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How much $ do you plan to spend per child THIS holiday season? - Page 3

post #41 of 151

I aim for about $120 for each child. We buy some toys, a pair of pjs and a book. This year, I might end up a bit higher than that. My kids are getting older, and the thing that will appeal to our 10 year old are more 'experiences' (tickets to basketball games), which cost a fair amount of money, especially since a parent needs to go with him. Does the extra $30 for parent count as 'his' gift?

post #42 of 151
Birthday and chanuka overlap for us, we will probably spend 150$ combined for our to be 2yr old. I will be buying local as much as possible and doing some swaps for handmade w friends (a toddler busy bag swap) I will get him a few custom apliqueed items (a big bro shirt, a car apliqueed shirt). I made him a quilt and used some costly fabrics, so with that we'll spend about an additional 40-50$.


Doula mama to my nursing toddler Noah
post #43 of 151

I was doing another search when this thread came up. I read the whole thing... like a train wreck of capitalist fodder.

 

I would like to think that even when I'm not as poor as I am now that I will still echo oma to 9's sentiments about Christmas and gift giving. I feel blessed that even though my extended family and family of origin are comfortable financially that I still got that message from them, rather than the one shoved down our throats by advertisers. I don't plan on spending a dime on gifts this Christmas. We are visiting family on the other coast though, but I honestly hope I don't have to add to my return home luggage.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oma to 9 View Post

I have never, ever spent more than about $50 per child.  I never had it to spend.  As a single mom with 3 kids not getting child support, we just made it month to month as it was.  My kids got a few things every Christmas but it really wasn't that much.  I taught them from the time they were old enough to get it that gifts were because I loved them and not because they had been good or bad.  I also never taught them about Santa.  I was very, very disallusioned as a child when I was the best I could be and I didn't get much of anything as a gift - my parents weren't all that well off either - so I promised myself then that I would never do that to my kids.  They knew if they didn't get a lot that it was because we couldn't afford a lot.

 

I start shopping right after Christmas.  I pick up things on sale all year long.  I also make every member of the family (3 kids and spouses and 11 grandkids) pajamas.  They usually get the jammies and the adults get one other gift while the grandkids get one or two others depending on what we have to work with.

 

If you take into account the real reason we celebrate Christmas, and don't get caught up in the greed and materialism, your kids can have a great holiday with very little in the way of presents under the tree.  We took time to make cookies and decorate them and gave most of them away; we made fudge and gave it to the postal carrier as well as many other people; we made caramel corn and gave it as gifts; we did a lot of inexpensive creative things.  We went out and cut a tree each year until one of the girls developed an allergy to pine sap.  We took a day or two to decorate the tree and the house with everyone participating.  We went on rides to see the lights. 

 

I asked my 9 year old grandson last year if he would rather have me buy him something ready-made, send him money, or make him the traditional jammies and other clothes I make for the kids.  He didn't even hesitate before he said, "No.  I want my pajamas.  Please make my gifts.  I love it when you take the time to make things for me." 

 

My kids feel the same way even now.  They know we don't have a lot of extra money and as they need things through the year (none of us are particularly well off) we help when we have the means to do so.  At Christmas, for our family, it's more about love and spending time with each other than it is about how much we spend.  It's always been that way.  My kids never even made a list for me with what they wanted on it.  They were happy with whatever they got, they loved the clothes I made them, and it make me feel good that my children were growing up knowing that love and caring was more important than how much someone spends on a gift or a bunch of gifts. 

 

Of course, our family was different than a lot of families around us.  It still is.



 

post #44 of 151

(((edited to remove snark)))

 

We spend what we believe is a reasonable amount depending on our financial status at the time and on the needs and wants of our children, taking into consideration what we are comfortable spending and the appropriateness/value of the gifts. We won't and don't go into debt for Christmas and we focus heavily on tradition-building - looking at lights, baking, hot cocoa, crafts, decorating, festivals, and so forth. We also donate money, time, and focus on giving as well as religious aspects. This year I've been able to get most gifts second-hand for both the financial and environmental aspect, as well as scoring a few awesome deals on Amazon via my Swagbucks free gift cards. I ♥ being frugal in general so it's fun for me. Anyone who is kind enough to give to our children is thanked profusely even if we discreetly choose to pass on the gift to those who will appreciate it more or exchange it for something they'd like more. This year, grandma is getting an awesome experience gift of a family pass to a place we visit frequently so we are thrilled.

