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#61 of 90 Old 11-27-2009, 07:06 PM
 
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I haven't quite figured it up yet. My total Xmas budget is $200, and I'm making most of the stuff. So far I spent about $70 on materials for presents (this includes presents for about 25 people, although most of the money is for a joint gift for my two kids of a homemade wooden play kitchen.)

Oh, and that $70 includes materials for 3 gifts that I've been "hired" to make which pays me $45 plus a $15 gift for my daughter...so those materials actually cost me $5. I'm happy.

Last year we spent about $80 per kid, (two kids) this year it will be more like $20, plus a video game for the whole family to enjoy. If there is money left over from the Xmas budget, I want to take the kids to go and see a movie or something.
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#62 of 90 Old 11-28-2009, 12:00 AM
 
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We spent about $1000 total. That is mainly for 5 kids, 5 grandkids, and 1 nephew. it was a lot this year because we got 2 new computers as part of it.

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#63 of 90 Old 11-28-2009, 10:03 AM
 
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We usually do $100 for each kid, up to $150 each if there are really good stuff we'd like to get for them. I just did some calculations and it seems we already spent $130 on DS1, but only $40 on DS2. Oh well they share everything anyway.

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#64 of 90 Old 11-28-2009, 12:01 PM
 
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Well- my idea of a holiday budget is less than 1% of our income- but DH is a no holds barred kind of guy. He wanted to spend more than that on his sister! I love my sister in law- but we just can't afford that this year. We have very generous families- and we just have too much stuff. I have made or swapped for most of our gifts and DS is really the only one I have left- he really loves ertl little tractors and I just know he would love a combine- but they are more spendy than I would like. Probably like $50-75/kid ( I made DS2 a quilt for his main present- so that was the full $75- but I would have made it for him anyway- so I don't count all of that.)

Stocking stuffers- I went to the dollar bins at target and picked up a pair of fun socks, stickers, and little notebooks- $3/kid and I will probably pick up a few other little things- like a little candy and maybe something else. I also bought up art supplies at back to school sales for a little of nothing for part of thier gifts.

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#65 of 90 Old 11-28-2009, 01:04 PM
 
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I have a budget, but it's not the main issue. Since they're still little, I make an effort to have the same number of things under the tree, but it makes a difference how stuff is wrapped. DS is graduating from a crib to a bed, so he's getting sheet set, pillow, comforter. I'll wrap them up as one thing since they all go together, but if he had less packages to open, I could wrap separately. We take turns opening, so matching numbers cuts down on the "he has more/she has more" thing.

We also rarely do 1 big thing for Christmas. Those I tend to do for birthday if possible, like DS trike and DD scooter.

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#66 of 90 Old 11-28-2009, 01:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hsmama77 View Post
We don't do it as a price limit for child. We do it as an equal amount of presents to open.....usually between 15 to 20 each. We are a very frugal family and get most of our gifts for the kids for free or very, very, cheap. Some years we might spend $100.00 on one child and $10.00 on another but they will all be getting the same amount of gifts. Other years we have spent less than $25.00 on all of them. But they always have a bunch of gifts to open and always what they wanted plus a few surprises.

This year is looking like I will be spending less than $60.00 and we have all the "must haves" covered. Including an Ipod touch, set of golf clubs, and a new Nintendo DSI.

I do have a question for you all that do a set limit per child. Say your set limit is $100.00 per child and one of your children wants a $100.00 item and another wants 20 $5.00 items and another wants 2 $50.00 items.

Would one child get only one present to open while another gets 2 items to open while another gets 20 to open?

Well I don't but my mom did. I was one of 5 and she had one set limit. There is a 10 year gap between the oldest and the youngest so when I was 6my oldest sibling was 16. I would have a mound of presents since what I wanted was relativly inexpensive but he would have only 1 or 2. He didn't mind becuase he got he got what he wanted. Plus he didn't beleive in Santa anymore so knew everyhting was form our parents as well a knew how much things cost..

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#67 of 90 Old 11-28-2009, 01:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hsmama77 View Post
I do have a question for you all that do a set limit per child. Say your set limit is $100.00 per child and one of your children wants a $100.00 item and another wants 20 $5.00 items and another wants 2 $50.00 items.

