How much should you spend per kid for Christmas?

Monday, December 16, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

The holidays can get crazy... so we try to keep it simple here. Last year, we spent around $100 per child, and it looks like we'll be spending around $100 per child again this year. Last year, there were a lot of big items... like a train table and kitchen set. This year, the toys will be smaller, but overall a little bit more expensive. Santa is in charge of bringing one very special gift to each child... and the rest of the gifts are from Mommy & Daddy. Last year, I went crazy buying things at the dollar store that broke quickly, so I'm not buying toys there this year. Perhaps a few books, pens, fancy notebooks, and coloring books, but that's it.

It feels good to be scaling back our holiday in terms of toy size. I want my children to feel a sense of gratitude when it comes to Christmas, not a sense of entitlement. Plus, with fewer toys, my children can really fully engage with each new toy instead of having it get lost in the clutter. 

As far as spending for the rest of the family, my side has a gift exchange for the kids. Adults don't exchange gifts. And, we do get a gift for my parents... which I'm trying to focus on a gift of time rather than something bought at the store. 

My husband's family has a $5 white elephant exchange. Everybody just brings a few gifts for that, and that's it! Phoenix & Ariana are included in the white elephant exchange, but they get quite a few gifts on the side there too.

I really do like our scaled-back Christmas. I know our family tends to cherish time with loved ones more than we cherish gifts, so it really is perfect for us. I am also seeing the positive effect it's having on our children. When I asked Phoenix what we wanted from Santa, he said he didn't know... but he did want to go to the store and buy some gifts for Santa and his elves, because nobody gives them presents. And... Phoenix got 2 advent calendars this year, and insisted on giving me a small bite of each of his chocolates, because he noticed I didn't get an advent calendar. Such a sweetie!

Ultimately, it's up to you how much money you spend per kids for Christmas. If you're happy spending what you do on Christmas that's perfectly fine. This year, as we focus more on family and less on stuff, I hope a few of you do the same. Have yourself a merry little Christmas this year!

How much do you spend per kid for Christmas? Leave a comment below.

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