Budgeting Christmas gifts

Brooke - posted on 10/19/2010 ( 33 moms have responded )

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Hello..i am a new teen mom and i an just starting off on my own with my boyfriend and DD. weare already living chek to check just making ends meet. i cant let my daughters first christmas be affected by our situation. i would like some tips so i can afford christmas gifts for my daughter and family and not get behind on my rent and bills.

Thanks

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Tanya - posted on 10/22/2010

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Call me old fashion but the first thing I am going to say is.. Do NOT use a credit card for christmas gifts ever! Like a quote I heard once "oh for the good ol days when we stopped Christmas shopping when the money was gone" .. Remember what christmas is about its about family and traditions and just being close the best gift you can give to your daugher and your boyfriend and your family is the gift of remembering what christmas is about. For family, friends & neighbors I usually bake or cook something to give (cookies, pumpkin bread, empanadas even tamales just to name a few) they always love reciving it and I get lots of homemade things in return and we enjoy all the yummy treats someone else made. I have made gifts for my husband over the years and I have bought him things one thing men love getting SOCKS! Really they think a gift of socks is the greatest something about the comfort of a new good sock goes straight to his heart.. lol, I also have made him a coupon book for special things I know he'll like (get out of an argument with no questions, a massage, a day to do nothing, Sleep in - you can even get adult with with) its really a laugh about gift but he has threaten to use a coupon from it like if I'm "nagging" him to clean something he'll usually tell me I think I have a coupon for a day off or if I'm mad at him he'll say I still have that no arguing coupon.. It has saved us from some fights too.. You can always do just a card with a love note inside telling your boyfriend how special he is and how much you apprichate what he does guys enjoy hearing good things about themselfs plus its something that we forget to tell eachother often when life gets in the way. For your daughter thrift stores you can find lots of good toys I shop there often all year long. Also shop early if you can start looking for great buys all year if you pick up some wonderful things all year you wont feel the cost of christmas so much. What we usually do with our kids is one big gift it don't have to be much and then just some little things. Also remember what you want her to remember about christmas my kids don't remember all the gifts they get or have gotten (with the exception of the hamsters santa got them last year they asked for all year long and they got them but they are living things that have to be feed and cleaned so they can't forget them.. lol) But they always remember our traditions! Now that you are starting on you own with your family it is a great time to start some traditions of your own along with incorporating your families and your boyfriends families traditions. My kids know we put the tree up on Thanksgiving while I cook the turkey we get the tree up and decorated. They know that we read how the grinch stole christmas and the night before christmas on christmas eve these are just a few. Remember what Christmas is about and incorporate that into your gifts and your life expecially during the holidays and you can't go wrong. The challenge is keeping that Christmas spirit all year long, it would be a wonderful thing so enjoy your christmas don't worry too much about the gifts.

Tyrae - posted on 10/24/2010

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My best advice (which won't help this year but will definently help with the years to come) is just to put like $20 per pay check away. You'll have approx $500 by the time christmas comes around to buy christmas presents and it will all be in cash so you don't have to worry about killing your credit card. That's what I did this year when I found out I was pregnant back in March and it has helped sooo much, would have been better if I had started at Christmas but I wasn't thinking than :P And just think, with that extra bit of cash stashed away somewhere if you do have an emergency during the year, and don't have enough for rent or food you won't be completely screwed either.

[deleted account]

First off I would focus only on getting your daughter a gift... save up a bit and get a small one. It doesn't have to cost a fortune. A simple $20 gift will work. As for your bf, I would focus on a gift for him after you get your daughter one. I would again make it inexpensive, or even better make him a treat that he hasn't had in a long time.

Consignment stores are great for kids toys and clothes. We recently got my daughter a swim suit for a trip for $2 and it was like new. I've found $50 toys there for $10. Also the Salvation Army often does sales for low income families for Christmas presents. I would call your local one and see if they do it or if they know someone who does. The toys are often used but you can often find some new ones.

Good Luck.

