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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:42 pm
Posts: 186
Hello all,
I just wanted to get a light-hearted, varied opinion on how many presents is enough. My reason being that in the past we have way overspent at Christmas on our DC's but I'm ashamed to say I've only just noticed that in the last couple of years since we stopped being able to afford to do it. They have only ever really got gifts on birthday and christmas (so no toys throughout the year) & therefore felt justified to buy all year for these events, I'll reveal how much I spent purely to give you an idea what I mean. I used to budget £600 each plus a big present (usually some form of games console etc) and I would always spend more than my budget, so we're talking approx £1000+ each :oops:
Now having dug our own grave, I'm struggling to realise what people do averagely spend on their DC's. I thought if people didn't mind divulging, not necessarily the amount but how many presents etc. Just so I can guage what's fairly normal, I'm struggling to deal with only spending £200-300 each this year, yet feeling this may still be too much???

Used to think my DC's weren't greedy as they've never, ever given me any trouble with the 'I want' tantrums in shops etc, been very lucky, but then lovely 10 year old DD gave me her xmas list for this year, 5 A4 pages long beginning with Blackberry Curve, Notebook, 3DS & DSi!!! :lol:
Had a small issue in that youngest 2 DC's still slightly believe in the big man himself, so even though I've explained that the recession has hit him too, they seem to think he'll at least bring their main wish which is the 3DS, oh well they have been a little naughty now & again............... :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:28 pm
Posts: 2439
I usually buy one main present, plus a few smaller ones, plus a stocking from f.c.

The main present is up to £75-£100, and the other presents £5- £30. Eg, computer game,CDs, nicer clothing. Stocking presents have smaller gifts. Ie up to £10.

To use a cliche, only spend what you can afford, whether £50, or £500. Also, fewer, thought out presents appropriate to the recipient is better than random, larger presents.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:42 pm
Posts: 186
Completely agree PC, just learning too late :oops: !!

Needing a bit more educating and replies like this are just what I want to hear really, to remind me what should be the norm!!

I'm learning......slowly, getting much better at the only spend what you can afford, cut up credit cards 2 years ago hence the struggle, it's hard but much more satisfying to buy only what you can, rather than have a 'worry about it later' attitude, I couldn't go on like that any more. Just bring on the decade when they're all paid off.......... :roll:

DC's are great, they really understand but what is hard is trying to explain that even Santa can't bring all their requests this year, they're used to 2-3 very large sackfuls plus stockings and that's completely our fault as parents for doing that, big learning curve!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:55 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:09 am
Posts: 646
We were always very crafty, and told DC, that some of their presents were from Father Christmas and some from us, but never differentiated which. I think we also told them that presents from FC were not huge, in order to justify why not every child got big presents.

Back to your question, ours normally get a big present (Xbox with Guitar Hero for both of them one year, iPod touches another, Kinnect to go with the Xbox last year), along with one or two Xbox games, and then stocking fillers of the obligatory socks, pants, chocolate coins, scarf, hat, PJs, sort of thing. So I suppose adding it all up it comes to about £200 each. However, unlike yours, mine do get things during the year, eg if they need a new bicycle or mobile phone. I'm normally happy to spend about £80-£100 for a PAYG phone for them every couple of years, as that seems to be how long they last, however if they want something more flashy then they'd have to ask for it for Christmas.

Out of curiosity, what do your DC get that comes to £1000?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:35 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:42 pm
Posts: 186
Well that's just the shame of it SSM, I used to buy just a load of junk, if I thought they would like it, I would buy it. I'd start with the big one i.e. usually a games console, but along with that 4-6 games, then board games, books, puzzles, lego, cd's, dvd's, cars you name it they got it. Our house (and this is with several clear outs) is still like a library & toy shop, we have so many board games that I very rarely have been able to find a new one to buy!! To be fair they all read, they all enjoy the board games and all sit and do puzzles so it's not been a waste, there isnt one thing left that they don't use, but I feel a complete fool for doing that as there's been no need to get so much :oops:
I love your idea of saying the presents are mixed, I only wish I'd started with that story :lol: , it's going to be the last year that there's a glimmer of belief left in this house so I'll struggle to change the story now. I have told them to only ask for around 4 things from Santa, but with DD asking for a Blackberry Curve as well as a few other bits, she just wont get it, in the past I would have done just because she'd asked Santa but as she's only 10 and will definitely need a phone in September for school then she can wait :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:02 pm
Posts: 662
Location: Herts
Frustratedmum , although my Christmas spend has never been in your league, I am embarressed to look back at how much I have wasted over the years on toys / games. I hate it when we have a clear out & I find rarely used things the children have grown out of.

