Mothering Forum banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
702 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>For the pasts few Christmases, I've been tempted to opt out of the gift exchange, but just can't bring myself to do it. So here we go again. I have several family members that live out of state, and managed to hold down ea. of those families to $25 ea (to take advantage of Amazon's free shipping) and feel like I was pretty frugal with the rest of the of the gifts, as well - comparison shopping, using free shipping, etc. I'm sure I could have gotten better deals if I had been willing to spend more time on the computer or in the car, but at this point I JUST NEED TO BE DONE. And I am. Phew!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I know my brother is extremely generous with his gifts to us, so I feel guilty that I spent $10 on ea of their kids, and nothing for them (they got my dh a GPS for dh for example). I know, I know, focus on the true meaning of Christmas, but the reality is, it's making me feel weird. But I digress.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>How much have you spent so far? We bought for 11 nieces and nephews, two sets of grandparents, my bachelor brother, santa gifts for three girls, plus "something to wear, something you need, etc". We're logging in at $400. I don't know if this is "good" or scary...</p>
<p> </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,234 Posts
<p>I only have my daughter to buy for, but I've spent around $40 I think - might be less. I got a lot of things free with coupons from Walgreens and CVS.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>We aren't having a big Christmas this year.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
<p>We always spend more than most.  I'm ok with that since we never gift any other time of the year (even to the kids), except for their birthday.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I spent about $300 for DD and DS, and we spent about $400 for DSD (a lens for her camera, so she can stop borrowing mine!).  DH's total was $350, but it was steelers and orioles dri-fit clothes, which he has been really really wanting and never splurges on himself.  I know that DH spent about $300 on me...but the kids spilled it and he "feels" that he needs to buy something else to surprise me.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>So, while that may sound like a lot, every single thing is researched and I'm confident that they will use each item for years to come.  I dont buy crap, and they never step foot into sears/toysrus/consumer-driven stores...so we can avoid them asking for items that I think they will ditch in 3 months.  DD's big gift from santa was an american girl doll...which she has been consistently asking for for 4 months...specific one.  This is from Santa. Unfortunately, these are not discounted (but gramma is making her doll a bunkbed for her birthday!)   DS saw a pirate ship in a store when we were in Key West, and I couldnt bear to buy it there for their prices, but I did find it 30% off and with free shipping...so thats his big gift from Santa.  They also each got a large set of legos to expand their collection.  So, while the dollars may seem large, 2 of DD's gifts and 2 of DS's gifts totaled $200 each.  The remainder of their gifts were more specific to their particular interests.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>So, do I think we spent too much?  Yes.  Are we in debt for it?  No.  I've been buying their gifts throughout the entire calendar year to ensure that I get the best price possible, and so that we have no major credit card debt as a result.  Everything has been paid off for months.  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>We also spent $200 on my parents, and $25/child for my nieces/nephews (5 total).  DH's parents are getting an ancestry book where we researched all of their relatives and the towns they came from in europe with dates/names/etc....now, that was a LOT of time.  They will so love it though!</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
689 Posts
<p>Grand total will be around $1500.  But I always budget for and include all the extras...christmas cards, tree, wreath, postman, teachers, as well as gifts. We've actually done a decent job eliminating a lot of msc gift exchanges this year - my own cousins for example, and the focus is on children - my own as well as nieces and nephew.  We spend minimal on grandparents, and it's usually in the photo dept.  One thing I need to include in next year's budget is the cash my husband spends going out for work related holiday festivities...since he works for the state there are no open bars but they are "must do" events.</p>
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,072 Posts
My kids ~$600 total. $107 in presents for a family in need (4 kids), $35 on dh, $35 for me (dh told me to buy myself a dvd set he knew I would like), $30 on one of my brothers, another $30 for another brother, and $130 on pictures to pass out for the rest of the family. I spent too much this year, but they're getting more expensive as they get older!!! We chose not to do presents for most of the family this year since money is tight (dh has surgery the 27th and there's that deductible) plus dh's family has so much money they never care about anything we can afford to get them.<br><br>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,006 Posts
<p>hmmm grand total on presents, not just for our son??</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Ham dinner donation at my church for food pantry: $50</p>
