How Much Do You Spend On Christmas?

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I posted this last December, and apparently it struck a chord because I had quite a few responses to it!  I thought I'd re-share it this year, and I'd love to hear your thoughts, especially as I think it helps other penny pinchers learn how Christmas looks in other families.  (I think we're at the same place we were last year for gift giving. . . some days it's hard to remain frugal as my children are getting older and are aware of “bigger” stuff, but so far they seem to be okay with it!)


Repost from December 2010

As I'm about to post this I'm struggling with whether or not it's proper etiquette (for a Southern girl. . .) to talk real money.  (I know, it's probably not!)  But I think this is an interesting question and one that's worth considering, so here goes!


good friend of mine asked a great question about how much money real families budget on Christmas gifts.  And because I'm betting she's not the only one who's curious, I figured I'd address it, but I really don't want to!  I'm hesitant to answer because it's a little too real; however I also wonder what real families spend, and how much Christmas impacts our family budget.  I do feel like we're all at different places financially and by no means will we all spend the same amount of money on our children, but this is how Christmas looks in our home.


We are incredibly fortunate and have several family members who are very generous with our children at Christmas, so we've never felt the need to spend tons ourselves . . . we know they simply get too much!  We are also blessed as our children haven't really gotten into electronics yet – they did get a Wii last Christmas but have yet to ask for any other video games, handheld or otherwise (which is a HUGE expense!)


Our budget in previous years has been around $75-$100 per child (for the older two), and way less for our youngest – maybe $40-$50.  This year my ten year old received significantly more (we spent about $150 on his gifts, and he's also getting an MP3 Player from Amazon that was free with Swagbucks.)  I'm struggling with this one as I feel like we've spent so much more than usual on him, and yet there's very little to show for it.  Meanwhile, his baby sister is getting about $45 worth of gifts and it'll look  like Santa came just to visit her Christmas morning!  For now though, this is what's worked in our home, and we'll re-think it all as we plan next year's Christmas budget.  One thing that we'll definitely add to the budget next year is money for Christmas giving . . . we've always given to worthy causes over the Christmas season but never with a plan, so I'm hoping that will help make me a more cheerful giver.


As Lana mentioned, our church has been involved in the Advent Conspiracy, which has helped keep our minds focused as parents on what's important during Christmas, which isn't the number of gifts under the tree.  This one is tough at times for us, and my children do notice that other kids receive more each Christmas than they do.  I think they recognize that we could probably do more, however in our home we've simply chosen not to.  So far we've been able to explain that all families do things differently for Christmas, and they seem satisfied with that.  Let's hope that continues!


Okay, so if you're up for it, what do you budget for your children for Christmas?  (You can leave the comment anonymously if you'd like . . . I know I would have liked to!)  And, do you budget at all, or just purchase as you go and pray the bills won't be overwhelming in January?  I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts on this one, so please leave a comment & share!


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  1. We only had one daughter for 5.5 years, and we’d typically spend about $300 on her. She gets one big present from Santa, one big present from us, stocking stuffers, and a few other gifts. One year she got a DSi and an American Girl doll and that took up around $240 of the budget. We try to get her quality gifts that she’ll love (and it doesn’t hurt that many of them have a great resale value)!. Since her birthday is a couple days after Christmas, we buy items on sale throughout the year. I love shopping on Amazon the most 🙂

    Now that we have another daughter, we’re trying to stick to the same budge for our oldest but not spend nearly as much on the youngest…. she already has so much, she won’t notice the amount that we spend, and her gifts are cheaper than my older daughter’s gifts. As she gets older, we’ll make adjustments so everything is perfectly fair.

  2. Do you consider necessities such as clothes/shoes/a new jacket part of Christmas? I’ve always tried to give my daughter stuff she needs and then maybe one or two samll things she wants.

    • You know, I was just thinking about that this morning! Right now my kids have only a few needs for clothing thanks to some great hand-me-downs, however I will probably will purchase at least one of my daughters a few clothes for Christmas which might go above our regular budget. We all have to do what’s right for our family, and I remember loving getting special clothes on Christmas morning!