Erica - posted on 12/03/2012

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My suggestion would be not to stress, anything you buy her will not be noticed as much as the boxes and wrapping paper will (I wish my mom would have told me that when I had my first). That said, the mother in you can not let this holiday go without "proper gifts," so I would look in thrift stores, big lots, and the dollar store. Things that are kid portable, movable, make noises, light up, they are all winners. It doesn't take a lot to impress them at this age, so be thankful for that because soon you will have Christmas lists with things like iPad's and diamond earrings.



Your friends is a bit easier. Have everyone make special cookies, and then meet up at your house. Each of you share some cookies with one another, cocoa, and make a special Christmas ornament that you can each take home (if your city has a theme, base the ornament on the theme. Like here we do Christmas at the beach, so you could each paint seashells, add glitter, etc). Take a picture of everyone with their ornament and post it where all can see.



Trust me, it's not about the money, it's about the memories. If you have friends who think otherwise, run for the hills.

Chelsey - posted on 12/16/2010

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I know how that goes. Alot of people are searching on craigslist.com. I am not sure what area you live in but they have quite a few areas. But maybe your state has other sites. Search for used toys that are in good/great/like new condition. Why spend $20 on a toy your daughter will only play with for a few months and then never look at it again when you can get it for maybe $10 used.
Some other things maybe sign up for stuff like santa's helper, the sharing tree, toys for tots. once again i am not sure what your city/county/state offers for resources but check with your city/county and find out.
I know it sounds terrible to buy used toys but really, Ur daughter won't mind. and also when I got out on my own It was just me and my son and it was paycheck to paycheck also and I came up with a rule for birthday and christmas and any other time he recieves gifts: Read, Need, Greed.
Read: get a book
Need: get her something she needs (clothes, shampoo, wash, formula, a NEED)
Greed: something she wants,if shes to young to tell you then get her a toy.
those 3 presents should be enough. that way when shes older she doesnt expect amillion gifts. and she'll know christmas is not about gifts, it's about family, friends, and the people who love us the most.

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[deleted account]

You love her and that's all that matters. Your daughter has no idea what is going on at one. You shouldn't feel like you need to buy presents for her or anyone in your family.

I haven't bought Christmas gifts in years because I can't afford them. I do host all holiday events at my house and do all the cooking (sometimes they donate money so I can afford to feed a big group). We play some games, have fun, and eat. That's my gift and everyone is very happy with it.

I'm sure you can come up with something innovative that is not going to affect your budget at all. A gift doesn't have to be wrapped in a box with a bow. :)

Megan - posted on 12/15/2012

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Beautiful, like new clothes can be gotten at GoodWill. Also when my son was young he loved a game i made from a cleaned milk jug and wooden clothes pins. He loved dropping the clothes pins into the jug, shaking it like crazy to get them out and then doing it all over again. Just look around you...many household items can be made into gifts babies will love. A picture book with all the people who love her that you read each night would be lovely as well.
If you must buy something amazon has a good number of toys half off. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003T0H...

Sylvi-jane - posted on 12/10/2010

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Internet shopping ebay, woolworths, amazon toys'r'us and ebay my personal fav you can by lots of thing very cheeply, hope everyones xmas goes with a swing lol and plenty of money for the new year...

Sylvi-jane - posted on 12/10/2010

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simple make use of 90p shop, 98p shop, 99p shop, and not for getting £ shop too if have a bit more to spend use xmas market, £ stretcher, tesco or asda it does pay to shop around...

Nicole - posted on 12/09/2010

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Try things second hand... for your daughters first christmas she wont know the difference on how much you paid

Frances - posted on 12/08/2010

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Make a silloette picture of her face and put it in a nice frame- she's too young to remember so small meaningful keepsake things will matter most not cost xoxo have a good one, ur not alone being broke too, i'm there as well lol-

Suzi - posted on 12/04/2010

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I am FT working mom with 3 kids all under 5 years of age. Very busy lifestyle. Online shopping has became my best friend. It is so convenient and save me time and gas, and especially the stress of taking 3 kids to shopping, often end up buying few items I don't need or didn't finish due to my kids having melt down or whatever. About 4 months ago I changed my shopping habit and shop online almost exclusively at www.marketamerica.com/shopwithrewards and so far is being great experience. I accumulated cashback rewards from my favorite stores I normally shop at (ie. walmart, home depot, walgreen,target, macy's gap, even 1-800 contacts..etc). and next year I can use this money for my xmas presents. Turning consumption into investment is the powerful feeling. It is like getting a bonus. Loving it! I am going to continue to do that share with everyone too.

