Averaged, I spent about $200 per person. We do the want/need/wear/read for everyone (even my dh). I kind of buy myself a couple of things to open too, so the kids don't think I've been bad. It seems like an awful lot of money - the books were kind of pricey this year - my daughter is getting a barefoot books fairy tale collection and my 8 year old a grad student-y ocean book. My husband is getting a nice cookbook. My youngest son is getting Jack and the Beanstalk from barefoot books. Their need and wear gifts are all snow stuff - boots, new coats, snowpants, mittens. Wants were pretty reasonable - skateboard for my son, knitting/sewing kits for my dd, a plasma car for my youngest. We do do an extra "santa" gift on top of this, but again nothing crazy. I don't know, between the gifts and the stockings it adds up quickly! I don't regret it, even though it is a bit more than I wanted to spend.
How much $ do you plan to spend per child THIS holiday season? - Page 8
I have a 2.5 year old, so....$0. My mom will give her a toy kitchen, and MIL will bring her tons of junk. We also didn't get her anything for her birthday. We do buy her stuff throughout the year as it becomes developmentally appropriate. I don't believe in making holidays special by giving her lots of things. But, she's only 2. We'll see what happens as she grows up and starts wanting things, or having an awareness of what other kids are doing...
Oh, and I'm getting DH a $15 vintage camera strap, and he's getting me something. I'm sure it's not expensive because he doesn't have very much money in his "allowance." But this is mostly peer pressure from his family, so we don't seem like total Scrooges. Also, we may wrap up some of DD's toys that still have boxes, just for show.
Wow, turns out I only spent $50 on ds's gifts plus $20 on stocking stuffers. Three gifts (one is a joint gift to share with dh) were from a thrift store, one from freecycle, and one a lego set bought on clearance last January. I think he's getting a couple things he really wants from relatives, fortunately. I'd happily spend more but I had fewer work hours than I had hoped the past couple of months.
I spent more money than usual on the food this year. Not feeling up to baking or anything since I don't have a kitchen of my own so I bought some marzipans, petit fours, etc. Also spent next to nothing on decorations, and we don't have our box of winter decorations either... we bought a $20 pink Christmas tree from the store and a few ornaments and called it a day. The kids made Christmas projects in preschool and we decorated with them, generally. So this year was a super frugal holiday for us... Very simple. I can't imagine going back to a stressful one after this year, even though I hope to be back in a house of our own by next year.
I plan to spend around 300 on my son...which is excessive to some, but it is restraint on my part, due to my experience growing up.
I grew up very wealthy and Christmas was a little crazy. My parents grew up very poor and my dad went into his own business in the late seventies and ended up making a lot of money. His income in 1984 is double - triple what my husband and I make together now as a household (we both work for a University) and we are considered upper middle class. We had at times four brand new cars bought with cash, and I had two new cars before the age of twenty. I remember shopping sprees with my mum in Montreal where we ended up buying 11 dresses each. In saying that, I was never that nasty spoiled kid. I'm too soft hearted and shy to be mean to anyone.
My dad is generous to the extreme though and continues to work to support my extended family who all work for him, he is in his late sixties now and still going and I just hate that he feels that he has to do this. I wonder at times if he feels that people love him because he gives so much money away. He never buys for himself but spends excessive amounts on others. So my experience growing up was a huge Christmas where the people around me showed their love with gifts...now in saying that they also were very loving to me and I am a big sook for my parents but I grew up with excessiveness as an example and it has been hard for me to change.
My husband grew up with two teachers as parents and even though they were not poor, they were frugal. It has been a clash at times but he has helped me or is helping me become more frugal. He understands though where it is coming from with me, and some of our biggest arguments have been over my parents buying inappropriate gifts for our eight year old son - (ipad 2 because he had his tonsils out, buying him four DSI's in the last two years, ipod for easter etc....I had to talk to my parents about it which was hard because I didn't want to hurt my Dad but I had too in order to keep my husband and me sane :). My husband loves my parents as well, but he worries about them also because he thinks they should just retire and stop the taking care of everyone. Together we have refused a lot from my parents but I think it is good because hopefully they know we love them and not their money. And as we grow as a family hopefully I can change more and raise our son without the same money lessons I learned growing up...
Just another perspective...I posted it in response to someone who discussed growing up poor and if they had the money they would spend it on their kids. Well that is what my parents did and it isn't always a good thing...even if it is done with the best intentions.
Edited by carolynmacyeo - 12/22/11 at 1:24pm
I'm not really sure how much I spent, but it was definately more than I intended to. My older ds is 3 and this is the first year I bought him more than a couple gifts. There was just so much that I thought was cool. I'll be more restrained next year, LOL. Let's see, he's getting 2 Playmobil sets (I bought 3, but I think I am going to keep one back for his birthday), 4 books, 2 activity books, a soccer ball and soccer goal, a kiddie golf set, 2 wooden trains that are three cars each, a kiddie cash register and some new pjs which he really needs. In his stocking I've got some pencils, glue, child scissors and a pencil box. Oh and a chocolate santa. (I purposely got him a "pet stocking" cause they are smaller so I don't have to come up with a bunch of small things to fill it up. I'm not creative enough for that!). So yeah, a little overboard. My 7 month old is getting a little wooden keepsake frog toy cause we call him froggie, a book and pjs to match his bro. Not that he will know the difference but I feel like I should get him something and both the frog and the book are keepsakey items.
Husband and I each got a mug with the kids pics on them which we wrapped up like fools so we have something to open.
I was raised with extravagent Christmases that my parents went into debt to afford it because they felt that you showed your love by buying stuff and my dh was raised with a mentally ill mother who usually got nothing for Christmas and who's mother would insinuate that he was greedy to expect anything to the point that he didn't even celebrate it any more as an adult because it was too painful. We are trying to create a happy holiday atmosphere in our home without moral judgements around gifting.
Ok looking back to what I spent... I'm ok with it. The girls got things they wanted and are using them. Well the marshmallow guns were a bad idea from the start. I had so many soggy marshmallows in my hair it was gross! Why am I always the target?
The wii was expensive but it was a joint gift and years ago I had no problem dropping hundreds on something they never actually played with until they got older. So I'm good with this.
Every gift my kids got was well received. I'm good with that.
We ended up spending a lot on ds1. DH bought him a laptop at the Boxing Day sales today. It's not a Christmas gift, though. It's actually a belated graduation gift. This will make his experience at school better, and cut back on the competition for our computer at home.
I spent about $200 on each of my two kids. Actually it was less than that because several things I purchased used or at steep discount (books and video games). Everything went over well. I stayed within a reasonable budget with no debt and it still seemed festive and fun. Seemed just about perfect, really. I do regret money spent on Christmas food. I just feel so bloated I threw away the last of the cookies. Way too many sweets. : )
Mine have not made it any easier on us this year. Both DS1 and DS2 (22 and 19) like choosing their own electronics, and we're happier with that as opposed to having to decide what features, etc. Well, they mentioned an interest in e-readers, so we've been offering to take them shopping since they got home the week before Christmas . . . and they've been putting it off because they'd rather hang out instead. They're really happy with the shirts we got them -- some lined, a real hit -- if we'd waited for their input, they wouldn't have had gifts to open. They mostly want to get enough sleep, have dinner together, and eat popcorn while we all watch a movie.