Would one child get only one present to open while another gets 2 items to open while another gets 20 to open?
I doubt anyone goes around telling kids they can pick out $100 worth of stuff so I doubt it would ever come up like that.

Usually older kids are the ones asking for the more expensive things. They know the item is expensive and a stretch as to whether they'll get it so they don't have big expectations. My inclination would be to get that $100 item and a few inexpensive but thoughtful gifts as well. The kid that wanted a ton of $5 gifts likely wouldn't get all 20 of them. I suspect people with a price limit per kid tend to think of it more as an average, sometimes spending a little more on one kid and a little less on another depending on ages, wants, and needs.

And personally I don't want my ds getting 20 presents all at once. That just seems excessive to me. I think the most he's gotten has been 12 total from everyone. I remember thinking he could've opened one a day for the 12 days of Christmas...

So far, here, with 5 kids on Christmas morning, no one has counted to see if they are getting the same number of gifts. They would likely notice a huge imbalance, however.

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#68 of 90 Old 11-28-2009, 01:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hsmama77 View Post
I do have a question for you all that do a set limit per child. Say your set limit is $100.00 per child and one of your children wants a $100.00 item and another wants 20 $5.00 items and another wants 2 $50.00 items.

Would one child get only one present to open while another gets 2 items to open while another gets 20 to open?
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Originally Posted by HollyBearsMom View Post
Well I don't but my mom did. I was one of 5 and she had one set limit. There is a 10 year gap between the oldest and the youngest so when I was 6my oldest sibling was 16. I would have a mound of presents since what I wanted was relativly inexpensive but he would have only 1 or 2. He didn't mind becuase he got he got what he wanted. Plus he didn't beleive in Santa anymore so knew everyhting was form our parents as well a knew how much things cost..
This makes sense to me, hollybear, but my dh doesn't seem to see it that way with my stepkids. The youngest is several years behind her teen brothers yet dh more or less thinks they all need to get the same amount of presents with the same price tag. My sister did that when her oldest was 14 and youngest was 5. It was the first Christmas she and I had spent together as adults. She fretted that her 14 year old son had one less gift than the 5 year old. I suggested that the exact count wouldn't matter to him but she insisted on going out and buying one more gift for him.
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#69 of 90 Old 11-28-2009, 01:45 PM
 
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I fall into the "you don't want to know" category. Honestly, I don't know what it comes to. It is a lot. But I am frugal all year long in most areas, then go a bit hog wild at Xmas.

Yeah. Us too.

If I had to guess, I'd say we typically spend $400 or so on each child. Well, older children anyway. The youngest just doesn't need much, and what she wants doesn't cost much. This year we will be spending considerably more, but that's because we are buying laptops for 2 of the 4 kids (for school purposes, though!), and my oldest is at a really weird stage. She's most likely got Asperger's and a host of other issues (evaluation results next week!!!), and she just turned 21. She is emotionally like a 14 yr old, though. But she understands that her age is still her age, and we just don't buy as much for her anymore. And of course no Santa for her. She wants a $200 book for her Master Naturalist course/certification, and I'll probably be able to find it used for her for about half price. Other than that I'll probably get her some knitting supplies/nice yarn, and call it good. The middle kids are getting the laptops plus a couple of used Wii games, plus a Gamefly membership for a year. Plus they'll each get some books and art supplies. Magazine subs from my mom. And we'll likely get some clothes since they both need new jammies and underwear/socks and long underwear.

We didn't do much early shopping this year because we took our first real family vacation in Sept. My dh gets an awesome bonus each year though, and that will help. We do not charge ANYTHING, so we just try to keep bills paid ahead thru Nov. and Dec. so that most of dh's paychecks/sidejob cash can go to presents.

We give gift baskets that we make to our neighbors and friends. I have a few other children I'll buy for this year, too, but I have decided to do mag. subs for all, so easy and a gift that will keep coming all year. Some of these kids have very few books in their home and I know they will really love to get mail.

