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#1 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/11/24...ef=mpstoryview

It just seems crazy to me to spend $600 on Christmas for a two year old. No wonder this couple has money problems.

Am I totally unrealistic?
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#2 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 02:12 PM
 
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Ugh! I hate stories like that. I never spent more than $500 for all Christmas gifts for everyone in my and DH's families combined! Now that I make all our gifts, I spend around $100 total for all gifts.

As an aside, I've done some research near French Lick Indiana. There isn't much work in that area, it's pretty remote.
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#3 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 02:37 PM
 
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Unless you're buying a huge wooden kitchen and a playhouse that will last for decades and be used by two generations of kids, $600 on a 2 year old seems incredibly over the top.
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#4 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 02:40 PM
 
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That's double my entire gift/food budget for the holidays!!!! It is completely unrealistic.
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#5 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 02:42 PM
 
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Time to repackage last years presents! The kid may not even notice
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#6 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by SleeplessMommy View Post
Time to repackage last years presents! The kid may not even notice
I used to do that for my DD2. Age appropriate toys that had belonged to her older sister and "retired" would reappear at Christmas wrapped and were greeted with delight.
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#7 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 02:49 PM
 
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I saw that article and was totally irritated. While I'm sorry the mom lost her job, it makes me wonder how they spend their $$ if they put $600 toward presents for a toddler.

Wife to a wonderful dh and mom to four beautiful kiddos, dd (3/04):, ds1 (1/06), ds2 (10/08), and ds3 (7/10)
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#8 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 02:51 PM
 
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I don't think it's crazy or unrealistic, if you have the money.

And, yeah, French Lick is a pretty small town (DH is from a nearby town). Sad.

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#9 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 02:57 PM
 
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I saw that and my jaw just about hit the floor. I spent $30 on my nearly 2 year old and I am feeling like I went a little over the top for him. Yikes!

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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#10 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 03:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SAHDS View Post
I don't think it's crazy or unrealistic, if you have the money.
and if you have the money of course means paying cash, not using credit cards. I wonder if this family has a lot of debt. That would really be awful since the dad lost his job and all.

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#11 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 03:07 PM
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I think its crazy for a toddler. We repackage gifts too, the baby is getting her older brother's ride-on toy for her bday, it will be its third appearance at a first bday.
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#12 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 03:14 PM
 
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I think its all realitive. The first year, we bought my son 1 present - a thomas push train. Last year, we bought him 4 or 5 small gifts (I'd say we spent between $60 - $80). This year, we purchased a big gift and a few smaller gifts (spending about $150). So we have progressively spent more, but I still think its within reason. He needed something to work on his gross motor skills and help get out the wiggles in the winter, some new challenging puzzles and some art supplies. We got some music instruments for his stocking (egg shakers, etc.)

If I made $250k a year and had a complete playroom, I can see spending that much to outfit it with some really cool gear. But I don't and we can't so we spent more then I had thought, but it also was through co-ops and over a few months.
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#13 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 03:22 PM
 
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I think $600 for any kid is over the top. I spend way less than that on all 4 of my boys put together, LOL!
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#14 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 04:29 PM
 
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I think if it's a big gift like a playhouse or something that's meant to be more of a "family gift" that a few children will share then it's fine. Or maybe if they want to stock on clothes for the next couple of years. I just don't see how any child would need to have $600 worth of clothes,toys,books and games in one Christmas! That's more then my rent!!!
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#15 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 04:46 PM
 
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Even if you have the money, spending that kind of money on a 3-yr old Christmas gifts is not responsible, IMO.
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#16 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 05:11 PM
 
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Crazy, but I've no doubt my parents spent that much on me each Christmas when I was growing up. However, they did spend the money wisely, imo, since my own children are now playing with many of those toys and wearing lots of my clothes as well.

The only way I would be spending that much on Christmas gifts for my 3 year old is if I were buying quality wooden toys as a pp mentioned that could be enjoyed by all my future children/grandchildren. Otherwise, I'm good recycling forgotten gifts and thrift store finds!

