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How much $ do you plan to spend per child THIS holiday season? - Page 5

post #81 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by canadianhippie View Post
 quality, not quantity  


I really try to keep this in mind.  That is why I get one large gift that is really wanted.  And my kids rarely want anything.  My daughter it is nearly always an American Girl doll and for my son big lego kits.  They get tons of play and all are happy for weeks after Christmas. 

post #82 of 151

My children are young adults, and I buy them things they want/need but can't necessarily afford for themselves.  My son's laptop has crapped out, so we are getting him a new one.  My daughter works in retail, and she is getting a pair of Dansko's that she fell in love with.  They will also get other things.  We have always done Christmas big, and I do not apologize for it.

 

I do not like the value judgments that if you spend more than arbitrary $X on gifts that your children are spoiled or that you would rather give them things than time.  Neither is true for anyone I know.

post #83 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by enkmom View Post

 

I do not like the value judgments that if you spend more than arbitrary $X on gifts that your children are spoiled or that you would rather give them things than time.  Neither is true for anyone I know.

 

 

agreed.
 

 

post #84 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by enkmom View Post

My children are young adults, and I buy them things they want/need but can't necessarily afford for themselves.  My son's laptop has crapped out, so we are getting him a new one.  My daughter works in retail, and she is getting a pair of Dansko's that she fell in love with.  They will also get other things.  We have always done Christmas big, and I do not apologize for it.

I do not like the value judgments that if you spend more than arbitrary $X on gifts that your children are spoiled or that you would rather give them things than time.  Neither is true for anyone I know.

I have a young adult as well and if she wants expensive things, I believe she should save and earn for it. I believe that she values the things she earns more than if I just give them to her and takes better care of them. This is just MY feelings for MY children though. Everyone makes their own decisions and if you are comfortable with the ones you make, that's all that matters.

I don't think that a child who has more expensive gifts is spoiled, but I do hope they are aware and thankful of the extravagance that their parents are able to give to them, instead of many children who do just expect it.... and there are plenty of children out there that do. My step-son is one of them because his mother does Christmas big, every year I hear "Is that all?" or "Mom got me _______ and it cost ________"... I have threatened so many times to just do one gift each and always, ALWAYS he's the one that ends up crying. The other 3 are fine with that but then, they live with me and have learned that Christmas, to us, isn't about THINGS, it's about the time we spend with family and the love we share and I value that lesson above all else in our family so TO US, Christmas is not about gifts or monetary value.... Everyone does things differently though and that is okay. smile.gif
post #85 of 151

I'm quite frankly a little tired of this sanctimonious "stuff doesn't make you happy" and "my kids know that things aren't what matter" nose-up attitude people have -- when what you really mean are that things YOU don't find necessary to enhancing your personal happiness shouldn't be of value to anyone else. And pardon me, but I call BS on that.

 

Living in doors in a safe, nice place doesn't enhance your happiness? or having warm clothing in winter? or being able to buy food at the grocery store? or a good book? or visiting family? ... going to a nice movie or other outing you enjoy? or finding a lovely piece of decor for your home (even if thrift store bought)? ALL these things cost money and are purchased and it's absolutely ridiculous of me to assume because those things may enhance or add to your happiness that all you care about is money and material things and have a 'gimmee gimmee' attitude and don't value family time or know "what's really important". Sure, we all know material things aren't a replacement for love but I don't believe anyone in this thread has displayed that attitude so it's a moot point.

 

I'm sad to think anyone feels they have to justify their spending because a couple of people have a lousy, begrudging attitude of those who choose to spend or purchase more for whatever reason. How insulting would it be if I said that people who spend under X amount DON'T care if their kids feel deprived, or get made fun of, or are embarrassed, or wish they lived in a house with parents who cared enough to get them a few things they love once a year? Coming from the other direction is just as lame, imo.

post #86 of 151

I came from a family who did Christmas big, and it was the only time we got gifts. So, when my oldest kids were younger and we were still spending Christmas Eve overnight at my parents (whose youngest child is only three years older than my oldest), I did Christmas how I grew up. Over the years, I realized I didn't want to buy things they need and would get other wise and wrap it up as a gift, for the sake of having more under the tree. One year, I worked at the Disney Store for holiday cash (we never did Christmas on credit) and that was a HUGE eye opener for me about commercialism, I was horrified and never shopped the same since! That year, we scaled down to three Christmas presents (as a way to limit myself) and for the last four or five years, we have done one present under the tree, plus a full stocking.

