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Secret Santa Help!


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#1 dmmiller  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 19, 2007 - 10:30 am

I just found out that really good friends of ours who have been going thru some REALLY hard times this past year are going to be losing they're house and probably filing for Bankruptcy. My friends DH's job cut him down to a few days a week, so I know Money is extremely tight. I dont know how xmas is going to be in they're household this year, but I'm really wanting to do something for them. We dont have a lot of money, but we are some what comfortable, and we spoil our kids too much anyways. So i'm thinking of getting they're kids some things, along with the Mom & dad. And maybe a basket with some things. Does anyone have anything to suggest? TIA. :holiday09

#2 conj  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 19, 2007 - 10:35 am

how old are your little ones? Are they old enough to help with this? Let them know it is secret, tho.
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#3 shopping mom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 19, 2007 - 10:42 am

How old are the children from the family? I think it is a great idea especially if they do not know who it is from.

#4 berry1014  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 19, 2007 - 10:45 am

I think that is wonderful idea. Themed baskets are great and you can do one for just about any theme. You could do a game night or movie night basket or a family night basket with a game and a movie. There are so many different things you can add to it as well like packages of popcorn or a large tin of popcorn candy homemade cookies or a bag of cookie mix so they can make the cookies themselves juice boxes and or sodas hot choc mix, tea bags, coffee samples and a new holiday mug for each member You could also include a gift certificate to a local pizza shop. Depending on the ages of the kids you can add coloring books and crayons too. Good Luck

#5 dmmiller  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 19, 2007 - 10:46 am

My kids are 6, 7 (almost 8) and 12. They're kids are 13 & 9.

#6 shopping mom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 19, 2007 - 10:50 am

If your 6 and 7 year old still believe in Santa, I think I would keep it a secret even from them. But your twelve year old would enjoy helping. Are their children boys or girls? For the basket are you thinking Christmas dinner type or just a fun general type?

#7 alleyc  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 19, 2007 - 10:55 am

maybe a basket with a grocery G/C along with maybe ingredients to a dinner etc.

#8 Guest_JustMeDiana_*  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 19, 2007 - 10:58 am

Popcorn tins and a movie that the whole family would enjoy. I have done this one before for friends.:D

#9 dmmiller  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 19, 2007 - 10:59 am

Yeah, I'm kinda thinking of keeping it a secret from my kids too, cuz they're friends and I dont want any weird feelings when they're together. I havent really decided about the basket, but probably something for they're dinner. To help make the day more special and not such a stressful time.

#10 pogiporkchop  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 19, 2007 - 11:11 am

I think it's a great idea too. Your two youngest could be responsible for their younger one and your oldest for theirs. I'd probably go with the themed basket idea myself, and will likely do so for my brother who has run into some problems recently because of a health issue. Hearing stories like this remind me to be thankful for what I have and to try and do a little extra something for someone in need if I can manage it.

#11 lucyismycat  ONLINE  

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Posted Sep 19, 2007 - 11:54 am

I think it's so great that you're willing to do this for them. A couple of years ago there was a family in our neighborhood that was having a rough time. I really wanted to help, but I knew that their problem was temporary, and they probably didn't realize that I knew about their troubles, and I didn't want there to be really weird feelings later on. One day in December I was making homemade chicken soup, and ended up putting it in half gallon containers, well, I ended up with enough for the entire neighborhood. So I put that together with a loaf of homemade bread, some cookies and a card. I presented it to them with the notion that it was for one of those crazy nights when they've been out shopping all day and didn't want to worry about supper. They really liked it, and the next year the husband started asking when they were going to get soup in October. Now it's a tradition.

#12 myervin2001  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 19, 2007 - 5:10 pm

Is the 13 yo a boy or girl? If its a girl heres a good idea for a basket: One year my mom made me a box FULL of hair products, makeup, lotions etc... I LOVED it and it lasted forever because there was so much of it. If you have a CVS card you can get alot of that type of stuff for free or next to nothing with the ECBs they have. This may actually work for a 13 yo boy also because I know my 13 yo ds is into the tag sprays and the body washes type things. He also uses hair gel and all that junk. This way its a thoughful gift because you took alot of thought putting it together, wouldnt cost you alot if you have the CVS card and its something they can use. The movie or game night basket is a good idea also and there should be alot of dvds and games on sale on BF there always is.
:mad:If we had more :2dollar: I could shop more :g_dance:

#13 dmmiller  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 20, 2007 - 2:37 am

Thanks everyone for your Advice. I really appreciate the feedback. If anyone thinks of anything else, please post. :) BTW they're kids are both boys.

