Author Topic: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?  (Read 7539 times)

FLA

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what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« on: December 01, 2015, 07:11:56 AM »
I budget $500 for two kids, two parents, a brother and his GF, hostess gifts, gifts for people who helped my terminally ill mom and gifts to service people. My friends and I do something instead of exchanging. My kids are 16 and 18, I cut their budget to $100 each last year and neither balked, they wanted gift cards.  This year I bought their gifts very inexpensively so it looks like more than $100. I thought I had reached budget limit and decided to buy my last gift (candy shop box of candy my mom loves) and to fill stockings with Christmas candy in sale at CVS. I'm stopping regardless, but now I am thinking that I may very well be under budget.  Time to crunch the numbers.

I have gotten reactions to a $500 budget that it is way too much to people saying they budget 2k.  Even if I could afford 2k, I would not spend money that way.  What is a reasonable holiday budget to you?  My first Christmas after finding this site, I assume I'm going to get a lot of "$500? are you nuts?", lol. 

Sanne

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2015, 07:46:42 AM »
My budget is 12,50 for a combination of Sinterklaas (Dutch - 5 December) and Christmas "secret santa kinda' celebration with friends. We draw names and buy stuff for 12.50 for that person. We also make lists of stuff you would like to get so you don't get useless crap. You also have to creatively disguise the gift and/or make a quiz or something else to do for that person and a poem about the person and/or the gift(s). Everyone brings homemade food. Itís more a social event than money spending event. So happy this was a tradition from when we were younger and weíre still doing it.

Not doing gifts with family or other friends and donít have children. My nephews donít get anything form me because they already have enough and get enough for Sinterklaas and donít appreciate anything anyway unfortunately. My nieces birthday is just before Christmas so we will be giving her something for her birthday.


Freedomin5

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2015, 07:54:08 AM »
Spent $40 for one kid, husband, sister, kid's babysitter, staff at preschool (5 staff), neighbour, friend, and secret Santa gift for a Christmas party I'm attending.

Will likely spend another $10 or so on baking supplies for Christmas cookies.

I'm a red panda

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2015, 08:17:39 AM »
I send $30 per kid for my nieces and nephews; so that's $240.  (Last year I bought gifts and with good shopping I averaged $18 per kid; but this year they've asked for no "stuff", so I'm sending money that can be used for zoo passes, trampoline parks, and college funds instead. Costs more for me, but I'm all in for "less stuff".)

I buy a gift basket for my Dad, my in-laws, great Aunt and my husband's grandma- I try to go less than $40 each with shipping. So that's another $160.  (No one is local; otherwise I'd just bake something.)

For my Mom I donate $30 to charity.

Husband and I do not do gifts for each other.

So Christmas is $430

FiguringItOut

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2015, 08:41:19 AM »
I spent about $60 for each of the two teens last year for Hanukkah.  Both kids were left unhappy and disappointing.  I even posted here about the experience and got a general comment that $60 didn't seem like much or enough and many on here said they understood where kids were coming from. 

This year I set a budget of $100 each saying they can get anything they want.  I'll also cover tax and shipping if needed.  And Hanukkah is early this year - next week.  So on Thursday after Thanksgiving dinner we spend some time on Amazon, ordered about $220 worth of stuff they both picked.  Half of it was already delivered.  The rest is coming tomorrow.  Kids are happy.  I'm happy. And I am also getting them a little something for Christmas.

About Christmas - we don't celebrate it, but few years ago I happened to buy them socks the day before Christmas, because they needed them.  Kids spend the entire Christmas mocking me with "Socks for Christmas?!?!  Really, mother?!??!"  We had a good laugh and since then I buy them socks for Christmas every year.  These are usually cute socks with prints, not your typical 6-pack of white gym socks.  And I put a little stocking stuffer in the sock as well.  Something small.  This year they each are getting a pair of knee highs with prints of their favorite Avenger hero and a key chair of said Avenger tucked inside.  Will run me about $15 per kid.  Worth every penny.  And my girls are absolutely obsessed with Avengers, so that will be awesome.  Who can resist knee high socks with Capitan America on them?  Not my teen for sure.   

