Holiday Budgets/Expensive Gifts

[deleted account] ( 26 moms have responded )

So every year there is always a financial dilemma on how much to budget for the holidays. I have known families that budget as high as a few hundred per kid, or simply go with one large, expensive family gift. How do you budget your holiday gifts? Per kid? Per number of gifts?

Last year I made a Chanukkah basket with 8 little presents-1 for each night. I think everything in the basket came to a total of $25-30. Then we probably spent an additional $150ish for presents around the Xmas tree. I usually spend about $25-30 on each nephew for Chanukkah.


Heidi - posted on 11/23/2009




Well in my house we tend to spend about $300 per child(we have 3). for nieces and nephews we spend up to $50(and there 10), for my parents its about $100 each parent along with my in laws, and for my husband grandmother we spend about $50. Both my husband and I have siblings, and we don't buy gifts for them per say, but what I like to do is get a little stocking, put to different chocolates in it along with either a couple of scratch tickets, or gift cards from Tim Hortons. Now for my husband and myself we don'tbuy eachother anything. What we do now is decide on a big item we would like and buy that as a together gift. So this year, we are buying 2 things, a photo screen room divider, and a couch table(a table that goes behind a couch). We have been doing this for 5 years now. Christmas is for the kids and we can, buy whatever we want or need throughout the year. We don't need a special holiday to buy each other something.

[deleted account]

Every year we set a budget to cover all of Christmas including food, travel, gifts, donations, etc. This gives us a little flexibility when shopping for gifts. Instead of all parents/grandparents being $30, we may find a fantastic gift for one at $15 and spend a little more on another. The past two years we spent about $100 on our daughter. Next year it may be less. She gets so many other gifts from other people that we don't really need to give her much. For our neices and nephews, they also get so much stuff they don't even realize who gave them what gift. We've been trying to keep it low key for them too. This year I got them each a magazine subscription. Christmas day they didn't even notice they didn't have something to open from me. But the did call and thank me for the magazine the next month. :) Christmas is not all about presents so we make an effort to place our focus elsewhere.

Sarah - posted on 11/21/2009




last year was really tough for us so even though it was Colin's first Christmas, we didn't get him anything...he got things from Grandparents and aunts and stuff, but we couldn't swing it and at 4 months he didn't have a clue anyway. We made up for it on his birthday in august and spent probably about 200, I haven't started Christmas shopping yet this year, I am a procrastinator! But we will probably do 300-500 on him depending on what we find, can't help it, he is our only and definetly gets spoiled right now!

Jaime - posted on 11/20/2009




OH Joy- I tried to put my foot down with my hubby reagrding jewlery too, but he doesn't listen (it does make me feel special). Although we have a safe full of unworn jewels, I don't have enough fingers or necks to wear all the stuff.

Lindsay - posted on 11/18/2009




My daughter is getting a homemade Christmas this year...she is getting a table and chairs that my husband is making( from wood we already have)...I am making her cute place mats(out of some vintage tablecloths I have) for it and a bunch of felt food( I have a pretty good collection of felt from other sewing projects). All in all her Christmas is costing us about $50 in paint and stuff. But it looks great! Last year was her first Christmas and we got her one gift and a book...that was it...she was 11 mos for Christmas last year.


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Jennifer - posted on 12/04/2013




Well I have 2 nephews both 11. They always want DVD's! but I get gifts in return from them and love them so much. I used to have 8 in my family now 7 plus 5 meaning my pet fishes.

Patricia - posted on 03/01/2010




Over the years, I have found that HOW you wrap a gift means more than what's inside...I start shopping the day after Christmas and am usually done by July. I have four teenage kids...and we all know how hard they are to buy, we have started a tradition...each year they each get 100.00...than we take one Saturday and take them on a shopping trip to the mall and have lunch..they get what they want/need and there's not the hassle of having to return something...we even have the grandparents adding to this...they love it! Just like Jesus, other than the 100.00, the each only receive 3 gifts of their own and 4 family gifts...that way each child gets to open up one family gift. We also pick names in my family...after they turn 18, tey have to put thteir names in the hat...we do this on Christmas eve, so you have all year to shop..SALES, SALES, SALES!!!!!!!