<p>Adopt a family at work: approx $50</p>
<p>Household supply donation for the local shelter: approx $50</p>
<p> </p>
<p>teacher/postman/hairdresser/coworkers/etc: all home made treats so not sure how to calculate, had to buy more flour and an extra pound of butter. Oh and a new bottle vanilla. Everything else was on hand.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>friends: $100-homemade infused vodka, I get about 12-14 bottles out of the investment so its less than $10 per person</p>
<p> </p>
<p>my husband: $300 (this is unusual) normally its more in the $100 range</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Family secret santa: $25 is the budget but I will make a special infused vodka for mine since I know that what he wants from all the hints, LOL</p>
<p> </p>
<p>presents for the kids in the family (cousins) about $10-$20 each so about $60</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Our son will land at around $1K when everything is said and done and that includes his stocking and things like socks, undies, xmas eve jammies, clothes. $600 of that is new hockey equipment that we bought this past summer.  We have always borrowed or had hand me downs so this is the first money we have spent in 5 years of him playing.  We budgeted well in advance and researched everything. Bought on sale 15% off, had an additional 20% coupon and "free" $25 gift card for each $150 spent. Since it was bought and paid for last July (and we would have bought it any way) its hard to to think of it as christmas but since it going under the tree I feel I have to include in the total. Another $100 is a big lego set (also on big discount, original price was $150).  Other than that nothing was more than $50 bucks, most were in $5-$10 range.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Didn't buy any new decorations this year, we cut down our tree on our property.  I made a small holly wreath that technically cost money (wire, ribbon etc) but I owned all that stuff already so no immediate outlay of cash</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I also budget for a higher food bill in Nov/Dec to allow for special meals, treats, etc</p>
<p> </p>
<p>All in all we don't spend anymore this time of year then others because it is all budgeted and we buy throughout the year. Our only debt is our mortgage.  I love not having a money hangover in January!</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
702 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<p>It's so strange...I really feel like I did the bare minimum this year...and STILL we're at $400.  And if I'm going to be honest, that's not including stockings, cards, tree, or teacher gifts (bcs I haven't had time to tackle those things yet) Crap.  And dh and I are not even exchanging gifts, really. Even with all that expenditure, I feel like there isn't really any "WOW" factor for my kids :( Their Christmas lists are always so simple, that I know that they don't expect much - and I'm actually very proud of that.  But there is a part of me that I could do that for them. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I need to plan better for next Christmas. Maybe buy throughout the year, or at least have a "real" sinking fund for it, instead of taking it out of my snowball...</p>
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,785 Posts
<p>I am making myself want to puke with how crazy I went, but I did spoil my parents who have virtually no money..so we are financially secure and are not in debt but still..</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I got my Dad things for his house (heater fixed, cell phone minutes, all practical things) around $300 total, and my mom is about $350 total</p>
<p> </p>
<p>The rest was about $1,000 that includes kiddos, family, food, decorations etc.</p>
<p> </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,006 Posts
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">
<div>
<div class="shazam post-container-inner" style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">
<div class="post-content-area indexable" style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:5px;margin-left:226px;padding-top:15px;padding-right:5px;padding-bottom:8px;padding-left:5px;font-size:13px;color:rgb(0,0,0);">
<div class="wiki_markup" id="user_content_16119740" style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:0px;">
<p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;padding-top:0px;padding-right:0px;padding-bottom:2px;padding-left:0px;">I need to plan better for next Christmas. Maybe buy throughout the year, or at least have a "real" sinking fund for it, instead of taking it out of my snowball...</p>
</div>
</div>
</div>
</div>
</div>
</div>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p>The best thing I ever did was set up a christmas fund account.  I found a higher interest saving account (ING) when our son was around 2. We started small, maybe $5-10 bucks a week and over time it has grown. We *only* use for stuff that goes under the tree but we access when we need it (like the hockey equipment). However when we started we were completely out of debt so we could afford to do it. At this stage in our lives we often have money left over each year and carry that forward.  It has taken a LOT discipline!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Lately we have been talking about cutting back the amount we put in and putting the money elsewhere or turning it into a birthday/holiday/christmas fund. However this kid gets more expensive as he gets older, LOL</p>
 
  • Like
Reactions: e13lorena

