How many gifts does Santa Claus bring to your kids? Do you have a budget?

Vera - posted on 11/06/2012 ( 37 moms have responded )

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My kid is eight this year, and I´m thnking this may be his last christmas believing in Santa Claus, so I want to make it special. This year he´s asked for several expensive items from Santa, and I´m not sure wheter to buy them or not. He doesn´t get many toys during the year, and each toy he gets comes from his savings. Anyway, this year Santa would have to spend around 500 dollars, is it too much for one kid?

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Lana - posted on 11/28/2012

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I have 8 kids and 500 each is waaaay to much! When I was a kid I always got an outfit socks underware and pj's. I went and put the same stuff on layaway for all of them plus 1 $50.00 gift. It ended up being 700.00. But then I lost my job so I had to let it go to pay bills. Now I.m job hunting. The point is I have worked so hard in my life to get what they need. My 4 step children lost their mother a few years ago and my 2 middle kids Father was killed around the same time. I try really hard to make ends meet. So yes to me I have no idea what I am going to do! And yes 500 for each child is out of the question.

[deleted account]

It's all relative. If you have plenty of money to spare then $500 is not too much. But if you find you struggle to make ends meet then $500 is way too much. For our family it is usually between $200 and $300 per child (we have two). But then it also depends on what their interests are at the time and the costs of the things they are into. It also depends on our financial situation. Only you can decide if your own budget for spending is reasonable or not. But keep in mind that often it isn't the gifts that make a memorable Christmas, it is the things you do and people you spend time with that create an unforgettable and happy time.

America3437 - posted on 12/11/2012

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In the past we have spent as much as 300 per child but this year we are BROKE and they will be lucky if we can afford to spend 100 on all three combined. I am heart broke over this and really not enjoying christmas at all this year. I won't even put up the tree.

[deleted account]

depends on you. the way things are going, i don't think we'll be able to afford anything for the next month, never mind christmas.



$500 seems like a lot. that would fix up my car so that we wouldn't have to worry every time we're out that we won't be able to start up the car and get home. and it's too damn cold to walk.



no, you know what, 500 IS a lot. i don't care. that's so much. you may not think it is, but to people who barely make $2k a month that's way too much to spend on christmas, let alone just on some toys.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 11/07/2012

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Tell ya what...If I find one, I'll make sure they can adopt all of us...if you'll do the same?

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Ashley - posted on 12/23/2012

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its not about how much you spend on them. but i say, if you can afford it, then go for it. we are broke this year, like so many others. we were only able to afford 150 dollars for 4 kids. but we made the most of it. we got the older 2 things they really wanted and went the cheap way, using craigslist and pawn shop for those 2 items. but overall, i think all our kids will be happy when they see what they got. but, we are also taking them shopping when we get our taxes back to make up for not having as much on christmas. our tree got lost when we moved this year, and we didnt even have enough money to buy one of the cheap ones at the dollar store. but, my sister in law gave me hers from last year since she decided to buy a real one this year. we did not buy anything for any other family this year, but they all understand. enjoy it while you can. my 9 year old just convinced my 7 year old the other day that santa isnt real, so i was kind of upset this year. but we still have a 2 year old and 3 year old who still believe in santa. give your son the best possible christmas you can. and everyone have a merry christmas!

Lakota - posted on 12/11/2012

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Vera, if you can afford that, I say live it up and have a great time. Create great memories with your son.



Sorry to read that America. I do hope you put up the tree though. I can't afford to buy gifts for mine either. I have told them why. I won't be getting anything for my other family members. The little I do have will be spent on my kids. But, we will be celebrating Christmas. They won't get much at all, but, we still have our house and they will eat. There are so many mothers who won't be able to hug their kids on Christmas morning this year. I will, and that is gift enough for me.

Barbara - posted on 12/04/2012

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My kids are 8 and 5 and hopefully the 8 still believes(he has not said anything yet) As far as a budget goes I put money aside starting in Oct about $150.00 a month for Christmas for the kids and I ask them the top 3 things they want for Christmas and they usually get the top 2. This includes 2 toys and new pjs. Thats what they get each year.

[deleted account]

We give a few small things on behalf of Santa and the rest comes from us. I probably would spend about $150 per child (we have 3). It gets a bit awkward for us when we see friends who ask "so what did santa bring you?" and they say "oh a book and a chocolate bar and a hair elastic" while their kids get a ipad or whatever!



But anyway - this year our finances are pretty bad, so I've been wanring the kids that it's gonna be a lean Christmas. I actually said this afternoon "no presents this year kids coz Dad went to the dentist instead", which didn't go down very well until they realised I was kidding. Aren't I mean!

Chaya - posted on 12/03/2012

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Santa Claus should tell him that he can have one expensive gift, stand right by Santa when this conversation takes place.