Carol - posted on 12/04/2010

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why not check out ebay. my son wanted a nintendo dsi for his birthday, which were 170 at the time, and i got one on it for 62. try the option for no postage, where you might get a few pound off too. why pay when you dont have to. ive just ordered my boy friends present. a zipoo engraved lighter. 30 in the shop. 9 on ebay

Rachel - posted on 12/03/2010

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Just focus on your daughter this year...The rest of your family should understand. Also, a great gift idea I do is baking treats, such as cookies or brownies. Also, remember your daughter will be too little to remember so just purchase a couple toys that your child can grow with and bigger clothes. I hope this helps. Good Luck!

Amy - posted on 11/27/2010

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Aww. Rylee is so CUTE! I know a first Christmas is special but a gift or two to grow with her would be great. How about getting a "first" Christmas picture of her? That would be something special to keep.

My Gabi is a year and I am getting little push car thing she can push herself around on or a rocking horse. I am not thinking of doing gifts for the rest of my side of the family for personal reasons. They wouldn't appreciate it and I have two other kids who need that special magic right now. ;)

A - posted on 11/27/2010

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My suggestion is -- put a jar in a quiet corner of your room. Every day put a dollar bill (or two quarters, whatever coins you have in your pockets or from washing laundry) into the jar. Then leave it alone. If you do this starting today until Christmas, you'll have a bit of money to save up for something nice for your little one.

I have to echo some of the other ladies. Your little one doesn't care what you give them for Christmas... they are much more interested in spending time with you. Get a set of letter blocks or something that will last them for a few years; better to spend slightly more on a good toy they'll use for a long time than one that is cheap and will break in just a couple of months.

Don't be afraid of giving second hand! If the item is still in good shape, this is a sign of it being a good quality item. And especially at your child's age, they won't know the difference between new and used! My kids are both getting used toys and books for Christmas, and I know they won't care about the condition. And if you have friends that are parents of older kids... see if you can help them out too. Ask them if they'll let you "shop" the toys their kids have outgrown... they get a couple bucks to spend on their kids for Christmas, and you get a good used toy or two for much less than buying from a store.

Good luck! And try the jar thing if nothing else!
Adie

Carrie - posted on 11/26/2010

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When my daughter was small we made little with very little extra. So I shopped all year long. I put items in layaway and paid 5 dollars a week and when that one was done I started another layaway. You can make gifts for family like baking cookies or pumpkin bread and making a platter. Also you can give coffee mugs with flavored tea are coffee packets in them. Right now their will be a lot of sales and you can sometimes find nice things at dollar stores. I hope this helps.

Stephanie - posted on 11/15/2010

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My sister came up with a great idea for her mother in-law. All she did was got a container (an old candle jar would work) and decorated it. Then had different family members write specials thing that they loved about her on single sheets of paper and placed it in the jar. That way when her mother in-law has a bad day she can pull one out.

I agree about not making the first Christmas really big. She doesn't know or care at this age. I know it's hard but the reality is you'll have plenty of time to make it big when it really counts and this just isn't one of those times.

Check out ebay. It may be kind of late now but nearly new and brand new stuff can go for really cheap and no shipping. I got ALOT of my kids stuff off of there this year.

Last but not least you can have a party. I know it seems unconventional but you get free stuff that way. Find a vendor that has something for everyone or almost everyone. All it takes is a bag of chips, some soda and friends/family. It's okay if the people you're getting gifts for are there it may make things easier and they won't know what your getting. They might actually pick out their gift. Then you know they'll love it.

Make something. For my sisters wedding she took and old window shutter apart, painted it, and tied ribbon on it. It's one of my favorite fall decorations =). Another year they took a piece of wood, cut it, and burned our last names into it. She made one for every household. It looks great!

Check out your local health department (WIC). They probably have a secret santa tree somewhere.