 

I am happy for anyone who chooses to spend what they can afford without going into debt or communicating that things = love. I don't think I'm a more enlightened, evolved, crunchy person because I may choose different things.


Edited by Tumble Bumbles - 11/25/11 at 7:23pm
post #45 of 151

...


Edited by Mommel - 11/25/11 at 5:45pm
post #46 of 151


So true!  We're the same way, birthdays and Christmas are when money is spent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thursday Girl View Post

sidenote-My girls have 5 american girl dolls between them all bought when american girl was owned by pleasant company, they belonged to my sisters and I. 2 of the dolls had limbs reattached and the service was very good, however the new clothes I ordered from them were of much poorer quality then the original clothes from my childhood. Plus I can not wrap my brain around the plethora of outfits some of the historical dolls have. It's just not realistic.  I have bought some clothes on etsy that were of much better quality then the american girl company doll clothes.

 

 

Also- regarding amount spent, I think there are a lot of factors that go into this.  My friend thinks I spend a lot on my girls but they do not get toys throughout the year. They get a present at Christmas, at Easter and at their birthday. She spends less on her sons holiday presents but she also buys him a toy pretty much every single time they walk  into a store. And as people have said if they have family who buy the kids presents (they want) then the parents don't have to buy as much.

 

The amount per kid will vary. they have each requested one item that we will get them.  Oldest's request will be about $50-60, middlest will be about $50 and Littlest will be about $40. Then all together they will get  the "big present" that they share. I will spend about $80.00 on lalaloopsy and accesories. $10-15 on stocking stuff per kid. and I will probably make them some toys as well.   so about $300 for all the kids.



 

post #47 of 151
It'll be $100 or under. We already got her big gift for $50, and we'll get her a couple small things and some stocking stuffers.
post #48 of 151

Mommel you kind of started it.  It was what we were spending on Christmas this year.  Lots of people are making things and that's pretty cool.  Some people are buying.  For those of us who don't buy anything throughout the year, our numbers may be a little higher.  I once spent 5000 on Christmas, that was with a trip, pictures and gifts to all family members... STUPID!  We don't do that crap anymore, I'm older and realize there is no need for all that and we're a one income family now.  I think we didn't have kids then either.  Talk about sad. 

post #49 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

Mommel you kind of started it. 



Actually, I thought I had seconded what someone else said.

 

I was really thrilled to find a forum about frugality and was just surprised at how much people were spending (and can afford to spend) because I just don't have that kind of money. I like to think it's just a sad statement on how the culture of buying in this day and age seems to suck all of us in. If I could actually afford to spend more than ten cents on my son, I would likely get sucked in too, but I can't, so I try to focus on what I can do and I try to tell myself that I'm above all of that, despite doubting otherwise.

 

I certainly didn't mean to judge anyone. I don't even know any of you... but seriously? Calling me self-righteous and judgmental? I'm no expert on the origin of Christmas, but I think we may have strayed here.

post #50 of 151

Noted,  however there is a frugal christmas forum with great ideas.  I've gotten a few practically free ideas from that forum.  Good luck mama. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommel View Post



Actually, I thought I had seconded what someone else said.

 

I was really thrilled to find a forum about frugality and was just surprised at how much people were spending (and can afford to spend) because I just don't have that kind of money. I like to think it's just a sad statement on how the culture of buying in this day and age seems to suck all of us in. If I could actually afford to spend more than ten cents on my son, I would likely get sucked in too, but I can't, so I try to focus on what I can do and I try to tell myself that I'm above all of that, despite doubting otherwise.

 

I certainly didn't mean to judge anyone. I don't even know any of you... but seriously? Calling me self-righteous and judgmental? I'm no expert on the origin of Christmas, but I think we may have strayed here.



 

post #51 of 151

I edited to remove my snark. It just seemed as though the "capitalist train wreck fodder" came across as very judgmental to me.