I personally think $500 is too much for one kid, but if you can afford it.

We celebrate a hybrid of Christmas and Hanukkah, Hanukkah is eight days of gifts not to exceed $10 in value, Christmas is the day we open our home to anyone (Homeless, disenfranchised, retarded, or just pain lonely) who is alone. Dinner is big, nobody goes home hungry. Hanukkah is about the miracle of oil lasting longer than possible, Christmas is about Christ.

Jodi - posted on 12/02/2012

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For us, the kids get a stockingfull of little things (crazy straws, crayons, chapstick, new mittens and socks, whatever will fit, fun and/or functional) from Santa and one gift from Santa. The one gift from Santa is something they really really want. My daughter has wanted a Butterscotch Pony since she first laid eyes on it. She got to see Santa and that's what she asked for, when the Santa asked her what else she'd like, she nearly started to cry thinking that he wouldn't be able to get her that one toy that she really wanted.



This is how it worked growing up for us. I think it makes it a lot more special to get that ONE THING you really really really want and stops the greed for more more more in its tracks. Mom and Dad get the kids some new clothes, new books, and anything they need (like, my twins really need new toddler bed sheets, the old ones are getting pretty threadbare and stained).



So, I guess if that ONE THING costs $500 (like a brand new laptop with the works or something), then I would drop it for my kids, but to spend $500 on stuff they asked for just because they asked for it...I wouldn't. But that's me, do what will make you feel like you made Christmas as special as you could.

Julie - posted on 11/27/2012

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That total sounds about right. I do not have a "budget" (probably should) however, both my 8 and 11 year old still believe...They still make a list, write to Santa, bake the cookies, leave the milk and carrots with reindeer food on the lawn to boot!

A few years ago, I told my boys, "Mom and Dad pay Santa and the Elves for their hard work."

[deleted account]

I agree with what Jaime says: $500 IS a lot regardless of how much you have. It's up to you whether it is "too much" or whether you want to spend it or not. I've been thinking a lot about Christmas, because I don't like it, and this is what I've come up with:



Gifts don't make Christmas "good". I have a lot of money, (I've worked hard for it, and I know what it is to be poor) but money doesn't "fix" Christmas. Expensive Gifts don't "Make" Christmas. I was homeless as a kid, homelessness is a BIG part of my life and has impacted just about every single decision I've ever made, and the way I view just about every situation, viewpoint, or idea--especially Christmas. Christmas when I was young and homeless was NEVER as awful and painful as it is now that I have millions of dollars to dump on it. In fact, I actually have a few really happy memories associated with Christmas as a child, regardless of the fact that "Santa" never came and brought us crap to stick under a dead tree.



If buying your kid those expensive gifts will fulfill you in a meaningful, valuable way, go for it. If not, figure out what you really want out of this whole thing and do that instead.



PS: J is not getting a dirt bike.

Sally - posted on 11/26/2012

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I don't make a strict budget. I play it by ear and see what comes up as the must have item. Santa fills her stocking with small items and bring maybe one or two medium sized gifts. The rest comes from us. I have no problem spending $500 or more, but I don't have too. She also has a December birthday so the month can be overwhelming. Last year she had HUGE bday party with 19 kids. So Christmas was a bit smaller as she was overloaded on gifts. This year Christmas will be bigger for her as no big bday party planned. She is getting the dollhouse she wanted from us. It is rather large. It is a very personal matter. Only you can know what is too much for your child & your own finances. I encourage Santa & do all I can to keep it going.

Jessica - posted on 11/26/2012

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we budgeted over $1000 for our daughters entire Christmas.. so $500 isn't a lot! You do whatever feels right for your family!

Momma - posted on 11/25/2012

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Santa bring my kids 2-3 gifts and they are left unwrapped and they amount to about $50-$100 altogether/kid. We like the belief of Santa but I am also not going to let all the credit of purchases go to him! LOL



We do have a budget for gifts for each of our kids, that are not from Santa. Typically $400-$500. Last year it ended up being $1000 for my daughter but she needed a laptop so she could do her school work and she wasn't using ours.



Mind you we currently have two kids. One is 2 and the other is 14 and we also have one on the way. So, anything over $500/kid would mean we needed to win the lottery! hahaha



~Meme

Cherrille - posted on 11/25/2012

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yes i think from santa thats a bit extravagant .. make some from you ... but to have toys from you and santa being that much is Vvery hard

Sally - posted on 11/12/2012

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Santa brings our girls each one stocking full of small treats. Our Christmas budget depends on a combination of what they want this year and family finances. This year we're spending about $100 per kid total with our oldest getting about half from each Santa and our youngest getting most from us.

Our 8 year old wants some Disney Princess dolls and books from us and My Little Ponies and Legos from Santa.

Our 3 year old wants a dollhouse from us and Playdough from Santa.

