Monday, November 8, 2010

Christmas Budget

So, this is the year! This is the first time we are taking Christmas shopping for our little girl seriously. Before you gasp in astonishment because we have somehow deprived her, remember, she's just two. Her first Christmas she was just 7 months old, so needless to say there wasn't much to get her besides a few little musical toys and a couple of stuffed animals. Then last year, we got her a dancing Brobee (from Yo Gabba Gabba), and 3 or 4 learning type toys. The rest of her gifts came from family. I'm just so grateful that we have such a generous family that just love to buy for her for Christmas. Not that our family has a lot of money or shower her with gifts, but when you have a large family, and everyone does a little, it adds up to a lot for each kid. But this is the first year that we've been thinking about what we are going to get her for Christmas and it's throwing me for a loop.

This year, our budget is TIGHT! We have made it clear to all the adults (who we usually buy for) that we aren't exchanging gifts with them this year and to PLEASE not buy anything for us. I'm also wondering how or what kind of budget we're going to have for the other kids in the family (7 to be exact). I want to get them all something (remember the everyone doing a little adds up to a lot thing) because I love them and don't get to give to them any other time of the year, but I just don't know what they'd like? I'm usually the really boring aunt that buys every kid a couple of books for Christmas, but who knows what I'll do this year. Whatever it is, it can't cost a lot.

So back to the budget for little G....We've been perusing the toy fliers (I'm really impressed that the big box stores have put out some nice catalog type things this year) and I've been jotting down ideas of things that I think she may like. But I'm sort of getting hung up on what to budget for her gifts. What is a general rule of thumb for buying your child Christmas presents? My first thought was $100...a nice, big, round number. But my husband was like, "Uh, no, we can't do that!" So, I threw out $50 and he said that that was more like it. So what do you think? Is $50 for your 2 year old for Christmas too little or too much. I know it's a personal decision that one has to make according to their family's needs, but I'm just wondering what some of you are doing or what you have done in the past.

I do have a little list going of things that I know she'll be happy with.

I think she would love a doctor's kit.

I also want to get her an art easel. These are pretty expensive, so I'm not sure how that will work out.

I also want to get her some dress up clothes,

some play-doh,
some bongo drums,

and some art supplies (I know...weird list).

But since the papers came out, I have fallen love with the Fur-Real walking kitty. And Target has it with their coupon for only $9.99. She loves kitty cats, so I think it could be a favorite.

And I'm seriously considering getting her her first Candyland. Walmart has it for only $5, and Toys R Us has it for $1 (with rebates...but who wants to fool with that). I know she's only two, but I think I want it more for me than her, so whatever. ha!

So, let me know. What is your budget this year? Are you feeling a pinch this Christmas? Do you buy gifts for all the kids in your family? If so, what are some of the things you get them? I'd love to hear your ideas!


  1. Hey, Angie! Its the first time I've read your blog! It looks so professional, you have done a great job with it.

    We have a huge family (15 little ones) & usually I try to get a little something (like $5-10 max) for each child. For the little girls, I go with Claire's at the mall. Around Christmas, they always have cute little purses, jewelry, girly stationary, etc. Last year there was a "2 items for $10 sale", so I got all the girls something there. There was a lot to pick from and they seemed to really like the items. For the younger girls and boys, I have done play-doh, puzzles, & books. The older boys are always the hardest to buy for! Last year, I just got them $10 gift cards to Game Stop (there are only 2 older boys). Luckily, we have mostly girls in our family!

    For our girls, I have always gone a little bit crazy. But this year, we are on a much tighter budget. Emma has a lot of medical bills & I've only been working 2 days a week, so our budget has never been tighter. We decided this year to spend about $100 on each of them. But I've been saving up for that for the last month, just putting up $10 here and there, so I think we can do that. Our girls also get so much from family, especially grandparents, so we are very blessed in that area, too.