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,591 Posts
<p>This year we opted out of the gift exchange between the 10 nieces and nephews.  It was such a relief to know that we're all saving having more and more stuff in our homes.  We are only buying for our four kids and my partner's mom.  My parents are gone, and my partner's dad is gone.  We never exchanged with siblings.  I did buy gifts for the older kids' teachers and they served double purpose;  they were locally fresh-roasted organic-fair trade coffees that were sold as a fundraiser for one of my kids' activities.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Instead of buying gifts for every family member, some friends, the mailman and the hairdresser, we use the money for a holiday open house party, and an organic turkey dinner.  Also, every year we add to our holiday decor to the tune of about $100.</p>
<p><br>
So this year I have spent: </p>
<p> </p>
<p>$110 on the baby, $100 for a Grimm Brothers rainbow stacker that she'll love for years, and $10 for a second-hand Lamaze triangular mirror that sits on the floor.  The mirror is the entirety of her stocking.  I will probably also give her an outfit or a sleeper as the other kids are all getting something to wear, and they'll notice that Santa forgot the baby.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>$200 on each of the older kids.  They are each getting a used Nintendo DS.  They came with 7-8 games, so those will be given as gifts too.  I spent $2.50 for each of them to have a little purse-case for the DS and a game or two.  They are each also getting some stationery, notebooks, a shovel, pyjamas, bead kit and latch hook kit.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>$100 on my 3-year-old.  A second-hand mini trampoline, a claw hand reacher (you know, those classic things!), a preschool-friendly Tonka RC car and a shovel.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>$80 on DP but I won't say on what just in case.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>and DP has a budget of $100 for me.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>We are spending $50 on MIL.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>We have already spent $400 on our holiday open house including ordered invitations, stamps, food and drinks for entertaining.  We've ordered the $200 local organic turkey and will probably spend a good deal more on Christmas dinner with the family.  I like the balance of spending more on gatherings and celebrations than on stuff.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Oh, I plan to buy tickets to a local play when the box office is open on Saturday.  That'll be $50 for all of us.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,378 Posts
<p>We have spent 600$ so far. Dh and I don't do gifts for each other, just stockings. I buy for 12 people. For extended family, the budget is 40$e. I have spent about 150$ on each kid. I still have more to buy for stockings and some gift cards to buy.  I always spend around 900$ total.</p>
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,940 Posts
<p>I spent over $1000 already.  This is for 14 people in the family, plus 8 teachers at kids' school.  This doesn't include money spent on toys and food donations, holiday helpers or other donations.  I think DH's spending a couple hundred on my gifts, not sure.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>We're not going anywhere this year or hosting any parties, so we can splurge a bit more on gifts. :)</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
464 Posts
<p>I think we are at about $1600. As many others have said, more than I wish, but it is all paid for so no debt.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>DS1 is getting an Itouch and ornament</p>
<p>DS2 is getting a scooter and nintendo ds and an ornament</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Family gifts: two games for the Wii</p>
<p>Stockings: A ds game, books, and a movie</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Hubby: A jacket (The North Face so not cheap!) that he has been eyeing and cologne - $150</p>
<p>Me: I don't know, but I know it was $130 <span><img alt="winky.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="width:15px;height:15px;"></span></p>
<p> </p>
<p>Hubby's Parents:</p>
<p>MIL: new bedding for their guest room ($250) and about $80 on her stocking...she always FILLS all of ours (3 kids, 2 kids in law, 2 grandkids, hubby and her mom) so I wanted to pamper her!</p>
<p>FIL: 3 new western shirts ($60)</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My parents:</p>
<p>Mom - books, jammies, and an ornament - $90</p>
<p>Dad - stereo for his Ipod/Cds and cologne - $150</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Godparents of kids</p>
<p>Each are getting a Victoria Secret gc for $50</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Secret Santa at Work: $25</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Angel from our angel tree: $40</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Tree: $50</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Teacher gifts for 3 teachers: $45</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I think that sums it up plus or minus a few things. I just need to plan better because last year I bought for more people and spent less money but had equally as nice of gifts. Lesson learned that being too busy = spending more than you would like :)</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