  3. Don’t publish my name please! In total, I would usually spend $3000-$4000 for everyone on my list. This year our two children are 17 & 27. Up until last year, we typically spent about $1000 on each child. It was not by my choice. I am all for one special, memorable gift; or at the most, three gifts in honor of the 3 Wise Men. But my husband was an only child and likes to get his children everything on their wish list. I thought it was absolutely absurd! Every year the kids would clear out their rooms to make room for the next ridiculous amount of gifts. Our finances have not suffered during these tough economic times, in fact they have increased, but finally my husband has come to his senses. I convinced him that this recession is a unique opportunity to teach our children the joy of giving to their favorite charities. So we told our kids that they will only get stocking gifts (and i don’t mean iPhones), and then they can choose a charity to donate $200.00 to. My husband and I will exchange charity gifts as well. Grandparents who don’t want gifts from Macy’s anyway, will have a cow donated in their name to a family in a Third World country. So this year, we should finally get a grip on the true meaning of Christmas…GIVING and sharing our blessings.

    • Thank you so much for your honesty ~ Wow! It literally almost brought me to tears thinking of how your family is changing this year… That’s an incredible thing to do and I love that you’re able to do it. I know that as our family’s budget has began to have more room in it it’s been easy to think about spending more on our family just because we can, however I do want to our kids to remember the true meaning of Christmas. I know your family will enjoy a very blessed Christmas!

  4. My daughter is an only child, until May when our 2
    our 2nd is due. I went way overboard last year and spent around $700 on her. I’m timing it down this year to get her used to getting less now that she has a sibling coming.

  5. We have 3 children. We spend about $150 on each of the older two. They are 9 and 5. We had only spent about $50, then we went up to $100 when they got big enough for bikes and then up to $150 because we bought a Wii last Christmas and we wanted to be able to get them a couple of smaller gifts to go with it. We’ll stay there for them this year, and we’ll spend about $50 on the baby who is 7 months old. She mostly just wants chew toys anyway. : )

    • I guess I didn’t answer the whole question did I? We have a big extended family, and while we all draw names at the family parties, our typical Christmas budget is around $1100. My husband and I typically spend around $200 for each other, but this year that went toward a nicer-than-usual vacation that we took this summer. So we budget about $750 for our immediate family and the other $350 for extended family, teacher gifts and miscellaneous things that come up. We do try very hard to stick to our budget and to pay cash for everything. It can be stressful to be always on the lookout for a great deal during such a busy time of year, but I figure that’s less stressful than waiting for credit card bills to come in January.

  6. We have always done Christmas on a budget, although not a detailed one! LOL I don’t set out to say I’m gonna spend X amount on each child, but we are frugal in other ways for it. When my older daughter was a baby we got nearly everything second hand! She had no clue that the toy she was opening that retailed for $24.95 only actually cost me $3-$5 at the thrift store or consignment shop. She didn’t have a concept of if something was new or used. As she got older and did know the difference, she didn’t care so much because we’d also taught her the value of re-using items that still had value was of a benefit not only to our budget but to the earth as well. Today at 14 she will still enjoys finding a gently used bargain vs. paying full price for something and realizes that If our rough budget is to spend about $200 on her (which has usually been the average) that she stands to get more if she doesn’t mind that’s it’s gently used.
    That said, there are certainly things we get that I’d not buy used or I can find just as good of a deal on new as used, but it sure stretches our christmas dollar!
    We do the same thing with our younger daughter too now, and my older also knows and understands that while her sister may end up with more actual gifts that it’s due to the fact that as she gets older the gifts she wants are more expensive (even used, lol) so with the same amount of money I can get her sister alot more… although I don’t always.
    I also shop throughout the year for smaller things, especially stocking stuffers! so that the impact at Christmas time is not as bad. Stocking stuffers can really add up and I hate buying ‘filler’ junk that they won’t actually use.
    That’s Christmas at our house 🙂

    • My husband and I have been having the “second baby talks” now that we’re more settled financially. We were discussing the other night whether it would be OK to recycle some of our sons nice and not showing wear hand-me-downs as gifts for the second baby. He feels that this isn’t right; that a child should have something new for Christmas. I feel like if there is five years difference, recycling would be OK for a few things. Am I being too much of a penny pincher? Sorry I’m asking a question and not asnwering one!

      • I think that’s a great idea…you can always gift the hand me downs along with some new stuff. This way, the second baby will get something new and special, and the hand me downs will be bonuses. It’ll be like getting double the presents…what can be wrong with that!! LOL

        • I agree! My girls are four years apart, and while we do buy things for our youngest, many of her clothes are either things that are hand-me-downs from her big sister or from other friends. I do think it’s harder b/c there are so many years between them, especially with girls. (Trends change so fast, and I still want her to look cute!) I’m thankful that their church clothes are pretty traditional so that we can re-use them, but we do buy some new things as well.