[deleted account]

I still haven't bought a thing yet, and Chanukkah is coming on December 10th! I also have to order my hubby's b-day present. I am in awe of some of your budgets for Christmas! I suppose I am just on the inexpensive side of things because my son has so much that he just doesn't play with. We only buy small things for the adults. I'd have to estimate that we don't go over $500ish. My mom tends to go overboard with presents-funny-I don't remember her spending so much on us when we were growing up. On my husband's side, Christmas is very low key and limited- as in only us 3, and my in-laws. But they don't over indulge at all.

Konda - posted on 11/20/2009




We have about $1300 to spend, period. So I have a list and we are sticking to it. I had to cut some family that we are close to, but they understand and have too many to buy for too. I am not worried about gifts for me or hubby, the kids come first then nieces and nephews and so on.

JL - posted on 11/20/2009




I told my husband look I am not a rapper so I cannot go around wearing a ring on every finger and pile of necklaces hanging around my neck. I tell him every year that if he wants to get me a gift...then give me one day where I get to sleep in. I am still waiting for that gift.

JL - posted on 11/20/2009




At my house the kids get one big santa present and it just depends on what they are asking for but usually it is something that cost around hundred dollars or more and then they get some small item in their candy, crayons and such..dollar store stuff.

Then mom and dad give them one medium size gift something that usually costs around 25 dollars and then books, one video game for my daughter, an outfit, a pair of PJS, and one pair of shoes.

It's the grandparents that go all out buck wild and buy the kids crap loads of toys. I try and try to reign them in by providing them with a precise list of only 6 things each that the kids really want and I tell them you do not need to get everything on the list. I do put books on the lists along with toys, but they usually buy everything on the list plus a crap load more things they saw in the stores that they thought were so cute. So they end up having crap loads of presents and every year I beg them to just buy what is on the list and instead of spending on more crap to just put the money in the kids college accounts that we have set up for them.

The kids greatgrandparent listen they do good they send the kids money to put into their accounts or saving bonds.

Overall though me and my hubby spend about 200 to 350 on each kid, but I start shopping in October and I research and shop around and do not buy unless it is on sell. Me and hubby spend ZERO dollars on eachother. We don't buy eachother gifts anymore because first off if we need something we have already bought it for ourselves during the year. We just don't know what to get eachother anymore since we have all the gadgets we want and we have enough clothes and I put my foot down years ago and told my hubby NO MORE jewelry. I have too much as it stands and I don't wear most of it.

I spend about 35 to 45 dollars on each of our parents and 30 dollars on each of our grandparents. Well, I do actually spend more on the grandparents since I have to ship the presents. Then I spend 30 dollars on my brother, 30 dollars on my brother in law, 30 dollars on his partner, and I give their 2 boys 30 dollar money cards....they are in college so they need the money more than any gift I could buy them.

I do have to say thought that if our parents buy the kids gifts that to me are too similiar or something that I think they already have too many 6 different barbies, I will take 3 of the barbies and put them away in my closet for the kids to give to Toys for Tots. We just took 6 different gifts I took from my daughter last year, because she already had too many of what they were to a Toys for Tots drop box.

Sarah - posted on 11/20/2009




Whoa! Some of you guys spend a LOT!!! haha!
My husbands parents usually go pretty crazy with the presents, so the girls get big presents from them.
We buy them little really little things, pound shop style, for their stockings.
Then maybe spend £50-£60 max on presents for under the tree.
I'll spend about the same on my husband.
Relatives i'll spend about £20 each (and only a select few make the cut! lol)

As Jenny said above, my kids have hundreds of toys that never get looked at.
We don't have a huge amount of disposable income, so we can't go overboard!

Jenny - posted on 11/20/2009




lol, Traci I'm the opposite. Mom and Dad give the toys. No way Santa gets our credit. He usually brings books, games or puzzles.

I'm going anti-toy this year for the most part. Our kids never play with most of them. There's an entire Little People city sitting on shelves unused. We've already got our daughter an Ipod Nano and our son will be getting a Stryder bike. The rest will be a couple of Wii games, books, clothes and the socks.

Jaime - posted on 11/18/2009




I am a horrible christmas shopper, love to spoil my kids. I can't even think of what the total would be for each kid. Same goes for my husband (last year I got him a new lazy boy, and a chainsaw). My mom I spend about $100, same with my MIL. Can't forget to add in the stockings for everyone present on christmas morning.