Just last night dh and I decided to go ahead and order our present to each other. A 46" LCD tv. We have wanted one for at least 8 years, and just finally decided the price was right. We will buy nothing else for each other except a stocking stuffer or two (I told dh I want a bottle of this really good-seasonal-cranberry wine from our fav. wine shop). Anyway, we did not go over our usual budget for each other--and we just started buying gifts for each other a couple of years ago because we finally could afford to.

Happy Homesteading Homeschooling Homebirthing Beekeeping Dready (& a bit redneck even) Mama to 4 fab kids :  dd (23), dd (13), ds (11), dd (5)

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#70 of 90 Old 11-28-2009, 05:40 PM
 
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I spent about $100 on DD (5yo) and $80 on DS (5mo's)...he's getting an exersaucer, blocks, and one of those stacker things.

Dh and I each get about $200 to shop for each other.

We do it by budget, not by number of gifts...that could possibly get out of hand
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#71 of 90 Old 11-28-2009, 05:57 PM
 
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I'd say nearly three hundred dollars. We will get him a big santa present, a big present from us a handful of other things and his stocking.

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#72 of 90 Old 11-28-2009, 06:33 PM
 
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We don't really have a Christmas budget, I just try to keep it reasonable and I don't like to buy a ton of things. This year we spent a little over $100 on ds, and about $85 on dd. Each is getting 3 gifts and then they are getting a joint gift (a Cozy Coupe that I got on clearance for $15). Then each child gets about $20 to buy a gift for the other.

Stockings are done next week for St. Nick and they will probably cost about $25-$30 each, with one bigger gift (movie, Leapster game, whatever) and a couple small things (Playmobil people, wooden trains, etc) and some fruit, candy and stickers.

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#73 of 90 Old 11-28-2009, 07:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HollyBearsMom View Post
Well I don't but my mom did. I was one of 5 and she had one set limit. There is a 10 year gap between the oldest and the youngest so when I was 6my oldest sibling was 16. I would have a mound of presents since what I wanted was relativly inexpensive but he would have only 1 or 2. He didn't mind becuase he got he got what he wanted. Plus he didn't beleive in Santa anymore so knew everyhting was form our parents as well a knew how much things cost..
This is what it's like at my house. My kids are 17 and 4. My son turns 18 in 2 mos and at this point doesn't ask for much, so generally I get him one larger item and with older kids specifically teens. That one item may run quite a bit of money whereas for my little one, she is still at an age where I can set a price limit a lot easier and she gets more stuff.

As the Mom of a teenager and an older one at that, I don't see it being easy to set a limit since so much of what teens want is costly. I am fortunate that my ex (ds's father) is an electronics junky and do to his work often can get our son the latest and greatest gadgets dirt cheap.

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#74 of 90 Old 11-28-2009, 09:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hsmama77 View Post
I'm not sure you understood what I meant. Of course a child wouldn't know how much was being spent but most children asks for things.

So, if your limit is 100.00 per child and 1 child really wants a 100.00 item but another child really loves say Littlest Pet Shop figures that are $5.00 each you would have 1 child opening 1 present and another child opening 20. Hope that's a little clearer!
Yes. It might seem unfair, but usually kids understand. for example, the 13 year old understands that his DS system is worth as much as his 5 year old kid brothers 15 little toys.
At our house, each kid has the same stocking stuffer, and is going to "share" in a couple of group/family gifts (new computers and game system stuff) and then each child has their "own" stuff to open.
The 2 and 5 year olds probably have 10-15 things to open each, mostly $1-10 stuff.
The 12 year old has 3-4 items, about $15-20 each
The 13 year old has 2-3 items, about $30-40 each
And the 16 year old has 1 item, but it's a whopper, worth over $100.

It all works out.

Instead of looking at it monetarily, we try to look at teh "wow" factor...how happy is each item going to make a kid?

When they were younger, we did try to keep it more even, so for examp[le, i knwo one year, when one child had essentially one large gift while the others had numerous smaller gifts, we hit the $$ store, and purchased a couple $1 gifts, so the kid with the one big gift would have a couple more items to open, even if they were just cheap things.

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#75 of 90 Old 11-28-2009, 09:46 PM
 
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Leta, your wrapping idea is genius. Seriously.
totally using that from now on!!!