          I definitely think it’s okay to re-use, and your little one will never know the difference. And, at least for our family, one of my favorite days of mothering was the day my oldest walked in to the hospital and met his baby sister. I’ll never forget that moment!

  7. Honestly, it varies from year to year, but we have always spent less than $100 per kid each year. I generally stick to “Something they want, something they need, something they wear, something they read.” Stocking stuffers are usually nail polish and a few hair bows. I have 9 nieces and nephews we buy for, so I try to find a bargain, a theme so all the gifts are similar, and keep their gifts under $10 each. This year I got them all personalized Disney blankets at $9/ea. My husband and I generally dont give gifts to each other for Christmas b/c our anniversary is right after Christmas and we plan a night (or weekend) for that. As for our parents, maybe $50-$100 for each set. That’s it. I refuse to do secret santas and such, not b/c I’m a Grinch but its always been a headache in the past and I just don’t need another thing on my plate in December. Oh, and for teachers and church staff its a homemade treat and a thank you card for all the hard work they do. My husband is a pastor – gifts will only last so long, but an encouraging word will keep you going all year.

  8. We have 18 month old twins and both of our parents buy them a lot of toys. They “share” all the toys and have hand me downs too. We have only spent about $50 total on them. Of course that is before swagbucks and sales. We don’t buy two of each toy for them b/c we want to teach them early to share. We don’t see the point of spending a lot on them right now when they will already get so much from other people. Not looking forward to spending more in a few years:(

  9. My husband and I have 3 kids. 10 yr. old Girl and twin boys that are 6. We budget $150.00 each year for each of them. Our daughter is old enough to choose what she wants, so she usually only opens 2 or 3 items, because the cost of those 3 things is equal to her brother’s 7-10 things each. We always use cash or layaway, NEVER credit. My husband and I only shop for each other if we receive xmas bonuses from work, if not, we are okay with ONE family present, i.e. new coffee maker, panini press, etc. All in all our xmas’s are wonderful…and my kids are grateful to receive one present, as we let them know all the time that there are people less fortunate than them, who would love to have what they have. 😉

  10. Fortunately my husband and I have been able to save a lot of money this year (mainly thanks to my couponing and teaching coupon classes) so on a military budget we’re able to spend about $500 for each child and $500 each for one another. One of our girls is almost 4 and the other one is only 6 months…but we brought them into the world wanting them to have everything we could provide and since we have everything we need we have extra money to spoil them with and we’d much rather spend it on them than ourselves since they enjoy it so much…it doesnt help that i love to wrap presents and when i run out of presents to wrap i go and buy more, lol!! Oh and we always put a very special and meaningful donation in each girls name in their stockings as one of their presents so they know that giving is as important as receiving! This year the girls gave donations to the SPCA (they got stickers and a few other cool things because of it which work as good stuffers).

  11. i have a whole 24 people to buy for. In years past my husband and i skip presents for each other or put a $20 limit on it and take a trip but this year we are doing gifts. We have set aside a budget and it ranges from 15-50 a person. other than that we are doing the 3 presents for my daughter like jesus got. honestly i have planned well for it but if we had the opportunity i would stepback on the gifts that i buy but it’s just not possible in my family. I frequently feel the present fatigue/guilt since my family of orgin’s love language is gifts & we don’t have a lot. i’m trying to tell myself that the dollars don’t matter. Overall we spend about $1000.

  12. This was such an interesting post! I loved reading all the comments…I’ll probably be spending about 200 on each child this year. As for my husband, I’ve been slowly paying (on layaway) for a snowblower, which cost about 800 w/ the warranty/service plan. This was a total splurge, but necessary since we both ended up with back problems last year…we’re getting rickety @ 35 and 41 yrs old…lol. I love shopping for xmas and it’s so much better this year with some extra cash from all the couponing! This site has really helped relieve the stress that comes along with having the buy gifts. This year I’m also trying to teach my kids about helping others. Just tonight, my daughter and I grabbed an “angel” from the Salvation Army xmas tree, so we’ll be getting a toy for a little girl. I also love the stocking charity idea that Patience mentioned. I will have the copy that!

