12 answers

How Much Is Appropriate to Spend on a Child's Christmas?

The holidays are coming up which means spending money. For christmas this year, we are going to stick to my 10 year old son's christmas list. One problem is this - He has tons of family in another state including his dad that buy him what my husband calls "Sunday" toys...Toys that are either entertaining for five minutes or break after five minutes. So I am going to give one person his list and cross my fingers that they ALL stick to it...Not only do I not want all that dollar store, disposable junk in my house but I also think it is very un-green and we just don't have the room for it!

My main problem is this, how much is appropriate to spend on a 10 year old for christmas when he has so much other family buying him things ($100, $200, etc???)? His dad, uncles, aunts, grandmas, grandpas, etc buy him stuff too. Since myself and his dad are remarried, there are so many people buying him things. It drives me nuts.

Ok, I've revised my post to say what I meant to say.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

hi! My 3 kids are the only grandkids on both sides so I hear ya. What's worse is that 2 of them have b-days the week of Thanskgiving and 1 is the weekend after new years. So we get bombarded. They're not 10 but what I did was created a wish list for them on amazon and walmart (my MIL only shops at walmart) with a variety in prices. In the description part, I put their sizes for clothes, TV characters they like, Mickey Mouse, Little Einsteins, etc. I've asked everyone to stick to the list to try to avoid duplicate stuff. I've also verbally told the grandparents that a few toys is fine but if they wanted to spend more money to buy them bonds or contribute to their 529 plan.

Good luck!
J.

More Answers

I think it is rude to tell someone what to buy your kids. Be happy that they care enough to buy your child something and as for what you should spend, it depends on what you can afford. We have a six year old son and a 15 month old son, we usually would spend about $300 or $400 on our oldest, but since we have another son now, probably about $250 each. My six year old has more fun with dollar store toys than a $100 toy!

1 mom found this helpful

I am actually surprised by the responses so far. A couple of things, my opinions only ofcourse. First, if you *have* to put a dollar amount on things, I think you should spend what you can afford. There is no set dollar amount. If times are tight...so is Christmas. That is the way it goes!

Second. I too don't like dollar stuff and certainly know what you are saying about too much stuff. It's nice that people care but too much, is too much. My husband and I have a 5 year old and a 1 year old. We handle Christmas by buying ONE gift for each of them and we give it ahead of time. This way, they can play with it before they get all of their other presents. We just feel that they get too many presents from other people and so why should we add to that? We don't feel that it's right for us to *tell* other people what to do or not to buy so we just save our money. We either then put some money in their college fund or we do fun Christmas things with them like take an annual trip up to the Jelly Belly factory in WI, have breakfast with Santa, ride the Polar Express etc. To us, having them "experience" Christmas and a gift from us to commemorate the event is more than enough. Frankly, some people believe that the season is not about receiving but about giving. Maybe something to teach your son?

Hope this helps. Happy Holidays!
N.

1 mom found this helpful

J.,

I understand 100% what you are saying and I've been in the same situation.

But, you said in your post "So I am going to tell each person what they should buy him and cross my fingers that they stick to it". I think that may have come off wrong. Personally, I wouldn't like being "told" what to buy for anyone.

I think the best way to handle it is to have your son write out a list of things he would like and make sure they are all different prices. Keep the list in the kitchen and IF people ask what he wants - share his list.

Some people truly like to buy what they feel is special for a child...even if it may not be #1 (or #10) on the child's list. I feel those are the times to teach your son to be grateful that someone picked something out special for him.

Trust me, I know it's hard. We have two little ones and an OVERLOAD of toys in our house. I know Christmas will bring even more. Some of the things I (as a parent) secretly roll my eyes at are the toys the boys like the most. My mom likes to eat Happy Meals at McD (for herself) and she saves the toys for my sons. They LOVE them and really play with them a lot. I would prefer to just donate them or to not have them - but the kids like 'em.

Happy Holidays!

1 mom found this helpful

I keep an Amazon wish list for my kids so that people can get ideas for gifts. With kids, I think the most important thing is that (1) they have several gifts to open and (2) the gifts are worth keeping. With this in mind, I try and limit the gifts that I put on his wish list (and that I purchase for nieces/nephews etc) to: books, clothing, and a few well-chosen toys (like blocks, additional trains for an existing train set, etc). Almost all of these toys come in small units that are affordable (1 book is only a few dollars, same with a train car or hotwheels car), and they have excellent "staying power" as toys (ie your kid doesn't outgrow the toy and lose interest in 2 months). Another idea, if you want to get a bigger gift that doesn't take up any space, is something like a museum membership. Last year we asked for a membership to the Chicago Children's museum, and we've really enjoyed that.

Everyone is different, but since we have lots of relatives who buy our kids christmas presents, we don't get him more than a few things plus a full stocking. Instead, we spend more money on his birthday, since we don't tend to have large birthday parties or lots of family gifts for that.

I dont think its rude to tell someone what they can buy for your child.You register for bridal and baby showers whats the difference. I have three kids and I would rather them get what they want instead of junky stuff. I hear you about the dollar store stuff I hate it. As for the money, you spend what you can. I know this year we will spend less then in the past. I put a limit on what my mom and dad can buy them too. Yes the saying, its about giving not recieveing is true they are kids and they like to receive and there is nothing wrong with that. I am an adult and I love xmas and my birthday

my sister and I have our kids make different lists for the grandparents. then you can have a different list for Aunts etc and when they ask give them an idea off of that list.

Oh also, I know that Target and Toys R Us also have gift lists that you can create for people to look at and buy from that the list. ( simialar to a baby or bridale registery
C.
AVON REP

Jen, My suggestion to you if your kids already get to much is to suggest to the family out of state that they buy savings bonds rather than a bunch of stuff that has to be shipped to you anyway. May not seem like a lot of fun now while your kids are little but trust me when they turn 16 and want to buy a car all those savings bonds add up. and a family member will see the value in not purchasing and then shipping a lot of little things when they can spend that same money and get something that will last.

Hi J..
I agree with the PP. I completely understand what you meant, but the way it was worded sounded pretty rude and selfish. When someone asks what your sons wants, tell them a specific toy. I don't know much about boy toys, so I love when my 7 year old godson tells me EXACTLY what he wants.
As for teh Dollar Tree...I understand that teh toys are pretty crappy and the older ones don't love them, but last year I bought my 2 year old niece one big gift and then about 10 little things from the dollar tree. She had a blast opening them up!

hi! My 3 kids are the only grandkids on both sides so I hear ya. What's worse is that 2 of them have b-days the week of Thanskgiving and 1 is the weekend after new years. So we get bombarded. They're not 10 but what I did was created a wish list for them on amazon and walmart (my MIL only shops at walmart) with a variety in prices. In the description part, I put their sizes for clothes, TV characters they like, Mickey Mouse, Little Einsteins, etc. I've asked everyone to stick to the list to try to avoid duplicate stuff. I've also verbally told the grandparents that a few toys is fine but if they wanted to spend more money to buy them bonds or contribute to their 529 plan.

Good luck!
J.

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