My husband is laid off and has been for months. How do I tell my 11 YO about small Christmas budget?

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Kaye - posted on 11/12/2009

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Be honest with him and he may accept it better. We always had a rule in our house that the gift from Santa that was no more than $50 as santa can't afford more than that and they also knew that the other things came from Mum and Dad sometimes it wasn't that much but they were fine.

Angie - posted on 11/11/2009

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be up front and honest. i have 2 boys who want everything they see. but they do know that everything costs money that we dont have. we still have them make out christmas lists of things they would want. and we decide from it what to get them. they know they wont get everything, but they are still happy none the less!

Simone - posted on 11/11/2009

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Tell him the truth "Dad hasn't worked in a while and we really don't have the money to buy everything you would like for christmas so how about we pick a gift or two of what you would really like" My 5 year old understands when we go to the store and she asked for stuff I told her not now mommy doesn't have the money right now and she would say ok.

Rhonda - posted on 11/11/2009

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Thanks Michelle! It's kinda of hard when people aren't in the same situation to really help even though they mean well!

Michelle - posted on 11/11/2009

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I am in the same boat concerning a small budget as well. I also have an 11 YO. Even though he has been asking for high priced items all year...I had to sit him down and tell him to think CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP. Just be straight forward my 11 year old was very understanding.

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An 11 year old should be able to appreciate, accept and adapt to belt-tightening for what ever reason. Speak to your child, explain, make a plan of action together. You might be surprised at how resourceful your child can be and how you can make the reduced budget stretch further than you thought possible. Make the planning, organizing and doing a joint venture or, even better, a whole family venture.

Rose - posted on 11/11/2009

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I think at 11 he's old enough to understand the equation of working and income. We had to have this discussion with out own kids last year and they understood. Don't make a big deal out of it, if he's asking for expensive things just keep in mind that he's wishing, not demanding, we wish out loud for things too sometimes. If you watch the sales you can get some really good deals. One special gift is worth much more than a pile of stuff.

Jodie - posted on 11/11/2009

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been there but with 5 kids just tell him yous a gonna try something differant this year just say a freind does it ;;;;get him to write down all the things he would like cut them up put it in a hat and pull it out but the cheapest one must be folded so you know which one to pull out ....i did it for my kids i pulled out things that were there idea so ya not cheap as they wrote it down

Julie - posted on 11/09/2009

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I wouldn't say anything to him. You can still make it a great holiday on a tight budget. What's his wish list like? If you find the right sales, you can pull it off. Sometimes if they understand how hard it is to make a dollar, they'll understand money doesn't grow on trees. In my house, we keep it to a minimum on how much we spend for Christmas. Birthdays are where we spend more money on the kids. Maybe family members can help out get some of the things on his wish list that you guys can't afford.

Margaret - posted on 11/09/2009

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We were in the same situation two christmas's ago, We just bought what we could afford from the kids lists to Santa and they didn't even notice a differance as i've kept an eye on our christmas budget anyway.

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I agree with alot of these other parents, if you don't make a big deal about the gifts it should blow over fairly well. Make the big deal be homemade crafts, or santa, or decorating or something other then the gifts. My 4 year old loves to help bake cookies and make homemade gifts, just show your little one how much more homemade gifts mean then store bought ones is all.

Amanda - posted on 11/09/2009

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This might be the time to show him the true meaning of chrtistmas. Focus on Jesus. Also make it a family event to volunteer at a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter. It is the seaon of giving. It's the time for family and being together, to be thankful that you still have each other. God bless you and your family.

Angie - posted on 11/07/2009

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I wouldn't make a big deal out of the situation. Just do what you can. I'm sure your child has already realized that things around the house have gotten tight.

RongoMarie - posted on 11/07/2009

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my boy is 9. I have spent the last year teaching him the value of money. He has a chores chart, he does all his chores he gets $10. for every chore he doesn't do he losses $1. at the end of the week he buys what he wants with his money. he buys all his own toys and stuff. I dont. so now, if dad or myself get sick my boy knows that we will have less money because now he knows you dont do the work you dont get the money. am not saying teach him now its too late in the year. I would go to the $ shop and do christmas this year, my kid loves food, he thinks mum making him pavlova is the best christmas present. then maybe teach him next year. good luck

Jenny - posted on 11/07/2009

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I wouldn't tell him. I would refocus Christmas. One year, my parents said we were only going to do homemade gifts and another year we could only spend money in the dollar store. When I was on a budget I thought long and hard about what I would get each of my sisters. And I got some really cool gifts that year from my sisters.

I'll bet my parents didn't have any money those years either. But I didn't know it.

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