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Unexpected Rewards Just-In-Time for Christmas


I was just talking about my super tight Christmas budget. I loved all your suggestions for inexpensive gifts and wanted to say a big THANK YOU for all the practical tips and recommendations. I’m totally doing many of the things you’d recommended in the comments.

But even so, I was feeling a little defeated about not having anything “big” for the kids. And I use the term “big” loosely. I’m not talking about an expensive gift worth hundreds of dollars. But I wanted to find something that would be “special.” Something in the range of $25-30 that they’d be excited about. But even a $25 gift wasn’t in the budget.

And then…an unexpected reward showed up in the mail.

About a month after I moved, I got a new cell phone line (removing my line from the old shared/family plan). Apparently there was a promotion where you receive a $100 Visa Gift Card after 3 months of on-time payments. Well, I hit the 3-month mark and guess what showed up in the mail – my $100 Visa Gift Card that I’d totally forgotten all about! WOOOOOO!!!!

I’m definitely not blowing it all in one place, but it provides just a little bit of cushion to get a “big” gift (again – like a $25 price tag) and stocking stuffers (which I hadn’t initially thought to include in my original Christmas budget, but which add up in cost quickly!)

My goal is to keep my spending to $75 or less (approx $25/child + about $25 worth of stocking stuffers) and use the rest of the gift card for some groceries or save for another rainy day.

Pretty excited – it felt like a blessing that arrived at exactly the time I needed it!

Anyone else receive any unexpected (or forgotten) rewards just in time for Christmas or another holiday?


  • Reply Cwaltz |

    Stuff like this always happened when we were young and broke. I’d think we were not going to make it and aol would send me a check asking me to switch to them as a phone provider a few months later at and t would send me a check asking me to switch back. Your $50 Christmas was very similar to one we had where I got my stocking stuffers at the store where I needed to buy $35 sorry of groceries for a free turkey. The “big” gift for each kid was a buy 2 get one free deal a drugstore had where I got my oldest legos and my daughter a doll baby set and the baby got a set with bottles and bibs. They survived that holiday by the way and what they remembered is they each got soda in their stockings(a rare treat for them and a tradition we made up until 5 years later when we had a throw up debacle when the two youngest put all their holiday candy in the soda bottles to dissolve and drank it. Yeah that was not pretty and created a new tradition……no stockings until the end of the day that way mom could rest without worrying that someone would enter a diabetic coma.) Oh the stories I have. Anyway I am super happy that this money came for you at the right time.

  • Reply miranda zetsen |

    I won a $100 prepaid mastercard on a facebook group this week. It was super exciting and provided some extra room in my budget to help a friend who had no gifts for her kids.

  • Reply Chantal |

    It’s late for Christmas but the biggest hit ever made with my grandchildren were a calico critters house and later the families. Both boy and girl played with these endlessly and howled with horror when it was suggested “time to give to others”. there are several offered on eBay at very good prices.

So, what do you think ?