 

And while we did all the same things (baking, festivals, cookie decorating, lights, movies, etc.) as we do now, it was with the sense of a smaller activity I did quick with them to hold them over til "the big day". I finally realized that's why I felt let down on Christmas afternoon, like I had missed something! Now, the focus is on the season; we focus on the holiday traditions with family, friends and food. Christmas morning is just another piece of the holiday, not the main event. 

 

Its not that we don't buy them big things, but I do prefer to make those purchases at times when I have extra money, like income tax!

 

But I do enjoy giving and receiving meaningful gifts and I think it is a valid part of the holidays, so while I do ask for my kids input on what they would like, I kind of keep a running list of things they are consistently interested in, instead of relying soley only on their last minute holiday requests.  

 

In general, the amount we spend depends on the age/interest of our kids and our budget. This year, I expect to spend about $500 on gifts for my five kids, ages 14 down through 4. I get those gifts from a mix of freecycle, craigslist, thrift shops, amazon, online, etc. to balance my conscience, values with what they actually want. I would do it this way no matter what our budget/financial situation is.

 

I really enjoy reading what others do, no one way fits everyone and its interesting to me how other people handle things.

post #87 of 151

Having to justify anything to anyone other than yourself is mute.  As far as Christmas or any other gift giving holiday do as you can and want.  That's how it should be.  Also it's best to give your kids realistic expectations.  If they ask for something nobody in your family could get them you need to let them know it won't happen.  I don't do the we'll see thing.  I always tell them it's not something we can afford and I don't think it's fair to ask Santa to bring something so expensive.  The old guy is worn thin with so many requests.  It works.  I doubt it will work forever but it works for now.  DD1 wants a DSi and a WII...  However both are not in the budget and I explained that to her.  We said one or the other and let her know that the WII could be a shared gift, while DSi really is a one person deal.  And since her and her sister share everything, she opted for the WII.  And DD2 got to choose the game.  So it all works out. 

 

Good luck to all... I'm literally going on a treasure hunt for a book that DD1 wants.  Ugh!

post #88 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tumble Bumbles View Post


 

I'm sad to think anyone feels they have to justify their spending because a couple of people have a lousy, begrudging attitude of those who choose to spend or purchase more for whatever reason. How insulting would it be if I said that people who spend under X amount DON'T care if their kids feel deprived, or get made fun of, or are embarrassed, or wish they lived in a house with parents who cared enough to get them a few things they love once a year? Coming from the other direction is just as lame, imo.


No kidding.  Who cares what anyone else spends on their kids for the holidays.  It's not a competition as to who can spend less, or more, or just the right amount deemed by those non-materialistic/non-consumerism special people.  We could decide the worthiness of everyone's gifts while were at it, too.  It's not right to judge others for how they choose to celebrate Christmas with their families.  I don't care if you spend $20 or $2000 on your kid; what matters is that you create positive memories and all that, right?

 

And for whoever said this is the frugal board: Don't forget it's called F&F.  The other F standing for Finances.  People can post here about anything regarding family finances.  You don't have to live up to some frugality expectation to offer or get insight from this forum. 

 

post #89 of 151

About 125 per child - maybe a little less for the youngest.  When they were little I spent less and they were happy - but older kids want more expensive techie things.

 

edited to add:  I skimmed the thread, and while I share some peoples concerns about commercialism in general, I think it is  a lifestyle choice and it is the day to day that counts; one day (Christmas) is not necessarily definitive of how you live your life. 

 

 

 

 


Edited by purslaine - 11/28/11 at 10:31am
post #90 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post

 

And for whoever said this is the frugal board: Don't forget it's called F&F.  The other F standing for Finances.  People can post here about anything regarding family finances.  You don't have to live up to some frugality expectation to offer or get insight from this forum. 