And I got myself a holiday gift as well - a set of very nice professional coloring pencils for my drawings.  Art supplies are freaking expensive!




elaine amj

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2015, 08:45:03 AM »
I have a few nieces and nephews so it adds up. My local nieces, nephews, and kids of close friends - I spend about $30/kid.

The big one is my mother - about $100 for her birthday in November and $100 for Christmas. Her love language is how much is spent on her. So I try to keep her numbers higher. $75 gift card for one SIL/BIL. About $40 for the other SIL/BIL. Nothing for my own brother.  (The sibling gifts have nothing to do with how close we are - just based on the typical value of gifts exchanged).

DH and I don't exchange gifts. Although I did buy him a $20 wallet this year as a surprise. (mostly because I want him to have it rather than his ratty patched up wallet lol). We spend about $15-30 on each of our kids. (and we go on vacation)
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mizzourah2006

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2015, 08:48:34 AM »
We usually spend about $50-60/person and buy for 10 people. Then we have a secret santa thing we do with my dad's side that is $100/person (which stops us from having to buy a gift for everyone), so we end up at $7-750. My wife and I don't usually exchange gifts, if we do it is small. We have a 4 month old for this Christmas, so I expect that our budget will need to increase in the coming years.

TheOldestYoungMan

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2015, 08:52:26 AM »
With niblings it is hard, because their love is for sale and I want it.  I figured out a few years ago that the littlest ones are super excited by a huge packet of construction paper (~$2) and the older ones are pretty psyched by cash/gift cards.  Older relatives I've started giving baked goods.  Everyone likes some fresh homemade cookies.  It's faster even than online shopping, especially if you don't get caught up in "presentation packaging."

I do have one nephew who is super into Lego and as that was my thing as a kid he pretty much just names the set and I deliver.

This year, due to a specific request, it's likely I will end up spending considerably more on one family, but doing Christmas for 14 people over the past 3 years I've spent less than $1000 total.

I've combined this with very frank discussions with my family about what I want.  Cash or food, in small amounts.  Absolutely no things.  I have one sister who just doesn't get it, but I manage to sneak all the random shit she gives me back into her gift closet, so at this point I'm opening up the same thing I got last year.

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cawiau

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2015, 09:24:16 AM »
I think it depends on how big your family is and what the individual people are into.

My wife and I have 5 nephews and nieces that we went from being able to spend $20/each and they were happy to now being in the teen years and we have to spend $50-$60 on just 1 game for their PlayStation or whatever they are into . We have 6 younger a ones (under 3) that are very cheap and easy to buy for.

Parents can be somewhat complicated or not... It is a process. My wife is easy: she tells me what she wants and I just buy it and put it under the tree...

As for me same thing she gets me every year: new socks, underwear, shirt, pants, coat, jackets, shoes etc. She is my personal stylist and basically buy me what she feels I need.

All that said our budget for Christmas is usually about ~$2,500.

- 8 cousins/nieces and nephews on my wife side
- 7 little nieces and nephews on my side
- my little brothers (3) and sister (wife is an only child)
- my parents
- my mother in law (father in law passed away)

A few other people I am probably forgetting and that is not including the costs of food because since we've gotten married my wife has taken the role (from her mom) of hosting Christmas dinner... Christmas is her favorite holiday!

We put $50/week aside every week and usually more than enough to cover it with some left over. Last year it really got close with more of the teenage kids are into electronics that are not cheap.



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reader2580

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2015, 09:28:43 AM »
I set aside $100 for the holidays.  I no longer exchange gifts with my parents or brothers.  I don't want whatever stuff they might come up with.  If I ask for something very specific I might as well just buy it myself.

I don't give gift to nieces and nephews as they get so many gifts already.  They get stuff from Santa, mom and dad, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and even great grandparents.

jezebel

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2015, 09:29:53 AM »
We don't have a budget.  We do presents for 11 family members (usually spending 25-60) plus 5 teachers/daycare providers, 1 cleaning woman, and some coworkers.  It can add up very fast.

