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How much do you get your kids for Christmas?


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Recently my mom made a comment about me getting too much for my kids for Christmas...  Nevermind the fact that she lives in another state and doesn't see what I get my kids.  But it made me wonder.  How do you go about your kids Christmas presents?  Do you have a set amount, set price, or do you say, 1 big, a few little, and stockings?  And how old are your kids?

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I have two kids. They will be 7 and 3 this Christmas. We don't have a set price or a set amount but we usually do one "wow factor" gift for each of them (you know, the one that isn't wrapped on Christmas morning), one large, combined gift and then several smaller, thoughtful gifts. And stockings.

Santa usually only brings 1-2 gifts for them each.

I admit:  I get him too much.

I only have one child and very few other people to buy for.  I don't have credit cards or anything, so I don't rack up a lot of debt during the season, but I definitely overspend.  The funny thing is, my kid is a lot easier to please and a lot lower maintenance than some other kids I know.  He would be happy with less than what I normally give him, but I have this guilt...and I just want him to have the best, kind of magical Christmas possible.

So far, every year, he's had at least two "big" things he wanted (either in price or actual size, but that usually ends up working out to be the same).  One comes from me, one from Santa.  And then I get him maybe...10-12 other things?  Sort of mid-range things?  And of course, stocking.

Money is tighter this year...so I don't know if I can afford to give the fat man as much credit, but we'll see.

My daughter will be 3 on Dec. 4th

My son 1 in April

I have limited her birthday to 200$. (Cake, food and all).

My son will probably get a toy or two and a ton of clothes. My daughter, well, I don't know. Her birthday being so close is ... argh.

We used to aim for similar amounts of gifts and similar dollar value, in the $150 range per kid. (I have a 14 year old son, an 8 year old son, and a 7 year old daughter)

I got sick of Christmases where the kids picked their one favorite toy... the others were nothing more than fillers under the tree, and then to go to my parents, hubs parents, and other relatives only to have the same thing happen. One year my kids each got 3 stuffies from an aunt. The toys came home and went straight into the toy bin and slowly made their way to the bottom, never to be played with.

Not to mention the disturbing display of the kids ripping paper off a gift, setting it quickly aside and looking for another gift to rip the paper off. It's like it didn't even matter what the gift was, they were so caught up in opening the next one, then the next one, etc.

Last year (from us), they only each had 1 big ticket item ($100) under the tree, creatively wrapped. Their stockings had the regular treats like chips and chocolate, but also a few small items like a wrapped DVD, video game, or book. The kids LOVED their main gifts and use them literally every single day.

We are all so much happier with this system and we'll never go back to quantity over quality!

edited for clarity

For my kids, I don't do a set budget.  Everyone else gets a budget, but not my little girl (and some day little boy).  Allie gets one major gift, two minor gifts, stocking stuffers and new clothes.  Usually her clothes consist of a few outfits and a fun pair of pajamas or two.  I do similar for my nephews except they get one major gift, one minor gift, stocking stuffers, and for their new clothes they each get one outfit and one pair of pajamas.  They don't really have anyone to get them presents so I try to do a good amount.  Christmas isn't about presents when you're an adult, but as a kid that's all that matters.  And cookies.

YAY!  NP is back!

Seriously, I thought we lost you.  Unblock me...I wanted to PM you a question.  Don't worry, it's not an evil question (relatively speaking) and you can always block me again later for S&Gs.

I buy my kid Waaaaayy too much stuff.  But that's how I was raised...I used to get tons of stuff on Christmas from parents, grandparents, Santa, etc...  Once out on my own I had to scale back my spending quite a bit...after couple years of >$1000 (total on everybody's presents, not just my kid's) crushing my credit card bill. 

But to put a number on it, I probably spend $650-$750 on presents each year...not including travel and all that...I'd say nearly $200 of that is on my child.

But my wife is from a differnet culture, a European background, so she thinks my spending on Christmas is rediculous.  She's from a family where ya might get 3-5 little trinkets and gifts are no big deal.  So we usually have a "Christmas spending" arguement in early December.  So I got that to look forward to coming up.

But my kid doesn't just get gifts from me and Santa and a few that mommy buys with her money.  She gets a ****load from Grandma and Grandpa as well.  Usually at least one "big" thing.

peebeegee, my daughter's birthday is December 1st.  My son will be born about a month after Christmas.  Husband and I agreed, to make life easy, birthdays will be more about the party and less about the presents.  Last year she got a ride-on scooter.  This year she's getting a goldfish.  One present, fun party.  That way it doesn't deter from Christmas or make the whole season overwhelming.

I have unblocked Ccat.

God help me.

Whatever I happen to spend. She gets a lot - she gets very little besides needs the rest of the year. There's always things on her list she doesn't get and things not on it that she does. Some people probably think it's excessive but frankly I don't care.

Her b-day is also right after Christmas. I work very hard to make sure that it's not overshadowed.

That said, she's also gracious, generous and kind. You can't possibly spoil a child with gifts if you're raising them right.