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#76 of 90 Old 11-29-2009, 12:00 AM
 
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I have spent around $700 and I have about $300 more on order. I have one child and all that I have spent isn't just from me... some of it is from me, some of it the items I have purchased are from my parents. We will also pick up other odds and ends. So the total could very well be close to $1200. A lot of what she has asked for are things for her horse and for horse back riding and field hockey as well as clothes. She is an only child and is an only grandchild.... yes, she is spoiled, very spoiled but she is only young once.

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#77 of 90 Old 11-29-2009, 01:03 AM
 
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Well my shopping is basically done. I spent probably around $300 for our FIN, some relatives, and my kiddos (4) presents. A couple of things were sold out, so if I can find them later, it will go up a little. I spent another $288 on a new tree and stand though.

I spent about $5 on metal Christmas tins at a thrift store. I will bake cookies for bus drivers, teachers, mail carrier, etc so I think that was a good investment.
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#78 of 90 Old 11-29-2009, 02:33 AM
 
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We spend about $100 on each kid however they rarely get gift from anyone outside of us. If I could afford it I would spend closer to $200 each. We also dont buy stuff outside of Birthdays and Christmas.

I wanted to add I spendd less on my Step daughter not because I love her less but because she has already had Christmas by the time she gets to our home.
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#79 of 90 Old 11-29-2009, 04:08 AM
 
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This year we're trying something new. We budgeted $500 total for xmas gifts. $200 per child (3yo DD and 6yo DS) and $100 for family. DH and I don't really get much for each other. And the kids get a bunch from relatives.
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#80 of 90 Old 11-29-2009, 04:11 AM
 
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As much as I hate to admit this (on the frugality board no less ) I make NO attempts at frugality with Christmas. We don't buy toys & such through the year and at christmas I like to buy the boys good quality toys that I know they will love. This year... the family gift is a Wii, which was about 400bucks itself. I'd say about 200-250 each child on top of that, maybe a little more with stockings

Santa gets credit for stockings, all the rest is mum & dad... I figure we are the ones that say no during the year and have to be the 'bad guys' when required, so we ought to get the christmas glory dangit

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#81 of 90 Old 11-29-2009, 04:38 AM
 
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The plan is $100 - 150 per child. We have 2 kids. In reality for one kid it will probably be a bit more because there is a nice building set he wants, and for the other kid will it be less because all she wants is stuffed animals and doll clothes. I'm not buying $100 worth of stuffies!

We also then will spend about 50 per niece/nephew - we currently have 4.

We do not buy toys during the year - maybe a $5-10 item here and there, but that's infrequent. Christmas and birthday are the big ones.

DH is laid off right now, otherwise the budget for our kids would be increased by 50-100, and for their cousins by 50. (I do not always spend the entire amount we budget. It depends on what they want.)
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#82 of 90 Old 11-29-2009, 11:01 AM
 
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Interesting...Last year it was about $30 per kid, dd1 was 3 and dd2 was 10 months. I try to get them something fun, a book, and something to deepen their faith. This year, I bought dd1 two Webkins, since she is into that, and will get her a doll too, since she's been really into those as well and her current doll broke. For dd2, I got her the LeapFrog letter magnets, not because we are all into the LeapFrog line, but because at two friends houses she played with them for an HOUR, and I could use that time when I need to HS dd1. They will also get some books from the Christian book store. So far, I've spent $20 for dd1 and $10 for dd2. The doll and the books will be another $30, so total $60 for both. They are the only grandchildren on both sides of the family, so there is always an abundance of gifts. This year my parents and sister/bil are getting dd1 dance lessons and we are asking MIL/FIL for membership to the science center.
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#83 of 90 Old 11-29-2009, 12:01 PM
 
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Way too much We don't really have a budget, per say. We just buy things all year long that we think ds will like. If I had to guess I'd say we've spent somewhere around $300 on him for Christmas. BUT a lot of that is on books because he's a book-aholic. LOL! We are frugal for 11 months out of the year. December we break all of that and go a bit crazy for ds We never ever go into credit card debt though so I think it's all good. We both have credit cards that are paid in full every month.

