Friday, December 21, 2012

::christmas strategy::

Lily xmas 2007

I have been taking a personal survey of my friends and family. 

How do you guys divide up Christmas?

Do your kids get that same amount of presents?  The same amount of money spent?  Do you even check that kind of thing?  

We have ages 14, 8, 4, and ten months.  We go with same amount of presents right now.  As time goes by we may have to switch that up a bit.  A teenager always wants some kind of expensive electronic device, but the five year old just wants to unwrap a bunch of toys.  

This year I emailed Santa and we set up a strategy.

Each kid gave one gift to each of the other kids.  For example Max has picked out a gift for Emma, Lily and Quinny.  Each child will also get one gift from Josh and I.  Not two total.  One gift from the parents of this funny farm.  Then Santa will bring five presents on Christmas Eve.  

I find that when I ask people how many gifts their kids get, they all get a sheepish kind of look on their faces.  Like when I ask people in the ER how much they smoke.  "Only a few cigarettes a day."  More like a pack or two a day.  Asking how many presents their kids get is what I call in my head a B.S. question.  Most people lie about the answer.  Maybe lie is too strong a word.  Most people give you an answer that they think is right.  They don't want to be the person that over does it, and makes Christmas into a commercial craziness.  But they also don't want to be a Scrooge.   

When I write that they are getting nine presents, I am not including the gifts Santa brings to the whole family, or the pimped out stockings.  I am just leaving that out.  Or that Santa worked some hard core over time to get the cash to buy those presents.  

Now be honest.  How many presents do you give your kids?  How do you divide up presents?  


  1. We've got it easy here...just one spoiled rotten kid!!!

  2. My parents give the kids the "big gift" not to exceed 100.00. That meant the older one who wants an Xbox will get the Xbox but it is a used refurbished Xbox that cashes in at just over 100. The tween daughter just wants the cash to go shopping, the younger 2 boys want PSP's....which they will get at the used refurbished rate, and the toddler will get 100 worth of toys. My MIL will give nothing....because she has nothing to give. True. As for me and the hubster....we will allow 100 per child(thats 5 children total). (we use to do same amount of gifts but that doesn't work anymore for the reasons you wrote about in your post). That means used xbox games for the eldest and a teen boy necklace, Money for the 12yrold girl, a bike and watch for 8year old, a bike and marble tower maze thing for the 6 yr old, The 3year old gets 100 worth of toys. We also give each child 7 dollars and take them to the dollar store where they pick out one item for each person in the family.....these can be really funny and probably what they will remember in the future. No stockings and no fluff. The kids are aware of the christmas budget and are grateful for what they do get, they don't whine about it or pout on the day of.... I'm lucky that way. I do wish I could spoil them more on holidays, they are great kids with big hearts and deserve a little spoiling....but we can't so we don't and it is the way it is. Unfortunately, neither of our careers provide overtime....just damn salary no matter how many hours you log. And both of us are in non profit social service fields...the type that require a Masters degree but are the lowest on the pay scales. But our hearts are full, and what more can we ask for?

  3. Hmmm, there is not a big pile under the tree. We have always taught that Christmas is baby Jesus' birthday and a time to share love like God did with us... The ages help A LOT (9 n 6 this year) but we work to be a low tech/low budget farm family. My kids bought each other something from their school "Holiday Store" and we parents gave them each a game plus shared family gift. THAT'S WHY I'm WRITING - to say THANK YOU for the idea of the Duck Hunting game you mentioned last year... :-) I found it on clearance and gave to Jack... It's been a BIG hit with all of us! We also gave the Operation game which they love. Santa may or may not bring *reasonable* things they ask for or that he knows they like/want... Soon they will figure out that we are Santa, and just like they thought about him, we are passing along God's love... Jack got an over priced r.c. airplane (cause we knew the whole family-DAD- would enjoy it) and Sarah got a heated mattress pad (not requested. A camera was, but she's had a few that were broken) as big gifts plus books they asked for -all using a Pinterest simple Santa letter format. Stockings are a BIG thing here but full of small items. The fave is always the new battery toothbrush with Hello Kitty etc. Stockings are almost identical and gifts of the same number BUT dollars are not really compared. We have Grandmas that spoil according to their means and too many other folks who give small but appreciated treasures. I prefer to pick up things as I see them on sale and not have to do a big Christmas shop. Still, as I type I realize that it does add up fast no matter how you plan! Really I no longer like all the gifts with Christmas. It's just too much fo me. We are on a tight budget money AND time wise... we bake a special cake/bread tied up with ornaments for too many people and thank clients w something... I guess I get burned out! I prefer to treat my kids throughout the year when they are LEAST expecting it. PLus Sarah's Bday is 2 days after Xmas and my moms 2 after that! ;-P



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