  13. Well since we are all avid couponers I thought I would share some of my little secrets. I get my kids abundant gifts for Xmas, however I only spend about $200 per child. I have 2 boys ages 7 and 14. Although I will admit they are both into video games and electronics which is proving to become more and more expensive. I also spend about $500 on my husband who is a big techy as well. But my secret is this: I use coupons! OMG can you believe it??? Stores like Kohl’s and JCPenney send out $10 off a $10 purchase coupons constantly this time of year. I’ve learned that you can sign every one of your family members up and they will send multiples to your home. Also I have a PO Box and I get multiples there. So we get up to 8 of each coupon they send out. These coupons are great for toys and sometimes video games when Kohls has some decent ones in stock. I work in Madison so I can stop in on a regular basis and grab something. I’ve used as many as 6 coupons in one visit, multiple transactions of course. However, it does say one coupon per customer, so it depends on the cashier how many they will let you use. Ive learned if I make a regular trips using these coupons during Nov and Dec, I end up with a ton of stuff for each child, for almost nothing! I also only buy the other things on their list not available at these stores if it is a great sale, I blame that on couponing! I can’t pay full price for anything. LOL. We also give gifts to our entire family of 20 people so the $10 off of $10 comes in quite handy for small adult gifts as well. This year I got presents for 15 of the 20 family members for under $50. So I definitely suggest being just as diligent about retail couponing.

    • Jen – finding coupon deals is HUGE! We don’t spend much, but I spend a lot of time watching deals (as you probably figured) 😉 so I’m able to stretch that money pretty far. My favorite deal so far this year was the Razor 360 scooter from Amazon that went down for $50 for just a short time (it’s normally $75-$100) – I was so excited to get that one! I also use Swagbucks and coupons too. Thanks for that reminder (I need to do a post on that!) 🙂

    • Jen, How do you sign up for those kind of coupons for kohls and Jcp.

  14. And for the record, I don’t see any problem with you discussing real money! I mean that’s what we are all here for, to learn how to save it!

  15. This year we spent $150 on a gift both the boys could share (5 and 17mo) and then $150 on the 5yr old and $100 on the 17mo old. Last year it was $150 on the then 4yr old and $50 on the then 5mo old. No big gift last year. To get a real idea its better to look at it in a % This year we spent $400 on both kids which is about 50% of our combined weekly take home income (I only work part time, Hubby works full time) Before each birthday and Christmas we have the boys
    (obv the toddler doesnt get it yet) pick some of their toys to donate to the slavation army or Goodwill Helps them realize how much they have and makes room for the new toys. The stocking stuffer idea above is great one as well since most of those organizations send a lil gift with a donation.

  16. I know this post is from last year, but I still had to comment and hope that you get it. Growing up we didn’t have anything, and I really mean that. Sub for Santa was done for us 3 Times and it was so depressing that after the third time Mom decided instead to give us the choice. She could come up with enough money for either a small $15 gift for every one, or we could have a really nice, big dinner. We opted for the dinner. So for Christmas every year we usually get a stocking with a few small things, like a magazine that we like, and some cutie oranges, and a really nice dinner of roast beef with cherries jubilee, or lobster bisque.
    As a mother now myself, it is difficult to spend a lot of money on my kids. They get one $30 gift, their stockings, and anything else extended family wants to give.

    • Hi Kit! Thanks so much for sharing – I’ll be honest, my mom stressed so much over “making” Christmas for us even when I don’t think she financially had the money to do it, and I respect so much that your mom decided to not spend, and do a special big dinner. I know in this world where we spend so much now, sticking to $30 has got to be hard, but I love that you shared that reminder with me…. I know your kids will appreciate the value of what they have so much more because of the way you’ve chosen to give!

  17. We make about $100,000 and we spend about $1550. That is $200 on my toddler girl, $300 for each spouse, $200 for holiday incidentals (extra for food for family gatherings (a ham, etc.), extra for grocery budget since Dh is home and eats non stop, and then a little left over for any decoration type things we need, christmas cards, or wrapping paper, etc.)

    We spend $100 on my mom, $100 on my brother (and now his serious girlfriend is included, will add more for her when they get married, especially because she is easier/more fun to shop for than my brother!) and $50 on my MIL, grandmother and a uncle. My Mom and my brother both have December birthdays so I spend another $100 each on that. Sometimes I get them a combined gift, and sometimes I don’t. I buy gifts for my dh’s family on the years we are together. His family is HUGE, and on the other side of the country, and everyone mutually agrees to not give gifts.