    One thing we got for Katie is the Crayola Art Studio Easel. It was only $30 at toys r us with a coupon ($5 off $25 purchase) & since I also bought some other art supplies made by crayola & spent $50 total, I got more crayons & markers free (that was the promotion they were having at the time). That was a couple weeks ago. Right now, Toys R Us is having a "buy 2 get 1 free" deal on all Melissa & Doug puzzles. I bought 6 of those & just spent $40, & they are really nice puzzles. Those are going to be gifts for some of the cousins.

    Anyway, hope that gives you an idea or two! Hope you & Gabby have a great day!

  2. In the last several years, buying for extended family just hasn't been possible. Last year I created Christmas Jars for every child on my list. It had candy, chap stick, coloring sheets, Christmas pencils, and a little craft.

    My kids do get a lot from extended family, and I don't believe they need a ton of toys to open Christmas morning. We focus on a Christmas outfit for pictures and one or two toys each. This year they are wanting the Pillow Pets which are $20.00 each. We might get them something else to share.

    Whatever you decide, the time together is the most important part.

  3. Hi there!

    This is an excellent question, and I am only sorry that I am late in responding.

    We too are definitely tighter in our budget this year. What we were able to do though, is pull $50 from our monthly clothing budget and use that for the months of November and December. We will use that, and another $100, spending $100 on each kid. We will use that for our gift from Santa, and then the individual gifts for them.

    My son is 3, so he is starting to know what is going on and he is so excited about presents. My 11 month old little girl, not so much. But all she has are VERY boyish toys, so this is a good chance to get her some girlie stuff.

    I am hopeful that we won't use all of the money on them for sure.

    Regarding the kids in the family, we generally have a baking day and bake things for them. That always goes over really well.

    Good luck deciding!

  4. Everyone has a different budget and a different idea of what makes "Christmas", where the kids are concerned! I have a 4 yr old and I am getting him six gifts, 3 from Santa, 3 from me, plus stocking stuffers. I have been picking up little things for most of the year, so I am not quite sure of the total amount spent, but I think the most expensive item was $30.
    I don't have many extended family member who buy for him (I was an older--way older--mom and am widowed, and there are no grandparents)so most falls to me. He gets a present from his big brother, my sister,my niece and a family friend. But what is most important is a happy child! And mine is! We do fun, low cost or free things between Thanksgiving and Christmas, such as see Santa at the mall, bake cookies together, drive around to look at Christmas lights, make a gingerbread house. We also choose a family less fortunate to buy something for, to keep us focused on the real reason for the season!

  5. After packing up all my children's junk, I mean things, we have decided to buy them one nice present each and a few little together gifts like movies or video games. As for extended family, we buy for our nieces and nephews and I do a theme basket of some sorts for my brothers and their wives, this year I'm doing a date night theme with popcorn, candy and a DVD.

  6. I wish I could remember what I got our kids when they were 2 {they are 23 and 20 now}! I was a SAHM and it was tight for us for the first one, at least. I think I bought my daughter one "big" thing, which was also the expensive thing and then the rest was little stuff. I think they are more interested in unwrapping the stuff than the actual stuff! I'll bet you can find some acceptable toys at the dollar store, and $50.00 seems right for a 2 year old.

    For the kids in the family, I know that I am thinking of making a crayon and marker carry along that rolls up out of placemats. It will require sewing some straight lines to make the crayon and marker slots. I know I've seen variations on other blogs, so I'm sure you could find directions and do something similar. I'd definitely go the making it route; that's the least expensive way I think.

  7. We are doing 3 gifts for our 4 year old this year (I posted about it recently and the biblical meaning to it all). We got her a dr. kit at Walgreen's for $6.99 and it has all the tools! Wanted to let you know about that deal. I was super excited to find it! Plus, I used some Register Rewards to pay for it!
    I think $50 will more than cover what you want to buy for her. Honestly, you could even lower it if you are not getting any expensive items (dollhouse, etc). That is the beauty of young children...They don't know how much things cost. Save your money now while you can. Before you know it she will be asking for expensive gifts :/
    Hope this helps!

    Thanks for leaving the comment on my blog :)

    In His Grace~


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