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#84 of 90 Old 11-29-2009, 04:04 PM
 
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We fall into the "you don't want to know" catagory. My sister will send small gifts but other than that no family will send anything. So it's just us.

I generally try to do a one present from everyone kind of thing, that gives them 4 things plus a Santa gift, then maybe an outfit or something. However as it's been pointed out, the other they get the pricer things get. Ds wants 2 Wii games and a bunch of Lego sets, well a Wii game is 40-50 bucks a shot and the lego sets he wants aren't cheap either. However DD who is 20 months is getting a cool kitchen I got on Craigslist and a few small things.

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#85 of 90 Old 11-29-2009, 05:04 PM
 
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We have a budget- a firm budget- of $100 (or less) per person within our family for Christmas.

Our birthday budget is both higher and more flexible- it tends to go up with age.

We don't buy the kids things like clothes for Christmas/birthday. If there is a special item of clothing that they want (like DD specifically asked for a Snow White outfit for Xmas), we'll do that, but as far as their regular wardrobes go, they know they'll get that stuff anyway, so they don't really ask for clothes for Christmas.

Usually, each of us get a new book for Christmas. Other than this one book, virtually all the other books we buy come from the thrift store.

For Christmas, we do three gifts and three stocking stuffers each. This is also somewhat flexible, because I have a unique wrapping system. I take everything out of it's package before I wrap it. Then, I put the gift in a reusable gift bag or foldable cardboard decorative gift box lined with tissue paper. I use a full roll of wired cloth ribbon ($1/roll, or $0.25/roll at the post holiday sales) to tie a bow around the package. I make homemade gift tags out of old cards- I use pinking shears and punch a hole, then I run curling ribbon thru the hole and tie the tag onto the wired ribbon bow. So the only trash we have on Christmas morning is tissue paper and gift tags, which get recycled.

What does wrapping have to do with budgeting, you may ask?

-If Christmas is lean, there are three boxes under the tree for everyone. If Christmas is flush, there are three boxes under the tree for everyone. Some years the boxes are fuller than others, but that is far less noticeable than a living room stuffed with presents vs. a tree that looks lonely.

-By removing all the packaging first, it is far more difficult to tell what was purchased new and what was purchased used.

-My wrapping method is fast- no cutting (except for some packaging), no taping. So I have more time to shop around for bargains and not feel rushed because I have "so much to do". My wrapping (of 30 gifts) takes under an hour. When I still used wrapping paper, it took me three hours, minimum, to wrap far fewer gifts.

-This wrapping method is ridiculously cheap. I got the boxes (20 of them, various sizes) and the wired ribbon (also 20 of them) at a post holiday sale in 2005 and spent less than $20. The gift tags are practically free. Tissue paper is very inexpensive- I spent $2 on a big package last year, and expect it will last me through Christmas 2010 or 2011. This reduces holiday spending overall- other than presents and food, the only thing we buy every year is our tree.

There are other advantages, too, like a relaxed Christmas morning (no cleanup! no assembly!), and the fact that the presents are magazine beautiful with very little work, but the primary reason I use this method is to save money.

Our kids get a pretty steady flow of stuff throughout the year- not from us, typically, but the grandparents and aunts and uncles- so I try hard to focus a few things that they really want rather than just a glut of stuff. And if I can find that special thing used, I'm not going to pass it up just because it doesn't come in a plastic bubble.
For those that buy used gifts for christmas, what do you do if one of the recipients wants to return an item, either the item doesn't work out for whatever reason, or they received a double? I assume most places, like goodwill, the salvation army, and garage sales, you aren't able to return items?
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#86 of 90 Old 11-30-2009, 02:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lisa85 View Post
For those that buy used gifts for christmas, what do you do if one of the recipients wants to return an item, either the item doesn't work out for whatever reason, or they received a double? I assume most places, like goodwill, the salvation army, and garage sales, you aren't able to return items?

I only buy used for my immediate family, but that's really the only ppl I buy for anyway, lol. I have never had to return anything new for anyone but myself.