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#17 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 05:12 PM
 
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Crazy, but I've no doubt my parents spent that much on me each Christmas when I was growing up. However, they did spend the money wisely, imo, since my own children are now playing with many of those toys and wearing lots of my clothes as well.

The only way I would be spending that much on Christmas gifts for my 3 year old is if I were buying quality wooden toys as a pp mentioned that could be enjoyed by all my future children/grandchildren. Otherwise, I'm good recycling forgotten gifts and thrift store finds!
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#18 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 05:13 PM
 
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didnt read the article yet but I have to say where i live it's a general thing. Not 600 but 300 wouldnt surprise me at all for the average budget for a toddler around here.

we spend a lot for the holidays but what are we considering gifts? For example I buy a year's worth of clothes if stuff is on sale and wrap itup as gifts. Or other needed things. We spent a boat load on woolens, sof stars, waldorf art supplies, a musictogether class... so if i count those into our holiday gift budget for dd, which we do i spent about that much too.....

of course we got 1 present for dh and I each - he got socks and undershirts - hanes not wool haha and I got a pair of jeans off ebay

i guess we take the opportunity to stock up and call if gifts, which it is...
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#19 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 05:18 PM
 
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I could actually see $600 at 3 years old. That's right when they're able to start playing with all the really cool toys that'll still be awesome when they're 7 or 8. Like you could get years of use out of a play kitchen, and little fantasy figures, and blocks... If you've got money and no crafting skills, and buy the really good quality stuff, yeah, $600 easily.
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#20 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 05:21 PM
 
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Even if they're not in credit card debt, they don't have anything in savings- the article states theyr'e 3 or 4 weeks behind on bills. It could be that some of those bills are from poor spending habits in the past, or it could be that those are al legitimate bills like phone, car insurance, heat, etc. Even so, if they'd spent $50 on gifts last year and put the other $550 in savings, they wouldn't be in such a tight spot right now.

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#21 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 05:52 PM
 
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If you have the money and are in good financial shape I don't think it's a big deal. I could easily spend that much this Christmas on ds (though I am trying really, really hard to control myself!). But, I don't carry credit card debt, I live within my means, and we have a savings account.

For instance, ds is getting a play kitchen and accessories, a push ride on car, a children's nativity set, and a few other things. But, dh and I only really buy lots of toys twice a year: at his Birthday and Christmas. So most of his toys right now are more baby-ish and he's very bored with them.

I give to charity, I pay my bills, I don't live outside my means... I don't see what the big deal is with me buying big gifts for ds that will last him and our other kids (he's the oldest) for several years. Now, if we were carrying debt or dh's job wasn't secure or money was tight we'd never do it.

Besides, I'm justifying my spending this holiday season by saying I'm stimulating the economy. (That was a joke.)

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#22 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 06:03 PM
 
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heck noo we never would ever spend that much even if we had the money

we dont do christman but we have our own special hoildays we do and they get 1 big gift and 1 small gift the big gift would be over 20$ and the small gift is under 20$ we set that limit cause it just seemed like the right thing

they also get gifts all yr around soo why should i goo all out for the hoildays when all yr around they get special gifts cause we love doing that heck every time we go to target we hit up the 1$ section and my 2 yr old always finds something in there to play with and we always buy it for him soo we dont see the point in spending a ton of money only 2 times a yr

and since with the way things r now days my kids will be getting 1 big item to share and 2 small items of there own and that is how it still stay for awhile

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#23 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 06:10 PM
 
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wow, that is completely insane, the only thing i could imagine with getting my kiddos ar 600.00 would be a trip to disney LOL!

honestly we spent 150.00 on each child (we have 2) and really that was too much IMO.

Denise, Mama to DS1 (7) and DD1 (5) and new baby due June 2012!

 
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#24 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 06:15 PM
 
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I spent a lot of money of my kids and dh one christmas, I mean a lot...the entire corner of the living room was filled with presents, but we had a very good year (I also gave almost as much to the MDC HH's ....now we're poor, and they aren't getting nearly as much, not even close...if I am broke, I'm not spending $600 on anything but housing, utilities or food as absolutely necessary!