Original Post by qmwillcand:

We are all so much happier with this system and we'll never go back to quantity over quality!

This is a great way to approach Christmas!  We're going that way for our oldest, but our youngest hasn't made known any big ticket items he would be interested in.

I have two boys, 9 and 11.  My youngest son's birthday is December 17th, so he naturally winds up getting more items because of the double occassion.  We wind up spending about $100 per kid for Xmas, for the birthday, about $60.

However, in terms of quantity, it's rarely because of me and hubby.  Our kids get slammed with so many presents from relatives that we have to spread out present opening across 4 days so they don't get overwhelmed.  Truth be told, it would be better for them to just all give money to the boys, but they feel the need to give them something to open.

Original Post by peebeegee:

My daughter will be 3 on Dec. 4th

My son 1 in April

I have limited her birthday to 200$. (Cake, food and all).

My son will probably get a toy or two and a ton of clothes. My daughter, well, I don't know. Her birthday being so close is ... argh.

hey now...my birthday is the same day as your daughter.  i'd recommend you try to make her feel like they're seperate occasions!  there's nothing worse than the dreaded birthday/christmas gift.  :P

Well, perhaps I've gotten myself into a pickle.  Maybe the more experienced parents can help.

I feel like maybe I need to scale back with the gifts with my son.  He isn't really greedy or materialistic, but I don't want him to become greedy or materialistic and I don't know that I will always be able to provide the big Wow Christmas every year.

So, how do I scale back without it being sad or a big deal or him feeling like it's because of something he did/didn't do?

Original Post by nicepumpkins:

Well, perhaps I've gotten myself into a pickle.  Maybe the more experienced parents can help.

I feel like maybe I need to scale back with the gifts with my son.  He isn't really greedy or materialistic, but I don't want him to become greedy or materialistic and I don't know that I will always be able to provide the big Wow Christmas every year.

So, how do I scale back without it being sad or a big deal or him feeling like it's because of something he did/didn't do?

he's 7, right?  it may be a good time to sort of breach the topic of finances with him, maybe?  i'm not a parent, so i really don't know...but maybe you could explain to him that you want him to enjoy christmas, and you love him, but there will be less gifts this year?  maybe come up with a christmas-y craft to do together in lieu of a gift or two?

OR get a few less expensive gifts, so he still gets to open lots of gifts.  the chance of him keeping a running total in his head of how much you spent is pretty slim :)

Original Post by cellulitedelight:

peebeegee, my daughter's birthday is December 1st.  My son will be born about a month after Christmas.  Husband and I agreed, to make life easy, birthdays will be more about the party and less about the presents.  Last year she got a ride-on scooter.  This year she's getting a goldfish.  One present, fun party.  That way it doesn't deter from Christmas or make the whole season overwhelming.

I don't decorate for Christmas until her birthday has passed.

To add insult to injury my husband's birthday is Jan 12th.

On an also funny side my son's birthday is april 8th, mine is April 18th. We make holidays expensive LMAO.

OMG A GOLDFISH. That's a swell idea. My only concern is when it dies... she's a little young to understand why the fishie isn't swimming.

#15  
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Ok , my kids are 12, 10, 7, 4, and almost 2. Usually we spend $100 per kid. They usually don't get many gifts(if any) from anyone else. I've already bought my 10 year old a tablet that was on sale for $200 soooooo now I gotta figure out if I have to spend the same amount on all the kids. That would make Christmas well over $1000 and that's before hubby and I buy for each other. The rest of the year my kids do chores for money and they can buy toys with that money if they so choose.

The baby turns two december 15th. We'll do a family party and get him a gift or two. My 10 year old turns 11 in January. I think we'll do chuck e cheese and get a ton of tokens.

I generally spend about $600 per child.  I make sure that they have an equal number of gifts, and roughly an equal value.

I set aside $60/paycheque into a Christmas savings account all year long so that I don't get wholloped by a big credit card bill.

Original Post by knowan:

I generally spend about $600 per child.  I make sure that they have an equal number of gifts, and roughly an equal value.

I set aside $60/paycheque into a Christmas savings account all year long so that I don't get wholloped by a big credit card bill.

Will you adopt me?

#18  
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Original Post by knowan:

I generally spend about $600 per child.  I make sure that they have an equal number of gifts, and roughly an equal value.

I set aside $60/paycheque into a Christmas savings account all year long so that I don't get wholloped by a big credit card bill.

adopt me, please.

I feel better about my spending now.

#19  
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Original Post by caloricat:

Original Post by knowan:

I generally spend about $600 per child.  I make sure that they have an equal number of gifts, and roughly an equal value.

I set aside $60/paycheque into a Christmas savings account all year long so that I don't get wholloped by a big credit card bill.

Will you adopt me?

jinx

Original Post by knowan:

I generally spend about $600 per child.  I make sure that they have an equal number of gifts, and roughly an equal value.

I set aside $60/paycheque into a Christmas savings account all year long so that I don't get wholloped by a big credit card bill.


Wow.  Are you still dating that girl?

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