34 answers

How Many Christmas Gifts Do You Give?

It happened again today...
My mother rolled her eyes and gasped (she does this every year) when I answered her question about what I bought my children for Christmas.
I belive in giving each child the same number of gifts (and I usually average about the same cost believe it or not) and for some reason that has always averaged about 10 (1 or 2 are put under the tree from "us" and the remaining are brought on Christmas morning by "Santa" with the extra goodies in the stockings)

Is this out of bounds?
How many gifts do your children receive from you and "Santa"?
Do you make sure everyone has the same amount?
Do you still "play Santa" with the older ones when there are still little "believers" in the house?

I don't buy toys or gifts much throughout the year so I try to meet their desires at Christmas and their birthdays but she has me second guessing myself...

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks everyone for the validation!
I know I should trust my instincts (and not let my mom get me down) but sometimes I second guess myself (I think we all do).
Anyway, you all had great suggestions and opinions!
Incidently in case anyone was wondering what I actually spent...$236 per child for 10 gifts each! I start early and MEGA bargain hunt and everything gets wrapped (even the chapstick in the stocking).
The main reason for the same number of gifts is that we sit in a circle Christmas morning and take turns watching each other open gifts. It takes a couple of hours but I like it better than the "tear into everything orgy"...
Hope you all have the BEST Christmas this year!

Featured Answers

Yup, what you do is EXACTLY what I do. I only have two kids but they each get 10 presents and some little goodies in thier stockings (which I am also psycho about keeping even...he he). I think 10 is a totally fine number, after all it's Christmas, when else do they get such extravagance? I have heard many people range on this but if you feel comfortable doing 10, then do it. I think keeping it even is also a really good idea, we all know how kids compare everything. I STILL remember doing that with my sister when I was young on Christmas!
I also wanted to add that I got my kids 3 or 4 big nice presents and then I went to Target dollar bin and bought little book etc and wrapped them to count towards the 10 presents so I didn't have to spend a fortune.

My mom's started a new tradition a couple years ago (with my siblings still living at home). The kids get three gifts: spiritual, fun, and practical. It think it's a great idea. She spends close to the same on every child, but they only open three presents or boxes so if the fun gift is a few things she'll put them into one box. I think she's started this for several reasons: 1. to cut down on how much she has to wrap (I have nine siblings) 2. To "round out" the child's Christmas, so they can get things like a pair of pants, but also a new MP3 player. Anyway, from what I hear from my siblings, they like the idea and I don't think it's a bad idea to implement. Hope this helps.

everyone has different traditions when it comes to holidays, and everyone has different ideas about gifts. personally, we get one "big" gift for each child, something they really want that is more expensive, then each child gets a book, and then they get a few little things as stocking stuffers. we also try to incorporate some sort of service activity, to remind them that christmas is about giving, not getting. I say, do what you feel comfortable doing.

More Answers

Hi H., like most of the other moms already stated, it's ultimately up to you what works for you and your family in regard to giving gifts and you'll just have to learn to ignore your mother's reaction since you know it bothers her. She probably feels torn buying your kids even more gifts since you get them so much, but she's grandma and wants/needs to get them something too. Personally, I do the same thing as Katy G. and decided after my first was born to only do 3 gifts to correlate with the 3 wise men bringing gifts. One of those is a "big" (or bigger) gift from Santa. I'm so glad we decided to do this - it's obviously easier financially, especially on years that are tougher, like this one. Plus, it drives me nuts to see how many presents some kids get and they're main goal is just to unwrap them, getting excited for a minute and then they're on to the next one. I also wanted to teach my kids about giving back and I cannot rationalize spoiling the crud out of my kids while you know there are families out there who can't afford gifts for their kids or even feed their children. Another thing to consider is debt - you shouldn't be going in to debt to finance your kids' Christmas haul. I love, love, love the holidays but not the focus on presents. There are so many other ways to make this time of year special for your kids and truly meaningful - go see Christmas light displays together, go see free Christmas concerts, do the 12 days of Christmas for a family in need, volunteer at shelters, take some of the money you would have spent on more presents and buy food for the food banks, and buy extra for yourself to prepare for harder times. All of you will feel the true Christmas spirit so much more than just the short-lived Christmas morning high. Just my humble opinion. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

