe, Boom" or something and we walked out at intermission. I chose "Charlie Wilson's War" which Justin would normally not go to see, but he liked it. Our third event is to take some friends out to dinner at a Mexican place in January. So it worked out pretty well.
We made a point of going to every party we were invited to, and have been very busy as a result.
I decorated with silver and blue gift bows from the store.
In the end, it was a lovely holiday season and I gave gifts that I would never have thought of before.