#14 jarerice  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 20, 2007 - 12:13 pm

How secert do you want it to be? You could pack up a few boxes labeled with eack person and go to the nest town to mail it. Or maybe you could have someone you trust and they do not know to drop it off a few days before christmas. Check out cheaper places!!!! Target Clareance (of course), Dollor General has tons of name brand toys!!! Dollor Tree for coloring stuff, stickers, cups, candy and hair stuff. See if your work could chip in and make it a group project.

#15 mandifour  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 20, 2007 - 3:59 pm

I would start looking now. If the kids have any type of video game, maybe get gift certificates to a place like game stop or eb games, they always have good used games. You could also get them goodie baskets with all the movie theater size candy from dollar tree or walmart, I think they have theirs for .88 As for the parents i think it would be nice to do meal baskets, and then throw in a $5 gc with the meal to help with the meat/cold items to go with it.

#16 pastasalad  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 20, 2007 - 4:10 pm

This is what the Holidays are all about! I am sure no matter what you do they will appreciate it~I truly am humbled after reading this post...
~*Decisionally Challenged*~

#17 MandaJo111  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 20, 2007 - 5:34 pm

I used to have a boss that would give out a dinner basket every year to the employees along with our Christmas bonus. He told a story of how he dropped off one of the employees one year on Christmas Eve. The gentleman forgot something in the car so he went to take it in to him. When he got inside he saw bare cabinets and found that the family would not be having a Christmas dinner the next day. He went out and bought all of the fixings for dinner the next day. Ever since he has always given out a basket of food to every single employee to ensure that they would have food to eat for Christmas. Every year he got dozens of large apple baskets and filled them to the top. There was corn, dumplings, chicken broth, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, cans of all kinds of veggies, pumpkin for pies, crust, macaroni and cheese, stuffing, potatoes, and a giant turkey in the middle. Oh he even made sure there was butter, salt, pepper, and anything else you might possibly need to make a wonderful Christmas dinner. I think what you are doing is wonderful. Just make sure to get it to them early enough that it eases some of their worry. :) God Bless You. This is truly the reason for the season. :)
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#18 eve  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 20, 2007 - 9:57 pm

I used to have a boss that would give out a dinner basket every year to the employees along with our Christmas bonus. He told a story of how he dropped off one of the employees one year on Christmas Eve. The gentleman forgot something in the car so he went to take it in to him. When he got inside he saw bare cabinets and found that the family would not be having a Christmas dinner the next day. He went out and bought all of the fixings for dinner the next day.

Ever since he has always given out a basket of food to every single employee to ensure that they would have food to eat for Christmas. Every year he got dozens of large apple baskets and filled them to the top. There was corn, dumplings, chicken broth, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, cans of all kinds of veggies, pumpkin for pies, crust, macaroni and cheese, stuffing, potatoes, and a giant turkey in the middle. Oh he even made sure there was butter, salt, pepper, and anything else you might possibly need to make a wonderful Christmas dinner.

I think what you are doing is wonderful. Just make sure to get it to them early enough that it eases some of their worry. :) God Bless You. This is truly the reason for the season. :)


omg what a great story;)

#19 dmmiller  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 21, 2007 - 3:50 am

wow.. thats really an awesome boss. I never had one like that. I'm lucky to get a $15 turkey cert. With the boss I have now... Nothing. :( What a Scrooge. He conveniently forgets about those of us working from home. Oh well. there is more to life than a $15 turkey cert. LOL

#20 noehlp  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 21, 2007 - 4:34 am

How old are the children from the family? I think it is a great idea especially if they do not know who it is from.


I agree, if they don't know who it is from.

<clipped by Patty>
I think what you are doing is wonderful. Just make sure to get it to them early enough that it eases some of their worry. :) God Bless You. This is truly the reason for the season. :)


Couldn't agree more. I, too, think you should try to get it to them early, say maybe a couple weeks early.

#21 BF in Iowa  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 21, 2007 - 8:21 am

A coworker had this problem last year; her job is secure, but she has three high-needs sons and an unemployed husband who was very down-in-the-dumps. A friend and I bought misc. $10-25 gift certificates for Pizza Hut, grocery store, drug store, and fast food restaurants. We figured they could buy necessary basics, and either enjoy family meals so the kids wouldn't realize the severity of the family's financial situation or, if necessary, the kids could give the gift cards to friends as presents. Then I got her a $200 gift card to Target so she could put something under the tree for her own sons and husband. I think it helped their family have a more normal Christmas which helped lower her stress level. I made sure she had these anonymous gifts from the elves about 2 weeks before the holiday. It was a stretch to spend the money that I did --- but I also felt there was no better recipient than her and her family. My kids may think they don't have enough Polly Pocket and board games, but they really do.