Typically we ask the close relatives what they want and scour Amazon or dealnews for good prices and make beer and cookies.  I am happy with this year because I am using Citi Thank you points for$50 or $25 giftcards (or using the giftcards for gifts) for almost everyone.   Except for stocking stuffers and the service providers, I am almost done at $65 (for beer making supplies and gift boxes).   I anticipate spending another $150 on non family members ($10-$15 per teacher, few bottles of wine, etc). 

MayDay

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2015, 10:02:09 AM »
My preliminary budget this year was around 250$.  Family of 4 plus some gifts to extended family.

We will probably actually end up around 500.  I inevitably forget certain things (xmas tree costs money!  siblings want coffee mug with kids pictures, how can I deny when they buy my kids gifts?  Oops, Christmas cards.  etc).

I find over 1000$ to be ridiculous, but some people include holiday travel to get to those higher numbers.  Holiday travel should either come from a travel budget or a "this is my family and we travel to see them annually regardless" budget.  Not Christmas specifically.  The people who spend over 1000$ just on presents..... I judge unless they have like 10 kids, or a lot of it is xmas-related charitable giving.  I don't know that I have seen it on MMM, but I have seen it other places.  Maybe saying I judge is harsh but it does seem like a huge opportunity to spend less. 
« Last Edit: December 01, 2015, 10:06:30 AM by MayDay »
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partgypsy

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2015, 10:58:42 AM »
I don't necessarily have a budget (maybe that's my problem!) but I looked up, spent
2112 in 2011 (woah!)
1115 in 2012,
1187 in 2013,
1122 in 2014, and
? in 2015.
I buy for 2 kids and spouse in immediate family, 4 grandparents, 9 nieces and nephews, small teacher/coworker gifts, and usually participate in at least 1 giving tree. Where I have been trying to budget is small token gifts for sibilings, siblings in law. I usually am generous with mother (both gifts and grocery giftcards) but I gave her a cash gift earlier this fall so will not do that this year. I'm going to do minimal gifts for husband and father as that as what they prefer, and may or may not participate in giving tree this year. I am making craft gifts where proceeds will be given to a charity, so that may be my charitable act this season.
I do like Christmas, and as there are some close family members who are pretty much broke I try to make it a nicer season. However I do need to be (somewhat) ruthless this year due to hard budgets, so I am going to focus on the kids, and not so much the adults this year. My sister honestly has a shopping addiction and mails us random stuff, which frustrates me because I know she doesn't have the money for it and most of it is unasked/unneeded things. Since I have already repeated (this and last year) not really doing sibling gifts, going to return items so at least she can get some store credit/money back. Normally I don't want the hassle and re-gift or pass on items, but I know she is broke. 
« Last Edit: December 01, 2015, 11:08:52 AM by partgypsy »

amyj05

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2015, 11:15:38 AM »
I budget $800 for Christmas, although sometimes I don't spend it all. I usually spend $50-$60 each on DH, mom, dad, sister, brother. I spend $25 on sister's BF and my best friend. I spend $20-$25 on each of 6 children (cousins and friends' children). We draw names for my mom's side of the family and buy 1 $25 gift. I donate $25 to St. Jude's. I usually spend $100 on small gifts for co-workers and making baked goodies for friends. I've been using Swagbucks this year to earn gift cards. Next year, my goal is to use only gift cards and not cash to buy everything for Christmas.
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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2015, 12:43:37 PM »
About $600 total: me, DW, 6 kids, Innumerable friends & relations!

Kids get the majority, about $350. We're frugal with kids stuff all year, Christmas is the time they get a bike/scooter/Legos/trampoline etc.
DW and I split around $50
Remainder goes to Christmas Cards and $20 baskets to a select few.

Above is for presents only.
We also blow around $100/yr on Christmas tree, lights, decorations.
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jms493

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2015, 12:52:47 PM »
We have 15 kids to buy for and 1 grandmother.  No other adults get gifts.  We set $1000 for xmas presents.  Roughly $65 per kid.