If you don't teach them to expect large expensive presents every year, they rarely ask for them.

Deborah - posted on 11/12/2012

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I don't think you can have a useful conversation about how much to spend when w all have such different lives. A family living below the poverty line just can't spend what a family making $200,000 can spend. And the number of kids matters alot too.



That said, we try to spend about double the birthday budget. For us, the birthday budget is about $100-$150 so Christmas is about $200-$300 per kid. We can only afford to do this becasue we set money $100 every month for Christmas. My kids often get money from the grandparents for birthdays and christmas, so if they want something they didn't get, they get it themselves. We don't do massively expensive gifting. Oh, and most years, we try to purge the toys before the holidays by giving away what is still in good condition but no longer wanted. We also try to sponsor another family and provide gifts for other children. It's all about perspective.



Oh and the Santa issue. My oldest is 12, my youngest 8. My oldest knows the truth but is sworn to silence. As long as he plays along, he gets Santa gifts. I think my 8 year old knows the truth as well, but we are still playing along. So this might well be her last year as well, but I don't intend to do anything special. My kids don't keep straight what is a Snta gift and what is from mom&dad - so there isn't much point in spending extra.

User - posted on 11/09/2012

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Heather that is good what you are doing!. I think its good for kids to understand that things wont always be the same, they need some change sometimes to help them understand how to appreciate things more and know it doesnt matter how much they get, its the thought and giving that counts.

Heather - posted on 11/09/2012

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Interesting question and better comments :) USUALLY, Santa would bring ALL the good presents and mom and dad would do the basics (clothes, books, etc) Santa always brought too much -- like twenty a piece. This year, we are revamping Christmas in our house and I see one big item a piece (my two oldest want Tablets so that's a $100 a piece right there), a few outfits, a couple books. My kids are going to be disappointed this year as they EXPECT a big Christmas, but that is my fault and it all changes this year :) Wish me luck :)

User - posted on 11/08/2012

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Well mine is only 21 mo but we are not going to lead him to believe Santa is real, we want him to know the true meaning of Christmas. ut anyway from us we are probably going to stay about 6 presents and maybe at the most 200 for now. He gets toys through the year though and maybe when he gets older we might spend at most 50-100 more. I dont think he needs something crazy expensive, just because its onylo a matter of time that he will quit playin with it.

I dont really think it matters on how much each family chooses to spend or if they they believe in Santa, if each family is happy with what they are doing and can afford it go for it!

Tracey - posted on 11/08/2012

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We spend about a week's wages in total on presents for our 3 children plus parents, grandparents neices nephews etc. None of mine want an expensive present this year so they will get lots of small things. As they got older and realised that many things are reduced after Christmas they started asking for vouchers so they could buy what they wanted in January and get more for their money

[deleted account]

Sharon makes a VERY good point! There are certain traditions that J talks about NON STOP from start to finish of the Christmas season. Christmas symphony and dances, driving out to look at the lights on people's houses, decorating our trees, etc. Those are REALLY important to him.



We make charity a big part of our lives year round, but Christmas & Santa can make it tricky. Whenever we buy for the less fortunate, I point out to J that Santa brings every child 1 or 2 gifts, but parents provide a lot of gifts under the tree. I point out some packages that say "To J From Mom&Dad" or remind him of a gift that we bought him, usually a "necessity" like PJ's or clothes, and tell him that kids whose parents do not have extra money still need those things, and the won't get it unless we buy it.



Legos HAVE gotten outrageously expensive!!! They do last though--J still has every set we ever bought, and he still loves ALL of them. Dh also loves them, so they are a great activity for 1 on 1 time. So I think they are very well worth the expense.

The tablet on the other hand......not so much. J had several, and he either lost interest VERY quickly or broke them by leaving them in a hot car while we were shopping or something.

If you are debating between Legos & a tablet, I'd get legos and buy a nook tablet or ipad for the whole family. Nook has TONS of educational games & apps and great children's books (even some that read out loud and have interactive pictures) and we have no problem sharing b/c J usually only wants to use it in the car or on airplanes & I tend to use it while waiting on him at his extra curricular activities.

Vera - posted on 11/07/2012

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In my case, Santa brings all the toys and gifts. Mainly because I never buy him any toys unless it´s his birthday or a "really" special ocassion, so I don´t want him to think that if he asks me for gifts in christmas, I´ll give them to him. I try my best not to spoil him, so Christmas is the one day a year he gets whatever he asked for, but he knows he cannot ask for more than four gifts from santa. I usually don´t exceed the 200 dollar limit, but this year he asked for legos and a kids tablet, so the price increased. I´m feeling conflicted wether to buy them or not, because I think it´s terrible to spend that much money in toys and lego has become so expensive, he´s asked for three sets but in that alone I´ll spend more than 300 dollars.