Bev - posted on 11/10/2010

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Garage sales are a great way to find cheap, new and unopened gifts that people receive and never use. Also, since it's your daughters first christmas I would just focus on small bright colourful toys that you could buy for 1 or 2 dollars and pop them into lots of cardboard boxes (that you recycle for free) and wrap them in christmas wrap. She will get more enjoyment out of ripping paper and cardboard boxes than anything else. Take lots of photos and make a scrapbook for a very special gift for her first xmas.

[deleted account]

We're always broke. We have to cut corners where we can. That's why I skip B-day & X-mas gifts for all babies. It's not like they'll ever know they got shorted.
But if you must get the baby something, a rattle or something will do. And if you must get her something spendy, get her a baby swing.
Like I said, my husband & I have always been broke. We've always had small X-mas's for the kids but it still takes us months to recover. The only thing that saves us is when we get income tax. Then we can catch up on the bills we skipped in Dec.

Jill - posted on 10/30/2010

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If you have your heart set on giving gifts to family and loved ones, try baking, bake some sweet treats, inexpensive ones, wrap them up in some pretty tissue paper and put in a small box, recycle some from your local store, cover them in pretty paper if need be, but they will be loved because they were made with love. But please don't stress about christmas, your family will be quite happy with just spending time with your baby, thats what i found, all my family wanted was to be with my daughter for her first christmas.

Lillian - posted on 10/26/2010

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you just have to make sure you do balance all your debts especially bills and rent so that you can manage to certify them all please

Belinda - posted on 10/21/2010

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Sometimes if you shop on-line you can find real good deals. I always check Amazon.com for prices because I end up paying less than in stores. The hard part is saving the gift all wrapped up until it's time to give it to your love ones.
I doubt that my bf and I will exchange gifts this year because money is tight but our son will get a few things even if he's more interested in tearing up the paper and playing in the box (he's 1 today!)

I have saved over $40 on one item because I found it new and on-line (that's even after shipping!)

Angela - posted on 10/21/2010

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I start my shopping early, picking up things here and there as I see them. I'm finished with Christmas shopping for my 2 girls (ages 2 and still baking, due in 4 weeks). It's easier to spread the shopping out and get one or two things at a time than trying to buy it all at once. I also check out Craigslist and consignment stores for stuff.

Jo - posted on 10/20/2010

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Hi there, I have 3 children at the ages of 6 in four days, 3yr old an a 15month old. I start xmas shopping about 6 months before hand I don't spend a great deal of money on xmas pressies but to start shoppin so early in the year makes it alot easier on us. I mainly buy my kids what the need before what they wont aswell so that way the pressies get good use. Deffinatley get in contact with the salvo's they r lifesavers!!!

Erlinda - posted on 10/20/2010

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well it depends on old your daughter is? honestly my mother and grandmother always said dont make a big deal out of halloween or xmas if they are under the age of 3 because they are way to young to know or understand what is going on my son will be 3 next year and i will finally have a tree and all the decoration this year and i suggest starting your shopping early as possible i started buying my son's gift last week and as for my daughter who is a month old she will be too young and will probably get a teddy but thats it

Jennifer - posted on 10/20/2010

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Also try freecycle.com. It's a site where you can find people in your area giving away gently used stuff for free.

Jennifer - posted on 10/20/2010

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Layaway! Walmart may not have it any more but Kmart and Sears do. Also check with your local Salvation Army I know this women who signs up for there Chirstmas give away every year. They actually buy Christmas for the kids (mainly clothes I think)

Sara - posted on 10/19/2010

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Hi Brooke,
I think the best advice I can give you would be to put away small amounts of money at a time. Look in the flyers and online for the best deals on toys and clothes. Walmart almost always has kids stuff fairly cheap. Don't worry about quantity as your baby is still fairly young, remember she's going to remember the time spent with you more :)

Jade - posted on 10/19/2010

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Hi first where do you stay ? i know it doesnt sound great but try charity shops etc they have some really good stuff i give most of my son toys to them just give them a wipe with antibacterial wipes and there great also for gifts for family few cheap photo frames and a nice picture of a smiley child always makes a great xmas prezzie i do mines with him holding a santa teddy its cheap and cheerfull and a nice thought x

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