    If I get a really amazing deal on something, like say $10 for something that costs $75 I count it as more of the budget, if that makes sense. I try to keep things “even looking” among the relatives, but it doesn’t always work. I have been giving more and more Giftcards, which I rarely get deals on, but that is ok.

    As far as subsequent children go, I feel like they will probably get a bit less than dd has so far. For example, she is getting a play kitchen, play food and dishes this year. If she had a sibling that would have been a family gift. Once we have more children, the playroom will be more established, so we won’t need to go crazy. We are also military, and need to be able to pack this stuff up every few years, and I go crazy if it is more than I can pick up in a few minutes.

    I bought a very high end play kitchen that retails for over $120 for $40 off of Craigslist. I bought the matching fridge from meijer, when they were having a big sale. I have collected pots, pans, foods, and food toys (like the Lego cakes set, or a food themed puzzle where the pieces could also work as play food) throughout the year. I make an amazon wish list, and then watch for the prices to go down, or an amazon mom sale, periodically check eBay, and generally scour clearance sections of stores to find suitable items. I was able to get all of ikea’s fabric food sets half off at a black Friday sale. I got a set of fabric hot cocoa mugs with spoons and marshmallows that someone returned on super clearnace at pottery barn kids. So, it looks like I spent a ton, but I didn’t pay full price for anything!

  18. Ellieeggnog Mistletoe says

    2 kids. About 200-250 each child. We tried to go for less and it didn't work. The reason is from day one we set the bar high. If we would have gotten them each one really nice gift from us and one from Santa from the start, it would be different. Just didn't think about it at the time.

  19. I can’t believe what is spent on Christmas in some areas. I myself, being a young single female, don’t want my parents going over $75 if they can help it. I don’t think that’s the meaning of Christmas, and it has become such a commercialized holiday, even in the Christian setting, that I don’t like getting a bunch of gifts. It feels like I’m being forced into this growing idea that Christmas is only as valuable as what you are willing to spend on someone or the amount you receive.

  20. We used to go all out, and then I found out what CHRISTmas is really about! Now, we do 3 gifts for each child (3). This year I haven’t spent more than $100 on all 3. 🙂 And then we do the Angel tree through the Salvation Army..and this year instead of for the children we are doing a Forgotten Angel in a nursing home. 🙂 It feels so wonderful to be able to give back!!

  21. We try to be conservative due to finance this yr. I spent 50 or less on each grandchild . actually more on one because they live in Alaska so s&h was a nightmare. If you don't pay to get present there by Christmas they send on boat instead of plane so it can take up to 3 months to get there. Not much spent this yr at all. Thanks to rebates kohls cash and extra bucks received back. Thanks for all your help with that .God bless you. Just started really paying attention to saving .we are a one income family. I need canners and sewing machine because I am going back to the basics.

  22. We used to spend around $100 ( give or take a few $$) for the big santa present and then $300 – $500 on gifts from mom and dad. We never really budget an amount, we just go by the amount of presents. We make sure each child has the same number of presents,
    Our oldest is now 16 and has asked for a laptop for 2-3 years now. It came to me that instead of buying him 17 things that will end up broken or forgotten about, we could spend most of his budget on the 1 thing he has wanted. We had the “Santa isn’t real” talk which I had successfully dodged for years, but at 16.. I am suspecting he already knew. We gave him the option to receive less in the amount of quantity than the other children so that he could get his laptop which he chose. Now, for myself, I can’t stomach him sitting there watching everyone open present after present while he holds his laptop. So we got him some $5 – $10 items and this is the first year he is getting clothes for Christmas. He needed jeans and pajama pants which we would have just bought outside of Christmas, but we decided to wrap them instead.

    We used to give 30 presents a piece, but cut back this year to 17. One year, we bought almost 100 presents a piece for our then 2 children. It was MISERABLE! we will never do that again! I had a rough family life growing up and my mother would always go a little overboard on Christmas. She used to say she was making up for being such a bad parent through the rest of the year. Well, I am not a bad parent and I don’t have anything to “make up” for, but I still feel like Christmas isn’t Christmas without a huge amount of presents under the tree for that Ahhhhhhhhh moment! One of the ways that helped me realize I needed to scale down is cleaning out the kids’ rooms before I started my shopping. This allowed me to see what was really being played with, what broke within hours of being opened etc. The frustration of a messy room that has too many nonsense left over presents from Christmas past is a great motivator to take it down a notch this Christmas.