Anything left over we do toys for tots

Ricky

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2015, 12:55:55 PM »
$0, unless it's something that benefits everyone.

okits

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2015, 02:15:14 PM »
<sigh> "Reasonable?"  I'd factor family expectations in (it has been a heart-breaking year for MIL & FIL, so I'm not going to challenge their concept of what makes a happy Christmas too hard right now), purchasing power (weakened CAD vs. USD means $100 buys even less than it used to), and my use of Christmas as an opportunity to thank people or express appreciation (mostly by sending a card.)

I posted this two months ago.  Revisions in red.

Gifts and stockings:
DD: $100
FIL & MIL: $250
Other inlawsNiece and nephew: $350 $200 - SIL & BIL have agreed we'll exchange gifts for the kids only.
DH & me: $150 $200 - more accurate number now that I know what I'm buying and the unlikelihood of a sale.
Daycare providers: $110 ($25 x 4 plus some chocolate for student interns) - we really appreciate how wonderful they are to our DD.


Cards and postage: $25 (other than the family and friends who really care about a mailed card, everyone else is getting a scanned copy.  I decided that this was the year to cut back.)  $40 (75% of this is postage.  $1 to mail a card domestically, almost $3 to mail one outside of North America.  <insert expletive> Ended up spending an extra $10 to get more and nicer cards I'll feel better about giving out, so $10 face punch goes here.)

Socializing: maybe $100, depends if we host anything Not hosting and no invitations anywhere, but will leave this here in case friends suggest a last-minute dinner or something.

Christmas meals: $150 (we are going to offer to cook this year as MIL will be busy enough as a full-time caregiver to FIL) $30 - I don't think anything is changing this year, food-wise, so we'll bring some nice edibles to share. For health reasons, bringing booze is inappropriate, so that saves us $30-50.

Travel costs: $75 $0 - I'm taking MayDay's suggestion and considering this part of our general travel budget, as we'd be making the trip even if it wasn't Christmas.

Optimistic total: $1200 CAD (~$900 USD; the CAD buys bugger-all right now!) Big sigh, that's a huge number!
New total: $1030 CAD (~$760 USD)


Is $760 USD reasonable?  I'm guessing many here won't think so.  Could I suggest lower spending limits on gifts?  Yes, though if $100/person has been the norm for years, we can all easily afford it, and I'm trying not to make waves this year, it's probably not the time.  (We only give gifts to DH's side, so it's hard to suggest change when it's not my side of the family.) DH massively balks at the request not to buy me a gift on special occasions, so the best I can do is ask for things I would buy anyway.

$0, unless it's something that benefits everyone.

Well, I do think most of the money spent will make people happy, which I think is a group/family benefit.  Gifts are central to DH's family's celebration of Christmas and I think the items given will be used and enjoyed.  With a bad medical situation steadily getting worse, I'm willing to spend money on what family members feel brings them happiness (it doesn't matter what I think brings happiness.)

StacheInAFlash

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2015, 03:02:50 PM »
This year, we will spend about $40-$50 per nieces/nephews (just a few of them), $50 on each other, $0 for siblings (glad we finally were able to put the kibosh on presents for siblings, such a pointless exercise! We're all adults, I can buy the crap I need and/or want, thank you!), $0 to $25 on my parents, $50 to $100 combined on FIL/MIL, about $60 for a nice Fraser fir tree, about $60 for an annual Christmas event for the two of us (Christmas concert or a play like The Christmas Carol), $50 for gas for travel to parents, $250 for dog boarding while traveling to parents, and probably $50 in added groceries for buying more decadent holiday food and baking supplies. Gasoline, dog boarding, and added groceries I don't really count as holiday spending per se, although I guess I should.

Some years, we'll spend more if airfare and longer dog boarding is needed to visit MIL/FIL. Or, every now and again my siblings and I go in on a larger gift for the parents that might cost me $100 or so. Last year, I think I spent $350 on my wife because I was feeling festive.