**Jackie** - posted on 11/07/2012

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I coupon like the dickens for Christmas! I started in August. I have tons of stuff on layaway, so I can make payments. She constantly sees me donating. She helps me bag up canned goods and outgrown clothing and we drop them off here and there. I always tell her to give what she can in life because chances are, someone needs it more than her. We have already signed up for the secret santa at church (you pick a ticket and on the ticket a child's first name, gender, age and some interests and clothing sizes are listed. you buy the gift, wrap it and leave it under the tree at church with the ticket on it). Last year we definitely spent too much. She wasn't interested in half the stuff and I found that at the end of the season, she still had clothes she had only worn once :(



I think I already spent around $200. I just don't want her to be greedy, ya know? I want her to really appreciate her gifts.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 11/07/2012

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LOL...dove, wrong end of the no budget scenario! I meant someone that didn't need a budget cuz they were swimming in greenbacks! I must have missed your post (or we crossed posts in the middle...)

Lady Heather - posted on 11/07/2012

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I decided this year that my kids aren't getting anything fancy for Christmas and that there will always be a component that is shared. This is not for any financial reason. My husband's bonus is at a level I would call obscene. Ha. I just don't really think I want them expecting big things, nor do I want them to think that Santa favours them. It was hard enough trying to explain to my three year old why we would even have to send a shoebox gift to Africa or do anything to help others this time of year because she figures Santa is going to do it. I told her the world is very big and sometimes Santa needs helpers. :)



My budget per kid is $150 and that includes their shared Santa gift. They are getting one bigger thing from Santa to share, two small things each from Santa, a sweater from Santa and a 20 dollar limit stocking. Mum and Dad give them a book and pjs on Christmas eve. If I ever want to get them something bigger it will be for their birthday rather than Christmas. Christmas to me is about family and togetherness and helping others and I think I want to keep it that way. In the future I could see us spending a lot of money on a family gift (like a vacation or something), but not for an individual.



Made this decision after my daughter was spoiled beyond belief last year. The more I thought about it, the more it bothered me. If it's a one off thing, that could be different. But I don't know that I'd want to create the expectation. I'm just glad mine was only 2 when she got spoiled so she won't remember it!

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 11/07/2012

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Well, for one, I'd have to say, I'd like to meet someone that DOESN'T have a budget for Christmas...maybe they'll adopt me and mine!



That being said, my kids are 18 & 14, and still get "santa" gifts. And yes, they both are aware that the physical St. Nickolas passed away long ago in Germany. However, they are very generous, and participate in our family tradition of adopting families for Christmas, and being "santa" in their own right (and have since they were old enough to express an interest), so I feel that they deserve "santa" for themselves as well.



Usually each gets a gift around $100 from Santa, and then dad and I fill in with smaller value gifts so that they have stuff to open. Usually spend around $200-300 per kid per year. Last year was a little spendier, since they'd both asked for an item that they had been eyeing for awhile. For my eldest it was a formal suit, and for my youngest it was a laptop. But, generally, yes, a budget, and unless you're regularly spending $500 on gifts, I wouldn't recommend it, but each to her own on that score!

[deleted account]

I think we usually spend about that much, maybe a little more or less depending on what he wants, but he is our only child, so we don't have to worry too much about the budget. My son is also 8 this year, and you have to spend a lot more when they get to be this age.



The thing is, as they get older, the gifts seem to get smaller and A LOT more expensive! When he was little $300 would fill our living room to the brim with toys! As he got older, he requested a laptop, nook, PS3, etc. I would wrap them up and set them under the tree and it looked so anticlimactic! One year, I ended up going out to buy bigger cheap gifts just to fill out the gift pile and make it look pretty-- not a great idea, he didn't care, so if you feel the need for extra boxes under the tree for visual effect, fill them with treats for yourself!!



That said, we do the same as Janice. Santa brings 1-2 gifts and the rest are from us. Normally, the really expensive small electronics come from us, and Santa brings something big that he has really, really wanted. This year he wants a little 50cc dirt bike which at $1,100 will be the most expensive AND biggest thing, so I think I will let Santa bring it now that you've pointed out that this may be his last year believing--I hadn't thought about that!!



Also, he does NOT get everything he asks for! I think that he needs to know he cannot have everything he wants just because he asks. He usually asks for several expensive things, but we usually only get him one or two really expensive things at once.

Janice - posted on 11/07/2012

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We do not have 500 to spend but if you choose to do so that is completely your choice.

My kids are still little (1 &3) but I have always planned to do some gifts from mom and dad and some from Santa. When I was little I remember how certain kids I knew were "bad" all the time but got double the gifts and it was very upsetting. So I plan to tell my kids that Santa does not really bring all the gifts, just a few, that way we dont have to stop our kids belief in Santa due to finance restrictions.

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