20 answers

Roughly How Much Do You Spend on Each Kid at Christmas Time??

Just wondering what others do for Christmas when they have more than one kid?? I have a 7 year old and a 3 year old and the 7 year old is now getting into more expensive stuff we have a wii and he has a Nintendo DS the 3 year old really doesn't care still but her birthday is 3 days after Christmas and we do keep it seperate so what would be a good amount to spend on each kid or what do you do buy one big gift for the both then some smaller ones for each kid? Thanks

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow what great advise and ideas!!My husband and I spoiled our son for those first 3 years when we didn't have our daughter so yes I do feel like I have to live up to those days but last year was great they each got the same amount and this year we are on the Dave Ramsey plan so we are on a tight budget but I am saving each week.Plus last year I did tell my son that Santa was helping out other kids more this year that needed it and didn't usually get anything and he looked at me with those sad eyes and said some kids don't get anything so we had a great talk out of that! My husband and I sat down last night and talked about Christmas and how much we were spending on each kid and my daughters birthday which is only 3 days later.

Featured Answers

I also have 2 children, ages 5 and 2. I like to buy one main gift for each of them (priced between $50-$100), then a few smaller gifts like a Barbie, books, doll, etc. It's hard to not go overboard, but like other people have said, they get overwhelmed after opening a few things. My goal this year is to try to keep it simple, and also to teach them about giving to those who are less fortunate.

2 moms found this helpful

I would just keep it even. Do what you can afford. Do not put things on credit pay cash. Each year can be a different amount, as long as it is even.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I buy things all year, so it's hard to come up with a number, but I shop sales and clearances, so I would guess it's 50 or less. We try to get one thing she would really want (last year it was a little farm playset) and then things like coloring books and regular books. Of course, she's only 3, but she gets so much from everyone else, it's hard to want to spend alot, but we want Santa to give her something special every year.

3 moms found this helpful

We spend nothing on Christmas or birthdays! Our kids get so much stuff in the mail from relatives, it's already way too much stuff! They get bored opening half way through, or they just want to open stuff and don't focus at all on what's in the presents. I've been known to stagger them one or two per day and then a couple on Christmas, so they don't get in the habit of the "Christmas mountain of presents". When they get a bit older and into bigger stuff, we may do one nice thing (but not too outrageous since they should earn big ticket stuff) for each and a couple of smaller ones if the deluge from the mail has stopped by then. Averages say, kids only care about the first 3-5 things they open. After that is excess and the fun is lost, so no point overdoing it. Also, dollar value is totally lost on kids. They will enjoy a thoughtful cheap gift you will play with them as much as an expensive one.
My 4 year old daughter's absolute FAVORITE thing she got last year was a cosmetic box from Target I got for $2.99 where she now keeps her barbie clothes, or finger puppets, or tea cups, or whatever she likes best at the moment. She plays with that box every day, and makes sure it's right on her dresser by her bed every night. She pointed it out one day when I was buying mascara, and when she got it for her birthday she was thrilled to recognize it. Save your money!

3 moms found this helpful

i see people writing that they hardly give anything because other family members give so much. i have a 7 year old and a 5 yearold boy and girl. I hate that grandparents go so over board, at least $500 per kid, some includes new sheets and clothes and things but a ton of "special" toys too. It makes me mad because i want to be giving the big stuff, but that is how my husbands family has always been, grrrrr.
to answer your question though, I can't think of a group gift that would be appropriate for both a 7 yo and a 3yo. so i would probably do separate, and maybe a little less on the younger one since they don't care as much and because bday presents are coming soon.
we personally budget $300 per kid, which i think is too much, but it looks so small compared to grandma's gifts. so that's my stinky situation.