 

Look, I've been poor. So poor I couldn't pay attention. One Christmas I made every present, not because I am super crunchy and awesome but because I HAD to. It kind of sucks the fun out of it when you have no choice lol. I get it. However, people are at different places at different times in their lives. No one need feel badly because they don't have as much to spend or because they *do* have more to spend. We just all do what we can with what we have and I think we all know that money or gifts don't equal love. I think we all know that super awesome expensive presents don't make up for crappy parenting and that kids typically do remember experiences (baking, crafts, lights, cocoa, time together) more than gifts. However, the thread was simply 'how much are you spending', and in the finances/frugality forum, so people were just answering based on where they are in their individual journey.

post #52 of 151

 

I have a 6yo and a 3yo.  They'll both be covered for Christmas for under $75 each, including stockings.  We do the "3 gifts were good enough for Jesus" thing.  Their stockings always include new toothbrushes and toothpaste, socks, and underwear...otherwise known as things they would have needed anyway.  They get new jammies and slippers on Christmas Eve, and I make jammy pants for the whole family for New Year's.
 
Would my DD6 prefer to get some more stuff?  Sure.  She'd also like some stuff that we can afford, but have no interest in spending good money on.  We can afford more than we are spending.  We just don't believe that we have to get everything our kids write on a list.  She wrote her initial list, then we told her that she needed to pare it down to 3 things.  We talked about some of the things she wanted, and I'd be lying if I said we didn't help direct her to what we think were the better choices.  (They're all pretty frivolous choices.  She's 6.  But there's a difference between a frivolous Barbie doll that costs $10 and a frivolous Easy Bake Oven that costs $50.  Plus we know she'll play with the Barbie a whole lot more.)
 
DH and I talked about it one day, and we tried to remember some of the stuff we got for Christmas when we were growing up.  I could remember one present (and I remember it because I contributed $ toward it's purchase.)  We probably had 10+ gifts per year growing up, and I could only remember one.  DH could remember three.  But we could both remember vacations and other family experiences.  Which is why we choose to spend our money on those things, rather than "stuff."
 
We're also very good about doing thoughtful gifts throughout the year.  I am one of those people who will cry over a seemingly stupid gift, when I know how much thought went into it, or just the fact that someone listened to something I said and sought out the particular gift.  I'm not a fan of the whole, "I'll just make a list of stuff I want and you can buy it for me" mentality.
 
We have encouraged MIL (who tends to go WAY overboard on Christmas...to the tune of about $200+ per person) to get us a family membership to our local aquarium, for about $150 to cover all of us.   For the past couple of weeks, she has complained that that's not enough, and that even though she acknowledges that DH and I prefer to focus on "experiences" and "making memories" (we'd much rather go on a weekend trip somewhere than buy random stuff), she maintains that Christmas is about opening a bunch of presents and she's going to buy more.  We have refused to tell her what else the kids would want, even though she's asked several times, because we don't WANT her to buy more.  (It doesn't help that DH's brother and his wife go way overboard on Christmas for their kids, and will recruit MIL to "even things up" if they have bought more for one of their children than the other.)  
 
My point is, there ARE some people who believe that Christmas is about waking up to piles of presents, no matter what their income level or individual situation is.  MIL actually buys HERSELF stuff and wraps it up so that she has a pile of gifts to open on Christmas.

Edited by redbirdlady - 11/25/11 at 11:15pm
post #53 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbirdlady View Post


I have a 6yo and a 3yo.  They'll both be covered for Christmas for under $75 each, including stockings.  We do the "3 gifts were good enough for Jesus" thing.  Their stockings always include new toothbrushes and toothpaste, socks, and underwear...otherwise known as things they would have needed anyway.  They get new jammies and slippers on Christmas Eve, and I make jammy pants for the whole family for New Year's.
 
Would my DD6 prefer to get some more stuff?  Sure.  She'd also like some stuff that we can afford, but have no interest in spending good money on.  We can afford more than we are spending.  We just don't believe that we have to get everything our kids write on a list.  She wrote her initial list, then we told her that she needed to pare it down to 3 things.  We talked about some of the things she wanted, and I'd be lying if I said we didn't help direct her to what we think were the better choices.  (They're all pretty frivolous choices.  She's 6.  But there's a difference between a frivolous Barbie doll that costs $10 and a frivolous Easy Bake Oven that costs $50.  Plus we know she'll play with the Barbie a whole lot more.)

I told DD ahead of time that this year she'd probably get one bigger present, and a couple small presents. You know what? She was fine with it. She's only 5. We've never been big on getting a TON of presents, though. She usually gets some practical things in her stocking, as well. New toothbrush, fun flossers and tooth paste, hair clips, fun socks, slippers, etc. She gets some candy, too.