 



I also think that sometimes frugality is mistaken for achieving next to nothingness, or close to it.  I also don't think it is a practice limited to lower income people. In my mind, frugality was always about creating a wise plan with respect to one's own finances and use of resources, whether one is rich or poor or somewhere in between.  Income status doesn't equal frugality or lack of it.  How you choose to use your resources and reduce waste are key elements of frugality. 

 

post #91 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attached2Elijah View Post


I have a young adult as well and if she wants expensive things, I believe she should save and earn for it. I believe that she values the things she earns more than if I just give them to her and takes better care of them. This is just MY feelings for MY children though. Everyone makes their own decisions and if you are comfortable with the ones you make, that's all that matters.
I don't think that a child who has more expensive gifts is spoiled, but I do hope they are aware and thankful of the extravagance that their parents are able to give to them, instead of many children who do just expect it.... and there are plenty of children out there that do. My step-son is one of them because his mother does Christmas big, every year I hear "Is that all?" or "Mom got me _______ and it cost ________"... I have threatened so many times to just do one gift each and always, ALWAYS he's the one that ends up crying. The other 3 are fine with that but then, they live with me and have learned that Christmas, to us, isn't about THINGS, it's about the time we spend with family and the love we share and I value that lesson above all else in our family so TO US, Christmas is not about gifts or monetary value.... Everyone does things differently though and that is okay. smile.gif


My children are working very had paying their rent/utilities and feeding themselves.  There is not room in their slender budgets for decent shoes, and a laptop (almost a requirement for a college student) would be an impossible dream.  It makes me happy that I can do this for them, and they will be extremely grateful.

 

post #92 of 151

My parents were the same way.  They had money and were really generous to me when I was in college and graduate school.  I'm not a brat and I really appreciate them now.  They're still really generous to me and my family and I appreciate them.  I think it's terrific when families share what they have!  That's how my parents were to me and it's how I am to my kiddos.

post #93 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by freestylemama View Post

My parents were the same way.  They had money and were really generous to me when I was in college and graduate school.  I'm not a brat and I really appreciate them now.  They're still really generous to me and my family and I appreciate them.  I think it's terrific when families share what they have!  That's how my parents were to me and it's how I am to my kiddos.



Ditto.

post #94 of 151

I believe I posted earlier in the thread that we might spend $50 on dd. We did our Christmas shopping and actually spent less on just dd.

We got dd a t-shirt for $8 and a video game for $14. The rest of the gifts are for the whole family. Dh and I will not get individual gifts. We spent around $100 for everyone. 

 

That is just the way our budget worked out for Christmas this year. If we had more money we'd probably spend more even though we do purposefully limit the number of gifts we buy and choose things carefully. When I say I plan to spend $50 it doesn't mean I would run out and just buy stuff just to have $50 worth of stuff under the tree. We are still pretty selective. I wouldn't ever buy my dd a $200 doll that she would never play with but if it was something she would really use and enjoy for a long time then I would spend the money on it if I had it.

For us the meaning of holidays or birthdays is to have fun and treat ourselves a bit. Sometimes we do that by spending money and sometimes we don't spend money at all. We do not use credit cards and live within our means. We try to live frugally, comparison shop and save up for the things we want to do or have. I don't make everything we own nor do we always shop at thrift stores. Those are choices I am comfortable with. I'm not better or worse than anyone else who makes different choices.

 

 

 

 

 

post #95 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by enkmom View Post



My children are working very had paying their rent/utilities and feeding themselves.  There is not room in their slender budgets for decent shoes, and a laptop (almost a requirement for a college student) would be an impossible dream.  It makes me happy that I can do this for them, and they will be extremely grateful.

I wasn't judging at all, Mama. I was just saying that everyone does things differently and that's completely fine for every family. I am completely against the mommy-wars in ANY subject there is. As long as we're doing the absolute best we can, then I'm cool with people's decisions. smile.gif

I also didn't realize your children were living on their own. I think that makes a much, MUCH different story. As you are not paying day to day expenses for them, spending more is absolutely understandable. I know once my kids move out, especially when they are struggling college students/young adults, I'll probably go nuts. Unfortunately, I know all too well what it's like to work hard for the things you have and have barely any extras...I also can't wait until I'm in a position to be able to do those types of things for them. smile.gif
post #96 of 151
Quote:

Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post

I wouldn't ever buy my dd a $200 doll that she would never play with but if it was something she would really use and enjoy for a long time then I would spend the money on it if I had it.