My side of the family all the adults draw names and spend about $40, and buy all the kids a gift again about $40. Gram is about $60 (what does an 80+ year old lady really need???) My husbands side we buy everyone a gift about $40 each.

Good grief don't want to tally that up, not to mention I have about 3 gifts purchased already. Need to step it up a bit!!!!

Happy Shopping everyone!!!!

Lindsay - posted on 11/17/2009




Our budget for the kids varies from year to year depending on our finances at the time. Suprisingly, this has been one of our better years even though I'm not working. We've spent about $200 each on the kids and then I found a fabulous deal on a sports bouncer that will be a big shared gift. My mom's family is HUGE (+- 100 people) so we play dirty Santa gals/guys for everyone out of high school with a $10 gift each. Then we will bring a $10 gift for our own kids to open at the party and receive from my uncle dressed as Santa. My dad's side of the family is growing as well so we have opted out of buying all of the kids gifts and just get something for my grandmother(around $30). My brothers and I usually go in and get each of my parents one big gift and we don't exchange with each other or kids (we buy for Birthday's only). With Josh's family, we buy for his parents(about $50 each) and something for his sister($25) and his mamaw (about $100 with a gift from us and a small one from each kid). We don't exchange with his extended family party except to bring a small gift for our own kids to open. As for Josh and I...we typically get each other a couple of small stocking stuffers and then slurge on a weekend getaway or a nice date night shortly after the holidays.

All in all, we probably spend about $2000 each Christmas...

*Whoa that really hurts seeing that total amount instead of it all broken down!!!!!

Sharon - posted on 11/17/2009




Well, this year we can't afford to drop $400+ like my idiot husband usually does, on each kid. He buys TONS of crap. The kids look at the junk he gets and its no where near their area of interest. They smile and stuff it back under the tree. I return it all around january 12th, lol hubbys b-day is the 13th - I get money back just in time to buy him something!

I prefer to put thought and effort into my gifts. The kids love my gifts and they're played with all year long and then some. I figure the kids big gifts this year will be a coveted $50 video game each. And $25 - $50 in smaller gifts.

Last year the kids got new bikes. That hurt the pocket book a little. but they ride their bikes nearly daily so it was worth it.\

I'll give the kids $20 each to buy something for their dad. I'll spend $50 on him.

I'll spend $50 on my mom and the same on my brother. One year I found screaming good deals on my moms' exclusive perfumes and got like 6 bottles, that was 3 years ago? 4 years ago? LOL there is no way she is out yet. She has every trinket, kitchen appliance, etc, so this year I made a photo book for her. She took my daughter to Texas for a weekend and I had a book made for her. Nicely bound and everything. I was hoping to make a mini Disney scrapbook for her of our trip but I can't seem to get it together.

My brother the tech geek is easy & hard. There is no way to know what he has already so I give him cash and meat.

Jocelyn - posted on 11/17/2009




Oh I also forgot to add that for our kids we do the "one big present" and then a bunch of little last year we got my son a Kitchen...and then some socks and stuff lol.

Jocelyn - posted on 11/17/2009




Well my sons first Christmas I went all out...a couple hundred...
Now, it's about 100-150 for my dh, (actually the budget varies depending on what I want LOL, he sucks at buying presents so I pick out something and tell him to go buy it...then I buy him something that cost the same...)
For the kids, about $100.
Parents about $30 (each)
Sisters about $25.
Niece about $20.

Ez - posted on 11/17/2009




This is my daughter's first Christmas, so I have had to resist the urge to buy her the whole toy shop!! But she is only 9 months old, and also has a birthday 6 weeks later, so I have managed to keep it pretty low-key. She has three big presents (totalling about $150), and I'm just going to get her a few more lil things (probably books) to add to her stocking. I imagine as she gets older and starts to understand Christmas I'll probably spend a bit more (few hundred), but nothing like the thousands of dollars my friend spends on her girls!!!