2 moms found this helpful

You are in the sam eboat as myself. I have a 3 year old whose bday is Dec 17th. I use to spend about $200-$250 and then split the gifts up for each day. We are expecting baby #2 on Christams day so this will be decreasing and I think we are going to do $50-75 fro bday and $100-$150 for Christmas. ( I also have hubby's bday Dec 27th hehe). I shop all year so I usually buy all the stuff on sale and then go through what I have in Oct or Nov. then its not such a blow to the wallet adn I have stuff that I didnt give her last year so she can get this year. As far as big gifts like the DS, if it is a big pinch to your pocket ask family members to go in together to get. I purchase a big gift for Christmas (about $50-$100) and then a bunch of smaller ones. I will be feeling your pocket pain this holiday season :) Good luck

2 moms found this helpful

We have Christmas, then 2 weeks later we have our twins' birthday and then 2 weeks after that we have our older one's birthday. Each child gets 3 actual gifts, with atleast one item for each child being hand-crafted by me, and then they each get a game or one large gift for all 3 to share and then 2-3 stocking stuffers each. We try to remind our girls the true meaning behind the gifts they get on Christmas morning and each gift is chosen out of love and not just because it's something that happens to be "in" during that time. I keep in mind that they still have grandparents & aunts/uncles who also still gift items to our girls as well. Price should be based solely on your income and what you feel comfortable spending. Personally, we spend no more than $150 on each child, simply for the fact that we refuse to go in debt over gift-giving.

2 moms found this helpful

What one family considers normal another family might consider extravagant. It just depends on your income and expenses and what you can afford. If I said I spent $1000 a child (I have two kids) I would get gasps from mothers on here who would think that was excessive. However, they have no idea what my income is. (I don't spend that on my kids, but I'm saying that I wouldn't give you a dollar amount because it doesn't take into account income and other things.) I think you should just keep it even and get them a few nice things and try not to overdo it. Christmas shouldn't be about getting lots of gifts.

2 moms found this helpful

Kids do not know or care about the "amount" only about "what they are getting".

2 moms found this helpful

I also have 2 children, ages 5 and 2. I like to buy one main gift for each of them (priced between $50-$100), then a few smaller gifts like a Barbie, books, doll, etc. It's hard to not go overboard, but like other people have said, they get overwhelmed after opening a few things. My goal this year is to try to keep it simple, and also to teach them about giving to those who are less fortunate.

2 moms found this helpful

I usually buy a one special gift that they may have been really wanting and a few smaller gifts. My dollar amount is 300 for each child. My older ones now want things like socks , shampoo and things that are needed. I make a huge care package for them and I will give them $$. My youngest is at home so he still gets that special wanted gift. They usually never know what I am going to get because I believe gifts should be a surprise. I do put lots of thought in what I think they may enjoy.
I save my change from January until October. This is how I Christmas shop I save it all then cash it all in!! So I never go over budget I always have enough. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

I would just keep it even. Do what you can afford. Do not put things on credit pay cash. Each year can be a different amount, as long as it is even.

2 moms found this helpful

i wonder if you're feeling pressure to measure up, from your kids, or from neighbors or peers...but i bet if you stop and think about it, you know in your heart that rather than spending energy worrying about "how much", maybe you could turn that around and use that time and energy to enrich your children's lives, by teaching them gratitude and appreciation for the hard earned gifts you are able to give them.

to answer your question, i was one of four, and christmas was always a wonderful time. i doubt they spent $100 on us ever. maybe $50 or $60. there were always times when one sibling needed something more expensive, but it wasn't an issue - the next year it would be someone else. or we'd all get about equal, if there wasn't a specific need to be filled. i am sure my mom felt the same pressure you are feeling, (in fact i know she did, she commented recently as we were looking at old photos, how lame our christmas "spread" looked that year), but we had GREAT christmases. i don't think any of us begrudged anyone their gifts...we had a ball. i now deliberately don't spend a ton on my son, he is an only, and i don't ever want him to think he is entitled to things just because we "can" give them to him.

1 mom found this helpful

When it was just my 2 boys, we did $150 each on Christmas and $75 each on birthdays. Last year we added a baby girl and I spent much less than that on her. When she starts catching up in years, we may lower the price per kid a few bucks, but not substantially. Maybe $125/$75 or something like that. They have a lot of stuff now so cutting back would probably be good timing for us anyway. If something "big" comes up like a gaming system, etc... we would probably go over budget on a case-by-case basis.