  23. Emily Bristol says

    We have two children, our son is 8 and our daughter is 5 and we have another son on the way expected to arri ve in mid-February. We do not have the fortunate blessing of family in our lives as we are estranged from our dysfunctional parents but we explain to our kids that Christmas is a time to celebrate the family that we do have and to be thankful that we have all that we need and some of what we want. We usually spend between $100-$150 per child but I hope to lessen the amount over the next few years as I have learned to coupon and stockpile recently. We teach our children that Christmas is about what money cannot buy…the presents under the tree are just icing on the cake.

  24. I’m sure I won’t be the only, one but I’ll admit it. We are a single income family. We have lots of debt from medical and foreclosure from when I lost my job. We moved to another state to lessen expenses. But didn’t realize that living so far away from any major stores will destroy any family budget. There is no competitive pricing unless you drive over an hour. That means we usually spend my husbands whole check and bonus on our three kids (6,9,15), our parents, and Each other. Plus food, which is the most important part to me, plus gas for shopping ad travel means we spend over $2500. I try not to compete w family that use credit cards, but my kids don’t even get what they really need throughout the year, so it’s hard to not want to make them feel somewhat special on Christmas. I will buy them a gift card this year that they can choose where to donate to.

  25. Thank you all for sharing so openly and honestly! Finding balance in the midst of Christmas can be so difficult, and we’re all in different places financially which means Christmas looks different in all of our homes. Thanks so much for all being so transparent (so good to hear everyone’s comments!)

  26. I have one son and I usually spend 400-500. however, his birthday is in early January so that is the total budget for both. I buy the things off of his list and then split them between Christmas and his birthday. The rest of my family (7 people) generally costs me about $300, just small gifts that I think they will like. I don’t go too crazy with anything.

  27. I was just talking to my husband yesterday about having a retail addiction!! I have a limitless credit card and I grew up in a home not ever having to worry about a budget. I never knew what things really cost until I met my husband and HAD to start paying attention! I struggle so much with putting a price tag on all the things in my life! This makes budgeting really hard. With two kids now and not having access to as much money as I am used to, I struggle everyday with budgeting! I’m so used to swiping my card and filling my time with dining and shopping!! Your website helps me so much!! I hope soon I can figure out budgeting for my family and cutting up credit cards for good!!!

    • Hang in there – you can do it! Definitely continue to work on budgeting – you really can do it and it will make your life so much more peaceful. Blessings to you as you work towards your goals!

  28. We have a 2 year old and our daughter is 8 months old! This year we have spent about $200 on our two year old and probably $75 on our daughter. I imagine it will even out through the years but we learned the hard way when our son was young that babies really don't care much for the gifts, My husband on the other hand always wants expensive things I try to do as much for him as possible because he is a very selfless person and all year long sacrifices everything to make sure we all have what we need. I don't put a budget (within reason) when shopping for him.

  29. We have a Christmas fund of approximently $2000.00. Anything Christmas is bought with this money. Seven family members, dinner, replacement decorations, the postage needed to send some gifts and Sunday School goodies. I try to make as many gifts as I can. One person on our list gets groceries delivered to their door.

  30. We like to receive memberships as a family gift . It’s definitely the gift that keeps on giving. It adds to our family time& keeps my year round family fun budget in check. We like the want,need, read system here as well. I bought most of my older sons gifts at our local JBF sale this year . Roller skates,puzzles , books, & clothes. Our younger son gets his hand me downs and will greatly benefit from our school house museum membership that willbe renewed for Xmas . Our older son has a December bday so he gets a little extra . We are fortunate to have my sister ,her husband , & his mother that really help us out around this time of year. They usually get us a membership and fair tickets 🙂

  31. I do a lot of bargain shopping throughout the year for Christmas. Our girls are older, 18 & 21. We spend around $75 each on presents, around $20 or so on stockings and they get a together gift as well, something around $50-60. They get things throughout the year & they have 2 sets of grandparents, a great uncle, an aunt & uncle and a cousin & his family that buy for them at Christmas as well. My oldest also gets gifts from her fiancés family & both girls exchange with their friends. They are appreciative & happy with what get, I’m so proud of them……they have some older(married) cousins that are not very appreciative.

  32. I save throughout the year and end up having about $2000.00 to spend at Christmas. That is spent on everyone in our families but if I broke it all down, I would bet that about half of it is spent on our 3 kids.