As for the rest of the family, I will spend about $30 on each of my two nephews, a little more on my brother, and then he and I put in to get our parents and step-parents something (this year my Mum is getting Guess handbag). We do a 'Secret Santa' with my Mum's family (all the names get drawn and each person buys and receives only one present). But my Dad's family is so large we haven't done gifts there for at least 20 years!!!

Jenny - posted on 11/17/2009




Plus our daughter's birthday is on Boxing Day (Dec. 26th) so we have that too to budget for.

Jenny - posted on 11/17/2009




We budget about 250 per kid which is one "big" present, one lesser Santa present, stocking stuffers and a few odds and ends. Kids in the family are about 15 and I usually go with books or crafts for them. 150 for parents and 25 for Grand parents. We got the Wii last year as a family gift and I have a sneaking suspicion due to a promotion and substantial rasie ti will be that 52" flatscreen this year. My partner pretends to budget as we shop together then splurges on the family to surprise us. I got a Nikon D5000 for my birthday a few weeks ago so he's setting the bar pretty high lol.

?? - posted on 11/17/2009




We have a full budget of $2500 for Christmas. That includes food, gas money for travel and gifts. We have, besides ourselves and our son, his parents (2) my parents (2) my siblings (3) their partners (2) their child (1) my grandparents (2) and his grandparents (3) and then each of our best friends get a little present as well (2) and extended family gets a card + 2 scratch tickets that = $5, unless we happen to see something that would be perfect for a particular person.

So about $1500 (-$1000 of the original budget for Gabriel's presents, each other, food & travel) split amongst 20-25 people... between $50-75 per person... last year we actually had about $750 left over and we put that into this years Christmas fund and we will do so again this year if we have left over.

Jodi - posted on 11/17/2009




We have such a large extended family on my side, and a couple of my brothers really struggle for money, so we have all decided no gifts for the nieces and nephews, etc. No-one does it, it was a joint family decision. The only ones we buy for are my parents. My husband's side of the family is small, so we spend around $30 per person there. We both spend about $100 on our parent, but it just depends on the gift. If it is the right gift, it may cost less, and the right gift is more important to us than the price.

With ourselves, and the kids, it varies from Christmas to Christmas. This year, I just spent a small fortune on a Wii and Wii Fit as a family gift, so we will only buy the kids an inexpensive gift each, but they also get a stocking with lots of little bits and pieces. In general, we average around $180-$200 per kid. However, the ONLY time they receive things from us are Christmas and Birthday, we don't buy for them other than necessities throughout the year. We have 4 kids, so it does get expensive. Also, I find that the things they want get more expensive as they get older, LOL - we used to only spend about $120 each, but it has increased with the kids getting older. $120 doesn't go far on the things that interest a 17 year old.....or a 12 year old for that matter :) (keep in mind that a game for one of our game consoles will cost around $70 here if it is a new release)

The other dilemma we face is that Taylah only gets one Christmas, the other kids all get a second Christmas at their other parent's house, and she has started to notice that. So we do buy Taylah a few extra presents as well......

[deleted account]

The only adults hubby and I buy for are our siblings (and their spouses) and they get $50 per couple(usually gift certificate) and our parents, we really have no budget for them but prob spent about $50-75.

Our neice and nephew, we probably spent $30 for each.

Any cousins that are still kids are budgeted at $10 each.

We only have the one kid and he gets spoiled. We hit a warehouse sale for his gifts this year so we prob spent about $250. His b-day is in January so some of it may be set aside for then.

Sara - posted on 11/17/2009




We put money in my daughter's piggy bank all year, then cash it in for's usually a couple of hundred dollars.

As for my husband and I, we bought a Wii a couple of weekends ago that is my birthday present, our anniversary gift and Christmas all wrapped into one. We normally only spend about $50 on eachother and buy eachother a little something to put under the tree. With both of our families, we chose names among the adults and buy one gift of around $20 for eachother. The kids only get gifts from the grandparents and parents.

Amie - posted on 11/17/2009




It depends on the family and the kids.

For us we spend usually between $100-$200 on each of our children. For our nephews, young cousins, etc. We spend generally $40-$60.

For adults Christmas gifts, Gramma and Grampas, Aunts and Uncles, Mom and Dad, etc. It can range anywhere from $30-$100 per person.

There is a reason we save all year for Christmas. LOL! IT's an expensive holiday and one we relish. =)

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