This year my DC are 15 & 11 so toys are no longer on the agenda! The older one has a great long list of clothes / shoes etc, the younger one wants contact lenses (not getting them!). I have a vague budget - about £150 each + small stocking stuff. I could afford to spend more but I won't. It sounds awful & I don't mean to offend anyone, but I think buying kids (especially ones my youngests age) the latest must-have phone etc is madness. I do buy things throughout the year though, & both my children play sport at a high level which means a lot of pricey kit etc.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:15 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2093
Location: Birmingham
Maybe Eid just doesn't have the expectation of Christmas :D and there are 2, rather than 1, per year, but I budget around £50 per child on presents for each one.
I also give in charity in each one's name so that the older ones know what has been spent and they're happy that a child in great need has benefited from their gift. Don't mean to sound preachy...just being honest.

There are 5 children so it is (imho) an expensive total £250 - I don't spend it all at once but buy things in sales and save them up throughout the year so it looks like more than £50 each has been spent as I get some good bargains! They get £10 each from each set of Grandparents too. All of them save this in their accounts except ds2 who spends it immediately :roll: .

Most of the presents are books and clothes, with at least one good toy each.

The presents are wrapped nicely and placed ready for Eid morning - we unlock the lounge door when we get back from Eid prayer - and they seem pretty happy :D Apart from dc4 who always complains about something but is just one of those awkward characters :roll: He is 4, so has not yet mastered the art of gratitude :lol:

I don't have any credit or store cards out of choice and just wouldn't have the budget to spend higher. My dh says they used to get 50p each on Eid :lol: and were really happy....

I was brought up with Christmas and despite being from a comfortable background, tended to also get books and clothes, with a few toys (I remember getting plastic high heels one year (the type found in pound shops) and being so happy :oops: ), and of course, a tangerine in the bottom of the stocking!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:47 am
Posts: 3310
Location: Warwickshire.
My children have had big presents in the past; one year my daughter had a Wii and my son had a video camera. This year they will get only small, needed presents due to lack of finances. They're 15 and 13 (on Wednesday) and we just can't do it this year. I doubt it will add up to even £50 each. Probably not even £30.
My hope is that we will celebrate in a different way this year. Family time, board games, Christmas films, some nice food.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 5922
Ed's mum wrote:
My children have had big presents in the past; one year my daughter had a Wii and my son had a video camera. This year they will get only small, needed presents due to lack of finances. They're 15 and 13 (on Wednesday) and we just can't do it this year. I doubt it will add up to even £50 each. Probably not even £30.
My hope is that we will celebrate in a different way this year. Family time, board games, Christmas films, some nice food.


We had a year like that EM, and it was just fine. So fine, in fact, that my lot have actually asked us not to buy them much because they preferred it. And we were never in the big league like some on here - maximum £100 for a present and if they want anything more expensive, they have to either save towards it (grandparent gives small amount of pocket money) or if others ask what they want for Christmas, they ask for money towards whatever it is. The stockings are the best bit (they still say that) and they don't need to cost much -I am adept at dressing up as presents things they need anyway - socks, shower gel, pens - if you get to unwrap it it's more fun.. It is a myth that kids need a load spending on them - and possibly another that they won't care, but if you handle it right, with children that age, they will learn a more valuable lesson about what matters than lavishing a load of stuff on them.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:51 pm
Posts: 144
My two get so many presents from Grandparents etc that we spend about £50 on each of them, they have never complained, one year we did buy them a wii...but that was for both of them. We dont spend what we cant afford :)


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