Happy Homesteading Homeschooling Homebirthing Beekeeping Dready (& a bit redneck even) Mama to 4 fab kids :  dd (23), dd (13), ds (11), dd (5)

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#87 of 90 Old 12-02-2009, 01:01 AM
 
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very interesting thread!! we are still pretty new at all this...dd is 2 and ds is 1. so far they each have new jamies. ds has small wooden cars. dd has baby doll diapers and sling. they also have a new book each. total so far: $115. they are probably done. they will get very nice gifts from the many extended families. i know a train table/train set is coming our way...also new baby doll, stroller, ride on toy for ds, games and puzzles, books. we are very blessed...and i am working on where to put it all.

i do buy things through out the year and they have winter bdays...oct 27 for ds and jan 17 for dd. i like to buy a few very high quality gifts for christmas/bday...i know they will have PLENTY to open from extended family. i'm sure i could find things for less $$ but we can afford it and we enjoy it.

dh and i usually spend about $75 on each other. its usually something practical...this year he is getting new shoes and I am probably getting a roasting pan.

amanda... lovin' my dh since 2004 and mama to dd (3), ds (18 months) and expecting someone new Oct 2010.
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#88 of 90 Old 12-02-2009, 01:21 AM
 
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I do not set a limit and I do not spend exactly the same amount on each child. The few things that are going to thrill my soon to be 2 year old are just less expensive than the things my 4 year old wants.

This year Santa is bringing a play kitchen (it was $135 including tax and shipping) for both children to share. I figure we'll get a lot of mileage out of this as both my children are young and we have another one due next month. They each get two presents more from us, totaling three and then various family members send things. So they will probably get about 6 presents each + their stockings (things like candy, hair bows, board books, socks, etc.).

Altogether I think I spent around $300 for both of them which seems fairly reasonable to me since the gifts are nice quality and will actually be played with. We also don't buy much of anything for the kids aside from birthdays and Christmas which also helps me justify the expense.

"Hey, I've got nothin' to do today but smile." - S & G
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#89 of 90 Old 12-02-2009, 02:51 PM
 
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I don't really have a budget. I do buy small toys throughout the year and dd's birthday is almost 2 mos to the day before Christmas. Now, we have ds, too. I try to purchase quality, open ended toys that will last. I also always buy a substantial gift for my mom (who is hands down the best mama in the world!) and now, my SIL, brother and their two kids. If I don't see my younger brother for the holidays, I don't buy him anything (same with him for me and my family - it works for us). So, aside from my mom (who, I can usually assign a gift to) and my SIL, no one else is really buying for the kids. My dad has started purchasing gifts for my kids, though. He and I do not exchange gifts.

I try to get one big gift and usually agonize over the price. This year it's a dollhouse. I decided to go with the $189 vs. $269 item. If she doesn't play with it much, I'll feel a lot better about the purchase. For ds, I purchased a push toy (rolling cart thingy) that I agonized over for dd, but never purchased ($115), plus a rocking toy ($75.00). DD is also getting clothes. She asked for a mermaid doll. I'm making that and another Waldorf doll I already had in the works before that request. This summer I bought wooden table and chairs for the doll and a wooden duck with ducklings pull toy for ds.

They also get a stocking, although ds's will be quite limited this year, if at all, since he is just 9 mos. If we do it, it will be more for dd's experience than ds's so that she doesn't think that Santa, or the elf he has assigned to them (named Nigel - LOL!) has left ds out.

Mama to add 10/05; ds 3/09, and two angels
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#90 of 90 Old 12-02-2009, 04:32 PM
 
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average, about $10.

my boys will receive two (or maybe three) joint gifts this year. one will be purchased for about $20-25. the other(s) will be homemade from materials i already have.

last year, homemade for free.

'07, ds1 about $20 (cars and carrier) and ds2 got nothing, as an infant.

'06 ds1 about $20 for a doll.

'05 ds1 got nothing, as an infant.

they haven't noticed yet. dh & i agreed to limit it to one gift per kid, except two joint gifts is the same as one each, and it just makes more sense since our boys are close in age and play with the same stuff these days. i imagine they will start to have more expensive taste as they get older, but i'd like to reserve birthdays as the day they get a really great present (or a small pile of presents) and keep christmas more low-key.
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