1 mom found this helpful

My mom's family still fights to this day about who got less or more growing up (it's ridiculous). Because of that my mom was always incredibly insistent that gifts at our house be equal. Not just in monetary value (I have gotten two or three dollar bills in my stocking to even it out before), but also in the number of things to open. If that means having silly little things wrapped up (like a pack of gum), so be it. Luckily, my sister and I never felt like the other got more. If anything, we felt guilty for getting as much as we did and felt the other got less! Your 3-yr-old doesn't get it yet, but the 7-yr-old probably does. I'm not saying you need to go to the extremes my mom went to, but you may keep an eye on how they react to things throughout the year. If it seems to be an issue, then consider evening out the number of things to open. Although, my thought as an adult is to say if you feel like the other one gets more, what if you both get less? But I digress...

With respect to how much to spend, as one person posted, there are too many variables to say what would be appropriate for you, but I would think that you shouldn't spend more than you can afford. Don't charge anything. If that means $50 per kid for you, then $50 it is. Our big, expensive gifts were always from Santa, and the rest of them were from our family. That kind of gave my parents some flexibility in the lean years. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

We gave our daughter a nintendo one year, but we called it a "family gift". This means it was from Santa to "mom, dad and daughter" on the tag.

I purchase small things throughout the year. Our daughter receives a lot from relatives, so under the tree from us is not expensive gifts as much as things she enjoys. Books, puzzles, art stuff, some clothing items and a little cash.

1 mom found this helpful

About 100 each.....(I have two). We try to get about the same amount of gifts per kid and in that is presents (opened and under the tree) from Santa.

1 mom found this helpful

used to spend about 300 on my daughter, but now that i have two kids probably 150 each

1 mom found this helpful

they get so much from other family members that we don't spend as much. Sometimes we will splurge on a family gift like 3 years ago when we bought the xbox 360 but we spend 50-75.00 for each kid and we usually get them a video game/accessory or movie, and clothes. They do get A LOT from other family members..(at least 4-500.00 each if you add their gifts all together)

We spend 100.00 each for their birthday and would rather spend more on their birthday to make their day more special. They get so much at Christmas that it actually gets overwhelming especially for little kids and they usually don't play with everything they get for a few months.

Determine the amount you want to spend by how many gifts they have received in the past. If you have a small family you may want to spend a little more than we do but I have a huge family and they get a 15-20.00 gift card from each family and my hubby's family spends a lot more because he has a smaller family and our 3 kids are the only grandkids, nieces and nephews on his side so they like to spend a lot on our kids for Christmas.

I do try to make sure they have the same amount of gifts to open. If they are gifts for all 3 of them to share I will write which kid should open that gift on the gift 1st. That way they get even amount to open but they do know that some are shared gifts. You can always grab some dollar store stuff and wrap them individually to make up the difference or separate outfits when wrapping them to even them out.

My MIL will send the Christmas money before Thanksgiving so we can get good deals on Black Friday so that helps a lot with getting the more expensive items cheaper and can usually get them a few nice outfits with the money we saved. I send her a list of what we buy with her money and she is always amazed at how many items we get. She doesn't live close to outlet malls or good shopping sales.

1 mom found this helpful

While they are still young, you probably won't have to worry about spending even amounts on them. Try to get at least the one thing or few things that they ask for, and then see what your budget allows after that. When they get a little older & understand the cost of things (and probably no longer believe in "Santa") then you will probably have to switch to try to spend the same amount on each kid. The amount of course depends on what your budget will allow.

My parents have always kept a portion of their savings for Christmas presents. The bank they use lets them split their account up & give each section a name ("Christmas", "Ski Trip", "Summer Vacation", "Car Repairs", etc). Then they can add a certain amount to each account per month. So by the time Christmas time rolls around, they've built up a special savings just for gifts. :) One day I'll get to this point.... haha

Our daughter is 4 & for Christmas & birthdays, we just do what we can at the time. She's too young to notice how much or how little she gets. Our income has been up & down, so we do our best!

1 mom found this helpful

The three year old will not know or care how much you are spending on him/her. I wouldn't worry about it. Just get each child what you feel is an appropriate number of gifts. It probably makes sense that you are spending much less on the younger child right now, and that's fine. It will all even out eventually.

1 mom found this helpful

When my kids were little I bought them an equal number of gifts but not always equal on money spent. Now they are older (11 & 9) so I spend the same on each but not always the same number of gifts. We spend between $250 and $300 on each child depending on the year.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.