  33. We have 5 kids we typically spent about $1000. This year the kids voted for a no gift Christmas and to spend two days doing crafts and baking together instead. There just isn’t anything they want or need.

  34. To be honest I am not ready for Christmas. I don’t even want to think about it. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I am a true believer in GIVING not receiving. I am hoping to keep my husband under control with the Christmas cash. He is deploying again and is going to miss High school Graduation (with her AA degree), prom, possible college scholarship awards, promotion to 8th grade and so much more. I am truly afraid he will go over board. I don’t want to feel like the bad guy when I say “spending 1000.00 on each kid is extreme.” Am I the only one who does not want to see the bills after the holiday?

  35. I am a single mom of three.

    My biggest issue is that gift giving is my love language!
    So I deal hunt from July to November for presents for my 10 nieces and nephews, 3 sisters, 2 BFFs, 2 brother in laws and my parents.
    (Not to mention the teachers at my children’s school)

    All on top of my own children.

    I probably spend about $400-$500 on everyone combined.
    But each niece and nephew receives $40+ value gifts
    Each friend and sibling receive $30-40 value
    Teachers will receive $15 value
    My children will probably receive $60-$80 value items

    I am pretty pleased with the penny pinching there!
    But can’t wait to afford more for each of them!

  36. I would say I have never spent more than $100 on a child each Christmas. Some Christmas’s we were not able do provide too much. My children have many family members and sets of grandparents so I just never thought it was needed to overdo presents or to go into debt over Christmas. Some may say I am a Scrooge but that is just the way we have always done it.

  37. Our total gift spending will be 900-1000 dollars.

    My husband and I are pregnant with our first child who will likely receive a few items under the tree – but since she will be 32 weeks, not much of course. I have hardly bought her any clothing/gifts yet – waiting until after grandparents buy christmas gifts and we have showers to know what exactly she still needs, but I figure what “few things” I have bought will go under the tree. I have budgeted 50-100 for her, 100 for my husband.

    However, my TOTAL gift budget is 850-900. My husband and I both have large families with holiday traditions so with grandparents, nieces and nephews, parents and siblings, our list includes approximately 25 people. We live far away so going home for Christmas is always a big deal for us – and we want the chance to spoil our family since we can’t do it as often.

    I use the Santa’s Bag app on my phone to track my spending and I create a budget for each person – if I am able to buy someone a gift for under their allotted amount (thanks to a sale or coupon) then I have that “extra” in case I go over on another family member. It has helped me keep track of what I am spending – and when I have a gift that’s over budget, it encourages me to find savings in other places to “cover” that extra expense.

    To cover everyone, including husband and daughter, I have budgeted between 850 and 900 dollars. Plus I assume husband will spend 100ish on me. If I go a little over, it won’t be the end of the world, but I feel like having a goal keeps me in range. So probably somewhere right under 1000 dollars total, including what my husband spends.

    Also, I wish we were forward thinking enough to save for the holidays all year. Maybe next year – but for the past 6 weeks (and for the next few), we buy a few gifts a week. We are fortunate to have alternating pay days so one of us will get paid every week. Buying 50-100 every week keeps us from ever having a huge hit from holiday shopping. Black Friday will probably hit a little harder though.

  38. We spend about $1000 total. Some years a more/less though, but usually around that number. We have three littles (ages 6, 4, 1) and like to give them a big gift (around $50-100-something they want and have been talking about or something I think will be timeless), a few small gifts (books, a clothing item, and a game), a stocking that we spend about $50 total on all three on. I’m a huge sale shopper girl, and I price match almost everything. This year is a bit different though because we bought a van. And we are planning to pay it off ASAP! So we are choosing to wait till after my husband’s Christmas bonus to shop, I did get a few items already. Some with gift cards from Target, since I get so many from shopping there. I paid a dollar for our one year olds big gift because Target gift cards and sales =) I really want our kids to enjoy the memories of Christmas and we do Advent reading through the scriptures. For them to know why we celebrate means way more to me than any gift given. We also talk more about what to give others, than what we want for Christmas.