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#25 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 06:27 PM
 
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I didn't look at the link, so I don't know what they are buying (huge pile of plastic crap?), but really, if someone has the money and they want to spend it on their kids, who am I to criticize them? It's in principle no worse than spending a lot of money on beautiful handmade diapers for a new baby (wouldn't be hard to spend $600 on that!), or handmade wood and fabric toys for a preschooler (one could easily spend more than that on a play kitchen or dollhouse, when you consider the cost of all the accessories... or on waldorf dolls and clothes... etc.)
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#26 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 06:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I didn't look at the link, so I don't know what they are buying (huge pile of plastic crap?), but really, if someone has the money and they want to spend it on their kids, who am I to criticize them? It's in principle no worse than spending a lot of money on beautiful handmade diapers for a new baby (wouldn't be hard to spend $600 on that!), or handmade wood and fabric toys for a preschooler (one could easily spend more than that on a play kitchen or dollhouse, when you consider the cost of all the accessories... or on waldorf dolls and clothes... etc.)

The point is that they don't have the money. That is what they spent on their two year old last year. I guess they didn't have an emergency fund saved up, because the wife last her job LAST WEEK and they are already behind on their bills. If you are living paycheck to paycheck the last thing you should be doing is spending $600 on Christmas presents for a toddler that wouldn't know the difference betwee $6 worth of gifts and $600 worth of gifts.

And the point of the article is that they feel guilty that they won't be able to spend that kind of money this year. Not that they realize it wasn't smart to do that last year.
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#27 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 06:43 PM
 
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Wow, our budget last year was about $60 per child, and they got a LOT. I don't mind what other people do, and really don't expect most families to be truly delighted with gently used items under the tree... but spending $600 on one person - one very young person! - is way outside my world.

However, looking through the American Girl catalog, I can see how it could happen. Not that I'd get an AG doll and all her trousseau for a 3yo, but I can see how you could spend that kind of money. Easily. The doll outfits are more than I would spend for my own clothing!

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#28 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 06:44 PM
 
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Even if you have the money, spending that kind of money on a 3-yr old Christmas gifts is not responsible, IMO.
I know a PP already mentioned this specific example, but I did just buy a wooden kitchen set for $500 plus accessories. I don't think this is irresponsible regardless of income.


Uh, I had to edit to comment on this. I wrote it wrong. I meant to say that I don't think this is an irresponsible purchase standing on its own, but yes, of course, financial ducks should be in a row before making such a purchase. It sounds like I said quite the opposite. Not sure what I was thinking at the time, lol.

4 kids under 10
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#29 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 08:36 PM
 
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We could easily get there with just 3 gifts: play refrigerator, baby changing table with attached swing and a doll house. All wooden of course. Will we be buying that this year? No. Would we get it for any one occasion? No. Over the course of the next year? Most likely - oh, except our 3yr old nixed the changing table (thank goodness!) and just wants the swing whose stand alone price is less than half the cost of tohe piece inclusive of the changing table. And we could get to $1000 if you added a complete play stand with canopy. But, that, too, will have to wait.

And will the new baby be getting these types of gifts? Yes and no. Next baby is a boy, so, we'll probably add wooden cars to the mix, but, fortunately, from what I've seen, since they're smaller, won't cost as much as these basic wooden toy staples. Otherwise, I think we'll be set and I consider it an investment in their playthings that I don't have to buy again and again (or don't have to consider replacing).

On the other hand, I did look at that picture and wonder whether the little girl's manicure came from a salon.

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#30 of 89 Old 11-24-2008, 08:49 PM
 
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Never. Not even if we had the money. I'd rather buy a new nice gifts for the holidays and parcel the rest out just for fun throughout the year. I mean, we're talking about a TWO YEAR OLD. I can't imagine that $600 of presents would do anything but overwhelm the poor kiddo.

For what it's worth, we spend about $50 on each kid, and $100 for something they can both play with for the holidays, and $50 on birthday gifts + activites and cake for Birthdays.
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