<p>We've spent a grand total of $570 on gifts, not including a family trip to Mexico that our in-laws paid half of, and this is all paid for.  We normally spend from $1600 to $2200 on the holidays.  Most of that goes outside of our house, not inside of it!  DW manages a staff team of 13 and gifts for them alone usually run us $300-$500 (her annual bonus is based upon their performance, so she really likes to acknowledge each and every one of them).</p>
<p> </p>
<p>This year we've spent $115 on my family ($50 gift certificate for my Mom; $40 gift certificate for my Gran; $25 gift certificate for my brother).  They live 5 hours away, so we tend not to send gifts via mail.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>The trip to Mexico is our kids' holiday gifts.  We gave them the option, "Would you like a travel experience or would you like stuff?"  Very quickly, and unanimously, they opted for a vacation.  We did spend an additional $75 on each kid - $25 spending money for the trip and $50 on their stockings.  We're not exchanging gifts with one another as this trip is our gift.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>We'll be creating the in-laws a book of photographs from our trip once we return from Mexico and that's what they'd like for $75.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Then, we spent about $120 on DWs staff (that doesn't include the cost of strawberry jam that I made in June) and another $75+ on a few gifts for special people and cards.  A really, really, really simple Christmas for us in terms of the shopping department.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,595 Posts
<p>So far, less than $600.  But we still have a few things to get for the kids so that will be another roughly $300.  Everyone else is done.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
<p>I'm honestly afraid to add it up.  But we did get something that I feel is important (a swing set) for the kids at a great price, we included our old one in the sale of our old house and never got a new one and we're home 90% of the time with the little ones so I do feel it's something that will get used alot and promote outside time.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>But I am always appalled at how much we spend at Christmas time, even with budgeting, it really adds up quickly.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,115 Posts
<p>Wow, I actually feel stressed reading some of this.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>OP, I think you did very good for the number of people on your list. Very, very good.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>For in-laws this year we drew names out of a hat for the adults and are spending up to $20 on something off their wish list. Everybody is getting something for the children on that side of the family. We lucked out on that one - there are only 2 children, DD and a cousin. For my parents, I have asked them a bunch of times what they want and finally they said they just wanted photos. DH and I do not give each other gifts, ever. And we just give 1 gift to DD since she gets so much from everyone else. So our total is:</p>
<p> </p>
<p>FIL (family member DH drew): $25</p>
<p>SIL (family member I drew): will be about $25 too after I get another small item for her</p>
<p>Niece: $25</p>
<p>Photos for my parents: $10</p>
<p>DD: $13</p>
<p>====</p>
<p>Total: $98</p>
<p> </p>
<p>So, wow, we spent $98 even though we are probably doing the cheapest Christmas ever done outside of a Synagogue.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Argh, and I forgot about stockings, we will stuff stockings for everybody on the in-law side. AND SIL wants to do a gag gift. So assuming we spend $2 on a stocking item plus $2 on a gag gift, that's another $14. Plus I'm bringing a dish for Christmas dinner, probably $15. I'm not counting gas to drive or anything (it would be about $50), I'm just not going to.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>New total: $127. And that's a conservative estimate. For people who do almost nothing. Who spent $13 on their 5 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,409 Posts
<p>$300 on the kids. $200 on DH. It'll end up being about $50 on my parents, and I managed to force myself not to buy any decorations this year, we just used what we had. If any light strings were not working, oh well. They didn't get replaced. I'll end up spending about $75 on Christmas dinner, plus other treats for the day for another $25 or so most likely. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>So..... nearly $700 total. </p>
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,592 Posts
<p>DS- $300-400</p>
<p>Gifts to each other $100 (we had a $50 limit on each of us)</p>
<p>My parents- $60</p>
<p>My siblings- $60</p>
<p>DP's parents- $200</p>
<p>My sisters kids- $80 (including shipping)</p>
<p>DP's brothers kids- $40</p>
<p>DS's teachers- $75 (5 teachers at $15 each)</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Total- around $1000</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,753 Posts
<p>About $200 total.  2/3 is gifts for ds.  He doesn't get much from relatives so I get him a few things he is really going to like (a lego set, a hydrodynamic building set, a spy gear toy, and specific lego power functions for a project he has in mind).  The other 1/3 is stocking stuffers for ds and nieces and nephews who will be here.  Most of the adults are getting gifts knit from my stash.  I don't spend much on food (my mom likes to cook) and I don't usually do cards.  The tree is artificial so we don't need to buy one or spend any other money on decoration.</p>
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top