This is not a debate and I don't want any mommy wars. But I would love some input from other moms.
Backstory on this is that we have a friend who loves to buy her (only) child presents for holidays and birthdays. She gets probably 20-30 presents (or more) for each. Now this seems like an awful lot to me (which I have half said but can't say outright). This year DD got 3 presents from us for her birthday and 8 for christmas. We probably spend about $75 on each bundle of stuff. And we did save up for the playmobile castle from Santa. It was spendy, but it was on sale so we got a really good deal. We also spent easily $100 on each of the teenagers. We felt that this was a lot and actually had to make ourselves get a bit more for DD cause she doesn't really need more stuff. It was hard to find enough things she really needed or wanted.
But now I wonder. Did we do too little? Are other families getting their children 20+ presents for their birthdays and christmas? Is this just an only child thing? Is our $100 (about 5-10 presents or 1 for the teens) per child limit cutting the kids short?
So, out of curiosity (and not one-upping each other!) what did you do for you kids this holiday? Or for their birthdays? I am trying to get some perspective.
Omg 20 presents? NO NO NO.
In my family growing up, we got one present at Christmas from our parents, then one from each parent after they split up, and one from Santa, plus we all bought for each other. In my family now, Dave & I buy the kids maybe 4 or 5 things plus something from Santa. 1 of the things is a big gift, the others are small, like books and smaller toys.
Birthday is usually one special present from us.
I think 20 presents is crazy and I actually think we overdo it on Christmas. My in-laws buy multiple things for everybody and it's definitely a bit much for me.
$100 per kid is awesome and generous and lovely, if you can manage it. And it's not about what you spend. Some years the thing they really want isn't expensive at all, but it thrills them.
Laurie, mom to:
Nathaniel ( 10 ) and Juliet ( 7 )
Baking Adventures In A Messy Kitchen (blog)
My girls got more than 20 gifts each, but only because I went to a used book store and bought books that I wanted them to have regardless for a dollar or so each. Many educational books on bugs and animals and such. Also readers and chapter books for the older two girls. I also got new hair things that they would have needed anyway. We have never given very expensive gifts. They each got one $10 play gift (Dora doll, Barbie, stuffed horse) and a few craft things (play dough, latch hook rug kit) and other productive gifts. I would guess we spent $150 all together on 3 girls with none of the gifts being more than $15 each.
Every family is going to have different traditions when it comes to gifts. I do not want my girls to expect really expensive gifts from us, because that sets the stage for needing to get lavish gifts for the rest of their lives.
If it was all books I wouldn't bat an eye! You can never have too many books imo. Especially at $1 a piece.
We can't do the $100 every year but we try to save that to treat the kids. (Adults get $10-$30 gifts) Some years it hasn't happened and we have done smaller, cheaper, homemade etc. I actually try to do as much homemade as I can each year. Growing up we were on social assistance and didn't have the money for christmas. My mom had us crafting for much of the fall to have gifts to give. I am teaching DD to do the same thing (this year was hand painted magnets). Some of my favorite presents were the ones my mom made for me.
For Christmas, my girls get 2 presents from hubby and I, and about 4-6 from Santa. One of the Santa gifts is a big one (this year a Chromebook) and it is usually something they share. Our tree usually looks empty compared to the pictures I see on FB, lol.
We actually don't buy our girls a gift for their birthdays. We throw them a party and then take them out somewhere special (without their sibling). For us, birthdays are a cause for celebration but not necessarily with gifts. More about memories I guess.
Each kid gets exactly three gifts on Christmas morning. Their stockings are stuffed with silly things like bandaids and toothbrushes and dino eggs (bath fizzy things) that may cost about $20 total? but are fun and I wrap them all. We do NOT spend a lot on their christmas presents, but we do do a lot of Christmas activities (ie go to shows like the nutcracker, breakfasts with santa, movies etc). We try to invest more in experiences/traditions than the actual presents. For their birthdays they usually get one larger gift (bike or something) and a few small things like an item of clothing and a book. We don't do birthday parties every year, either, just every other. The birthday party thing can get a little extravagant around here and we don't want our kids to think that that is normal or to be expected, at ALL.
I think what you give is what you give. I think 20-30 a kid is crazy but it depends on what you are counting. If I counted all the little things in their stockings, their santa stuff and our gifts it would be 20. If I counted "real" presents it wouldn't
We spend about 200.00 per kid at Christmas (includes stockings and Santa) and about 100.00 on birthdays. Sometimes that seems low to me but I think it depends on your family, your ability to spend and probably a regional thing. What we spend is not out of the norm here.
I think that this is one thing that will totally differ on the family.
My kids have a very small Christmas compared to most of my family in the west. They get a present from us, a present from my parents, a present from my brother, and a present from Santa, as well as a stocking. But most kids they go to school with only get a single present from Santa. So it is a teaching opportunity for us on "how not to be a jerk." We role-play with the kids so they don't go to school and say "I got this and this and this and this." They need to know it makes others feel bad.