Looking back, I kind of chuckle at just HOW practical my Dad was with stockings after my parents split up. We got oranges in the toe of the stocking, Hersey's kisses (always with silver wrappers), batteries, and film. As long as he was doing the stuffing, it never changed.
post #54 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbirdlady View Post

 

, she maintains that Christmas is about opening a bunch of presents and she's going to buy more. 


 

One year when we told MIL we didn't want the kids to get a bunch of stuff from her, she said, "Well it's really about me and not you.  I want to buy things." 

post #55 of 151

I did some online Black Friday shopping and trimmed my costs a bit. Found a great set of cotton sheets with sharks on them for $20 and a down alternative pillow for $11. In years past on Black Friday I would have ranted and raved and protested and made it Buy Nothing day. Funny how a tight budget can change a gal :)

 

As far as the train wreck capitalist fodder comment -- I don't think anyone should feel bad about what they are able to buy their kids. Besides, try as a I might I cannot make homemade legos and the kids is well past building with his homemade blocks that he's had for 5 years now. Probably at least 50% of my holiday shopping will be at local businesses or the farmers market and there will be some homemade thrown in. That's good enough for me. I don't doubt that there will come a year when I will be shopping for DS in the electronics department.

 

My Mom made a lot of our Christmas presents, we were broke and there were four kids and then she had grandkids by the time I was 5. She was an excellent seamstress and I can't believe she made all of those little barbie clothes. How tedioius. I still remember the Barbie wedding dress and other gowns she made. I'll always appreciate that she did that for us. My brother got homemade 70's clothes and sweatsuits for sports.

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #56 of 151

I was really taken aback by the "train wreck capitalist fodder" thing. I spend quite a bit on my kids at Christmas. However, like others in this thread, those three gifts, plus stocking stuffers, and the gifts from extended family, are pretty much all my kids get in a year. I buy some other stuff, but it's all homeschool supplies (and, honestly - even some of their gifts are more that than anything else - but only if they'll enjoy them). Making things? Sure - if you can. I'm not particularly talented with my hands. I'm starting to learn to crochet, and think I'll really enjoy it when I get the hang of it...but with the price of yarn, I'd be spending as much to make them an article of clothing as if I bought it. We do a lot of "experience" gifts, and so do extended family. My kids always get clothes from my MIL (this year is the first exception - she's doing bedding), plus one small toy, frequently a book. A couple years ago, I spent over $100 on one gift for dd1 - it was a Plan Toys dollhouse, and she loved it. DH and I painted it for her the following Easter weekend, because she decided she wanted it to be purple and white, not natural wood. But, I lack the skills, and we both lack the space, to actually build her a dollhouse from scratch.

 

I do go way overboard on stockings, but even there...a fair number of things that go into stockings are things I'd be buying eventually, anyway. DH and ds1 will both get razor cartridges this year. The kids will get toothbrushes, and possibly toothpaste. DH gets his pine tar soap (not available locally, so I order it online, and he gets 3-4 bars a year - at Christmas).

 

Oh - never mind. I'm justifying myself, and I don't have to do that. But, really..."train wreck capitalist"? Really?

post #57 of 151

It would be a capitalist train wreck if everyone of us set aside the $100 bill or whatever and spent that until it was gone on whatever random stuff- but I assume y'all are like me and make a list, find the deal and make it work in a tight budget.  I put a lot of planning into it :)  And my kids only get birthday gifts and Christmas gifts.  no other toys throughout the year.

post #58 of 151

Well this year is high because we decided that we were buying them a swing set anyway so lets do it! So about 1100.00 on all three of them including their cousins:) This is NOT typical! The swingset is 700.00.

post #59 of 151
$200 for three kids including stocking stuffers. No toys this year, just books and clothes.
post #60 of 151

About $50 for DD (4 years old).  She knows that she gets one gift from us and one from "Santa".  The only thing that she's asked for is a plush doll from a comic book series that she likes.  Grandparents and extended family also give gifts to her.  We are spending more money on holiday outings instead of gifts--we have tickets to the mini-version of The Nutcracker in a couple of weeks and are all going to see a musical when my mom is here over Christmas.  We're all really excited about the activities.  

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