So, add it all up and it is quite a bit of money but I ain't gonna worry about it. 'Tis the season, and what not. Spend what seems right at the moment and enjoy.

lakemom

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2015, 04:26:19 PM »
This is always fun!  I have 6 kids, 2 of their spouses, 1 grandson, 1 long term SO, my husband and I and our parents to buy for.  My budget this year is about $1500 with the bulk of that (1k) spent on the 4 kids still living at home.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2015, 04:30:51 PM by lakemom »

Sanne

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2015, 02:10:11 PM »
I'm really shocked at these numbers. Is this normal in America??!!

elaine amj

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2015, 02:16:56 PM »
I'm really shocked at these numbers. Is this normal in America??!!

Yes :) I moved to Canada some years ago and still get overwhelmed listening to what is normal.

I was totally shocked one year when my SIL showed me her tree. It was ONLY the stuff she personally had bought for their 3 (teen) children. It covered an entire living room floor. Most posts I have seen, parents spend about $100-$300/kid. Makes me feel very guilty that I spend $10-30 for each of my kids. But then we always do cool activities during the Christmas break, most of which I pay for.

And when I read about what people consider stocking stuffers...it sounds like stockings cost an average of about $20-$50 to fill. When I first heard about them, I thought...maybe $5-10 per stocking. I was blown away.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 10:48:52 PM by elaine amj »
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andy85

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2015, 02:21:48 PM »
I put away $15 per paycheck (26 paychecks) for Christmas money....so $390...doubt i spend it all.

Scarvey

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2015, 03:15:25 PM »
Am I crazy for wanting to say $0?? I mean I don't want to be a Grinch but do we need this "shit".  Don't get me wrong, come over and enjoy a nice Rum or beer with me and have a nice visit! If you "need" to give something, come with me to the zoo bring  your family and we can make a  memory and show our children how animals shouldn't be treated... I can even wrap that if we choose to play to societies norms!!

Now reality we choose to participate in the family gift exchange, and have something for the kids to open so we are looking at $250 plus the added cost for a nice meal and maybe a nice bottle of rum!!

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Bendigirl

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2015, 07:33:32 PM »
About $6000
BUT, this is an annual holiday for hubby and I.  Five weeks in Mexico for Christmas and our anniversary.  We don't do gifts, it's about the memories.  In this amount also is a gift to our child, this year a set of winter tires and a movie pass.

TexasBrit

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2015, 09:02:26 PM »
The bulk of my Christmas spending is also on travel. This year I got a great deal, $2k  for return direct airfare from DFW to London for my daughter and me (that's total! Amazing!) In addition to that I have budgeted a total of $500 for gifts. We're spending 10 days back home and don't plan on spending any money when I am there, my parents like to spoil us and once in a while I like to be spoiled too :)

okits

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2015, 10:07:09 PM »
I'm really shocked at these numbers. Is this normal in America??!!

Yes, normal.  We could easily spend another thousand dollars just by hosting a party and attending a few, buying somewhat more expensive presents, holiday alcohol consumption, and getting decorations. 

Imagine the bill if even one of the gifts was a new iPad, jewelry, or a holiday!  Christmas can be an incredible source of stress and financial pressure if you don't have the money to meet expectations and don't push back when they get ridiculous.  During the recession I remember seeing advice columns addressing things like, "how to tell your kid Santa isn't bringing an iPhone (because you got laid off)."  Mainstream Christmas is an exercise in excess.

jezebel

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2015, 07:54:20 AM »
I'm really shocked at these numbers. Is this normal in America??!!

Yes, normal.  We could easily spend another thousand dollars just by hosting a party and attending a few, buying somewhat more expensive presents, holiday alcohol consumption, and getting decorations. 

Imagine the bill if even one of the gifts was a new iPad, jewelry, or a holiday!  Christmas can be an incredible source of stress and financial pressure if you don't have the money to meet expectations and don't push back when they get ridiculous.  During the recession I remember seeing advice columns addressing things like, "how to tell your kid Santa isn't bringing an iPhone (because you got laid off)."  Mainstream Christmas is an exercise in excess.