#22 dmmiller  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 21, 2007 - 8:31 am

Another Great Idea! Thanks BF in Iowa. Maybe I can do some of both. Send the certs in the mail, early. And then have a few gifts left on the doorstep the week of xmas. Thanks for all the ideas guys/gals, you all are awesome. :holiday09

#23 AndreaInNC  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 21, 2007 - 9:17 am

I personally wouldn't send gift cards through the mail with no return address. You'd have no way of knowing if they made it to them. I'd probably go the gift card route - a grocery store one for food and then maybe Walmart or Target with enough money for the parents to get stuff for under the tree. I'd give it to them a few weeks before the holiday along with some homemade treats. I'd probably hide the gift cards underneath the treats so they don't feel funny about it and let them find it later. You are such a good friend.

#24 dmmiller  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 21, 2007 - 9:38 am

I personally wouldn't send gift cards through the mail with no return address. You'd have no way of knowing if they made it to them.


Good point. :)
Thanks. :tongue1:

#25 kellane26  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 21, 2007 - 11:23 am

I think you are doing a wonderful thing. Reading stories like this just warms my heart.

#26 swelsh524  OFFLINE  

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Posted Sep 22, 2007 - 6:49 am

This is wonderful to know there are still people in this world that care about other people and how they are living. Last year there was a family that moved down the street from me, one day a week before Christmas break from school, the mother of the two little ones was at the bus stop waiting for her child and she was crying, I too would wait at the same bus stop for my daughter and I asked her what was wrong. She stated that the kids could not have a Christmas due to her husband losing hours at work and her not able to work because of a disability. I immediately came home and called all my friends and family to ask them for help. We went together as a group and bought them gift certificates for grocery stores and bought each kid 7 presents a piece, we wrapped them and stuck them on their doorstep 3 days before Christmas. After Christmas break from school we were once again at the bus stop and she was telling me about the secret santa that came to her house and how her kids had such a nice Christmas, she didn't know it was me and my family, but it was such a great feeling to know that those kids did not go without and had a normal Christmas like my children did. Believe me it is well worth helping some one out and I give you all the credit in the world for what you are doing.

#27 mcapel4444  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 2, 2007 - 4:20 pm

I would get the kids some toys & essential clothing items- underwear, socks, the things that always seem to wear out fast. For mom & dad, how bout a gc to the grocery store? And a basket of Christmas dinner?

#28 ms_mckenna  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 2, 2007 - 8:04 pm

A few years back we had a really really bad ordeal when DH had lost his job and it was Nov. I can honestly say that it was the most trying thing I have ever been through. Plus the thought that I had to swallow my pride did not help. I can remember someone offering to help and I just bawled it was very defeating but I was extremely greatful. You are a very good friend for thinking of them. I definately think a food basket is a good idea. Maybe even a supplies one, things you do not think about till you do not have it. Paper towels, toilet paper etc. I do not know what is avaible in your area but you might want to submit thier names to a local radio show closer to Christmas. The ones around here typically do help a family out day and do some really great things. Kidd does awesome stuff if he has a morning show in your area.
:2cloud9: Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable. :2couple:

#29 jbdinos  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 2, 2007 - 9:37 pm

I personally wouldn't send gift cards through the mail with no return address. You'd have no way of knowing if they made it to them.


You could print a priority mail label online and that would come with a free delivery confirmation # so you could track the package. You can set the "from" up to be from anyone, anywhere. So it could be from "santa claus" at the "north pole" or whatever you want to do.... and you can track it with the number to be sure it was delivered. ONly 4.60 but peace of mind if you want to be sure.

Another option would be to simply get someone to pay a teenager 5.00 or so to put on an elf hat and knock on the door and hand it to them personally. Make sure it's someone that they don't know and if they ask who it's from, have the "elf" say "why, santa of course"

#30 DramaQueenLucy  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 3, 2007 - 4:26 am

We did a a gift basket last year for a family at my Church that was having a hard time. We put in the basket a $200.00 Walmart GC, 4 movie rentals GC from Block Buster, Quick Trip GC for gas, popcorn, chips, juice boxes, candy and 2 board games. Then the church got them a turkey with all the trimmings. We had our children's Pastor take it over and tell them that it was donated in their name and he has no idea who it was...my boys are real good at keeping this kind of a secret.




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