 

This really sums up my underlying view on the whole gift shopping thing. I've bought a couple that I'm kind of going, "am I really buying this??" (not super expensive), but I know the recipients will love them. My hardest child to shop for is also my easiest to shop for. DS2 will love anything we get him, which makes him easy to shop for. However, he'll get bored with most things, which makes him hard to shop for. I'm not interested in buying  a gift that he'll go "WHOOO-HOOOO!!!", tear open in a frenzy, spend 10 minutes with, and then ignore for the next year. If he has a more muted reaction, but they really enjoys it in the long term, I'm happy...although muted reactions aren't really his thing, anyway.

post #97 of 151

its so funny what people will fight over. I opened this thread originally expecting to see $50, $100, $125, about $200. instead its full of nit picking  shrug.gif

post #98 of 151

I apologize in advance; this is probably the snottiest post I've made here on MDC, and I'm aiming it only at a few of the members who posted on this thread.  I wonder if the posters who are so shocked at high dollar amounts here realize they sound as though they're making assumptions about what kind of human beings are created as a result.  Basically, it's as if parents who spend a good deal of money are ruining the human beings their children could become.  Back to my regularly scheduled reply:

 

Maybe DH and I will end up holding the thread record.  This year's spending will end up breaking four digits USD per kid.  They are 18 and 22, living and attending school on the opposite coast of the U.S.  We paid for their travel home and back, spent a couple hundred each on clothes, and will also spend a couple hundred on electronics, bicycle accessories, books, music / movies.  Oh, and we also pay whatever tuition isn't covered by financial aid.  And DS1's off-campus rent.  Sooooo . . . their work ethics, compassion, integrity, warmth, courtesy, and social consciences must be flukes, because their parents spent a lot of money on them.  Our sons must be the most materialistic, selfish creatures to be walking the surface of this planet.


Edited by MariaMadly - 11/29/11 at 6:08am
post #99 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekkingirl View Post

its so funny what people will fight over. I opened this thread originally expecting to see $50, $100, $125, about $200. instead its full of nit picking  shrug.gif



Materialism is an important topic, though, so I am not surprised.  

 

I thought this was interesting and might be what is going on here (from a blog - not my writing)

 

 

When people are caught up in noble poverty, they generally have an unconscious belief that money is bad, or really good people shouldn't want a lot of money. And noble poverty often get's confused with anti-materialism.

One way you can tell if someone is wrapped up in noble poverty is if they wear their frugality as a badge of honor. ("Look at me! See how little I can get by with!")

 

I do not have any problems with those that embrace noble poverty (although I think there are flaws in the idea); I do have issues with people who throw stones at those who do not embrace it.  I likewise have issues with people who spend money more freely on material goods and throw stones at those that don't.  On mothering I see the former more often, in real life, I see the latter a fair bit.   

 


Edited by purslaine - 11/29/11 at 6:17am
post #100 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post



Materialism is an important topic, though, so I am not surprised.  

 

I thought this was interesting and might be what is going on here (from a blog - not my writing)

 

 

When people are caught up in noble poverty, they generally have an unconscious belief that money is bad, or really good people shouldn't want a lot of money. And noble poverty often get's confused with anti-materialism.

One way you can tell if someone is wrapped up in noble poverty is if they wear their frugality as a badge of honor. ("Look at me! See how little I can get by with!")

 

I do not have any problems with those that embrace noble poverty (although I think there are flaws in the idea); I do have issues with people who throw stones at those who do not embrace it.  I likewise have issues with people who spend money more freely on material goods and throw stones at those that don't.  On mothering I see the former more often, in real life, I see the latter a fair bit.   

 



Yes, exactly.  There is no inherent virtue in poverty, or lack of it in any other state.  The virtue, the nobility, lies in handling one's resources -- and the decisions of others -- with grace and kindness.

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