Glad it helped a bit, Annunziata
I was lucky to have family here with me. But I had no money to buy any gifts with. We had 4 kids most with partners as well here with us. And we have started drawing names for gift giving rather than buying for everyone. Thank goodness.
This year was the leanest financially at Christmas that we've had. And we've had some very lean years in the past. I drew my daughter-in-law's name. Fortunately I knew she'd like me to knit a scarf for her, so I made a scarf and matching hat, and made a necklace for her in the style she likes.
My father got a book in good shape from my book shelves. My mother got a scarf and my step-dad got a giant turnip ( a gag gift he enjoyed because he used to tease my kids all the time they were growing up about how he was going to cook turnips for them).
Once again, my husband Alan and I couldn't afford to buy gifts for each other. And the daughter that drew his name agreed to buy him an electric heater for the house as his gift as we'd just had one die on us. So he got nothing, really, for a gift.
He drew my name and gave me some henna for my hair. Which we'd bought before we realized we'd have no money for gifts. So we wrapped up the henna ... for the kids' sake as much as anything so they wouldn't feel bad that mom didn't get anything for Christmas.
That's not quite accurate. I got socks and a journal from my mother. And daughter-in-law bought me yarn for knitting. And Al got socks from my mother and chocolate from our daughter-in-law.
Our Christmas dinners (2 of them because not everyone could be here at the same time) came from food we received froom the local foodbank visit we make every 3 wks. And a Christmas basket from a local community group. And our daughter-in-law contributed mightily to both meals. Thank goodness for her and our son, they make things easier than they would be otherwise.
I understand about the financial straits. I dread Christmas every year, wondering if we will make it through without feeling totally humiliated.
You have my sympathy.