1 mom found this helpful

every one is different and when we start out own families we can start any tradition we want no matter what our mothers say. i bet you rll your eyes too when she does. my parents didnt have much so they wanted us to have a lot. a lot meant a bunch of cheap toys that didnt last till the new year most of the time. when we wanted something large we had to hear the " we cant afford it " song and dance. so i started workign at a age 13 to buy my own stuff. i alwasy asked my boys still do,to make a list of 3 things that they really want. i would rather spend 100 dollars on somethng big than a bunch of little things. i buy one of the 3 and do smaller thng s they need in their stocking. like travel size shampoo and lotions, candy, cologne, etc. thenwe take whatever is left of our budget and buy toys and socks and underwear for an orphanage. on dec 6 this year we are going to get thogether and wrap presents at a firends house and on the 7th we are going to take the fgifts to the orphanage and have a party fot the kids. that is much more rewarding and since all of my sons are out of the house, they still send money or gifts for the orphanage kids and demand that i take videos and pictures for them. this year we are paying for a months rent for our youngest who is in college and one car payment for my oldenst who just got married and has a new baby. the baby is getting a couple fo cases of diapers. my adopted sons never ask for anything large. the one in the Marines wants a care package like the ones i used to send to Iraq when he was there. jsut a bunch of snacks. the one in the coast guard wants me to send frozen meals and cookies since he now lives off base. the policeman is getting a gift card to cabelas since he likes to buy his own stuff and the tow that are mechanics that live in town are getting a tool gift certificate from the snap on man so they can add to their collection. i dont spend equal amounts because they have a chance to ask for what they want and i chose out of the tree. so id one of them wants osmething expensive and the others dont i buy what they ask for , kind of

1 mom found this helpful

I have 5 children ages 11,9,7,5,2. I told them we will be doing something different next year and I will be letting Santa know as well. So this year my kids will be getting: EX.
1. Something they want... IPOD SHUFFLE
2. Something they need ... Hair brush, hair ties etc.
3. Something to wear... Sunday church outfit
4. Something to read... Uplifting book

This also helps out with how bad the economy is right now. Christmas will be a lot less expensive this year. Just an idea.

Because our kids get gifts from family members and school gift exchanges, etc., I didn't want Christmas to be about getting gifts or not getting what they wanted. We give our kids one from Santa (still), one from us (Mom and Dad), and one from their sibling (I just have two kids). Then I put candy and little things in the stocking. It was really hard some years as I had a hard time narrowing down the list, but it helped my kids to make short lists. We also make sure to spend some time buying and delivering gifts for organizations like Angel Tree and Operation Christmas Child (very eye-opening). During lean years, like this year, my kids don't ask for much. The year we got our computer, that was it for gifts, so we each wrote out coupons for each other. They were the most fun to open and one of my kids' favorite Christmases.

As for the number of gifts. I believe there is not right number. If you want to give them 10 gifts and can afford it that is fine. (I give what I can to my 4 kids. One year they got 15 each.)

Although, I have always done what my mom had done for me when I was little as even then she lived paycheck to paycheck.... I told my kids that they needed to let santa know what they wanted. They needed to make sure that mom and dad could afford the item as we have to pay santa to bring them presents. (saying santa needed parents to pay for the items as he is having difficulty getting money to feed the elves and reindeer)

We give one special gift from us.(parents) The rest come from Santa. Same amount of gifts yes... paid the same amount... that is hard because the older they get the more expensive.
The older kids are told not to spoil santa for the younger ones as we did not spoil it for them when they believed.

This year though.... my kids know that times are tough and they may not get anything from mom and dad... hoping my bonus goes through so they can at least get something from santa.

Santa brings one present for each of our two children. We give one present (Mom and Dad) and the kids give each other one present. We give each member in our extended family one present (9 of us). It is not O.K. for your Mom to roll her eyes and you should respectfully tell her how it makes her feel. She is from a different generation and everyone has an idea of what is right. There is no right and wrong just differences and she should respect your decision.

everyone has different traditions when it comes to holidays, and everyone has different ideas about gifts. personally, we get one "big" gift for each child, something they really want that is more expensive, then each child gets a book, and then they get a few little things as stocking stuffers. we also try to incorporate some sort of service activity, to remind them that christmas is about giving, not getting. I say, do what you feel comfortable doing.

As far as playing Santa for the older non-believers I always had a rule that if you didn't "believe" you didn't get anything from Santa. This always made my son play along because he wanted the gifts. I would also let him help me fill his sisters stockings and put the Santa gifts out. He liked getting to sneak out of bed after his sisters were asleep.
I always over-buy for my kids too and get the same reaction from my mother. I do feel a little guilty but it's mostly because there are people out there who cannot afford Christmas for their kids. We do buy for one or two kids off the giving tree at school.

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