My parents have been overdoing Christmas my entire life.  I recall massive amounts of presents under the tree as a child.  My sister, underpaid in social work, has inherited their apparent love of excess and overspends on gifts even though she can't afford it. 

I am the odd one out by giving modestly at Christmas and it makes me feel bad briefly until I remember that I have two kids, a mortgage, and student loans.   We rarely spend much on the kids, but this year they are getting new winter clothes that they need anyway, in addition to a few toys, so the line is blurred between Christmas spending* and actual necessities.

*I'm using credit card rewards for most of it so although I'm spending more this year, it's not out of pocket.

partgypsy

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2015, 10:52:51 AM »
As we usually spend around 1200, I was going to see if we can keep it to 800. However we are buying a smart phone for our new teenager that is a combined birthday/xmas gift (139 out of our pocket). I had already bought around $40 of assorted things for both kids for xmas, but husband brought up idea of bikes for both kids, and also starting piano lessons for oldest, and dance lessons for youngest for Christmas. So we are going to have to figure it out. I said yes on bikes (this way we can go biking together) but would like to wait on lessons till after xmas, and finances settle down.

So yes Christmas can be a lot, especially when Christmas is when a lot of families make the big one-time or annual expenditures. We don't know if they will be used or new bikes. We had previously gotten for free some used bikes, but they were not the right size and the kids never used them. I don't think we have to spend a lot of money, but I want to get bikes that the kids will want to use.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2015, 10:54:26 AM by partgypsy »

Boganvillia

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #29 on: December 03, 2015, 09:07:04 PM »
Is $760 USD reasonable?  I'm guessing many here won't think so. 

I am spending $760 (being the equivalent in NZD) this year.

I share your lopsided family gifting cultures :) DH's family does it, mine doesn't.

I spend this much by way of surrender and am just grateful that DH's family are thoughtful, considerate present-pickers - much as I also enjoy reading about hilariously bad present-giving, I am glad it's not my own experience.
Pecunia non olet

CanuckExpat

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2015, 01:16:49 PM »
Am I crazy for wanting to say $0?? I mean I don't want to be a Grinch but do we need this "shit".  Don't get me wrong, come over and enjoy a nice Rum or beer with me and have a nice visit!

You're not crazy. That matches our "budget" for gifts and such, but I'm happy to partake in good company, food and drink, and I don't the cost is any different then normal entertaining and fun with friends.

maco

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2015, 01:49:30 PM »
Probably "less than what I spend"?

The switch from "buy something for each of my 4 siblings and their significant others" to "alright siblings, pull a name from the hat" will probably help, but my spouse's family is not on the Secret Santa side of things (though maybe I should suggest it). Having effectively 6 parents to buy for (mom, dad, step-mom, step-dad, mother-in-law, father-in-law) also drives things up some.

Also, step-dad's birthday is Christmas, and even though I don't get anything for my step-mom when her bday rolls around, he makes a stink if his birthday is overshadowed by Christmas, so I feel like I have to get him something. I don't even consistently get my actual dad a birthday gift or Father's Day gift! My mom is the only one I consistently give a birthday gift to, because it coincides with my summer vacation when I see her, and she is extremely knitworthy (275 points by that link's reckoning).

Anyway, I figure $25-40 per person. This year dad and step-mom are going over that because the 5 siblings are replacing their 20 year old TV, but the new Secret Santa thing should offset that.

Cranky

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Re: what do you consider a reasonable Christmas budget?
« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2015, 04:02:13 PM »
$1000, but I'm not wedded to that. Note - my kids are young adults who actually need stuff, and my budget isn't especially tight, and we're pretty religious.

We've always done 3 gifts + a stocking. We give things that - we hope - people really want and need. We've got 3 Angel Tree kids through a prison ministry and I try to buy for them like I would for my own kids. I give out a lot of hand knit stuff. I give every teacher at my school a jar of homemade jam.

I would, frankly, prefer that no one give me anything except fun stocking stuffers, because there isn't a damn thing that I need or want, but I know that my kids would feel terrible about that, so I try hard to put some stuff on my Amazon wish list.