  39. We spent $1,100 and have it broken down by person. We’re in our mid-20s (both working) with no kids yet.

    My dad – $50 (usually a gift card of some sort, he’s not picky!)
    My mom – $100 (my Dad sometimes doesn’t get my Mom anything so I compensate for it since her love language is gifts)
    My siblings – $50 each (I have 2 sisters and one brother)
    His parents – $100 each (he’s an only child so the only gifts they receive are from us!)
    Each other – $200 each
    Misc – $200 ($25 gift cards for some of his aunts/uncles/cousins who purchase us gift cards lol! With some extra cash for a new toy for both our dogs, small gifts for a couple friends, and funds to purchase gift for annual ornament exchange, white elephant party, cookies for cookie swap, food for any potlucks, etc.)

    Anything extra I try to cash flow out of our food budget or misc. budget

  40. My husband and I both have divorced parents so we have a lot of people (30 to be exact) we feel obligated to buy for, since they buy for us. This is only immediate family (grandparents, parents/step-parents, siblings, nieces, nephews and a few very close friends). We do not have children yet and already our Christmas budget is around $1200 or more. I try to stay around $30-$50 on parents and close siblings, $20-$25 on grandparents, nieces, and nephews and added family members (girlfriends, my sister’s ex husband, etc.) and we have a few close friends we exchange gifts with PLUS two places we play dirty Santa where we need 3 $20-$25 gifts. We do not have credit cards. My husband and I spend our Christmas bonuses ($300 each) on each other. We have 11 places we are expected to go to. We are planning for children in the next year or so but we haven’t talked about what we will do or spend on them. I would really like to start a tradition where they learn to give to someone else that has more need than they do.

    Last year we decided to do gift cards for everyone but it ended up being more expensive so this year I have been ordering and planning based on the things I have seen on the Passionate Penny Pincher Facebook. So far it’s been a LIFE SAVER!! I ordered the scarfs from Amazon for each woman in the family and got some ulta $5 for $5 deals to add to those presents + there were awesome choices for my nieces. So far I think I am coming in under budget. (I’m an accountant so not only is under budget important to me, it’s a challenge). I have been able to get a gift for my sister that would have been $27.88 for $9.27. So far she has an $8 lipstick, a $3 lotion and a $16.88 scarf that I plan to get monogrammed. I will probably pick up something else I know she will love but should still come under budget by $10 – $30!!! I’m hoping I can keep this up with everyone else.

    Thank you for helping me!

  41. Our kids are still very young, and our family members do much of the gift giving, so we try to spend $40-$50 per kid and $35 for each other’so birthday and Christmas combined. Mine’s the 13th of December and his is Christmas Eve. We get what we need and a bit of what we want through the year so Christmas time isn’t a huge blowout ordeal. We try to spend $25-30 on each parent and our siblings families we send $10 gift cards to the family as a whole. Too many nieces and nephews to give something to each. As our family and finances change so will our Christmas, but for now, this is where we are.

  42. We budget $35-50 per person and we buy for about 35 people. We spend about $200 per child and we have two children. We end up spending about $3,000 total.

  43. We got pre-adoptive placement last summer of an 8 year old girl. She got a lot of gifts from us and Santa as it was her first Christmas with us. She wanted an iPod so I got her a cheap 2nd gen on eBay and hid it under the tree far enough it was the last gift she got. She loves it and didn’t care that it was older. For the last couple of months I have $100 set aside for Christmas shopping
    which I get her a few things each month and set aside. Her bike got messed up over the summer and we replaced it, early Christmas gift (and so much easier than sneaking it in the house)! I got her a lot of small stocking stuffers and some gifts for my inlaws to give her as they are on a fixed income with 2 other grandkids. I’m thinking maybe $300 for her, which includes Christmas Eve pajamas, cloths, crafts, and a couple of toys. My husband and i spend $100-$150 on each of us. I shopped at Hobby Lobby (love their 40% off coupons), Ollies, Walmart and eBay. We also shop the angel tree at church to help children in need, which our daughter loves after being in foster care for several years.

  44. In years past I haven’t budgeted and always have bought a lot for my kids and made things for them. We have 4 (2 10 year old girls, a 9 year old boy, and a 6 year old girl-blended family) and up until last year I could do a lot of cheaper toys for them. This year because we are taking a vacation during the holidays, they are getting way less and we are going to follow the need, want, wear, read idea with a slight variation. Most of the kids’ clothes come from Goodwill anyway, so I will be getting them clothes from there for Christmas.

  45. We have three kids. I try to budget 100-150 for each kid. I stick with something they want, something to read and something to wear. I have a $25 budget for anyone else on my list. We also adopt one child a year and provide Christmas for them.

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