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How much is too much to spend at Christmas?

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I have 3 teens, one is my bio-son (19) and the other two are my step daughters (17 and 14) My question is how much (relatively speaking) do people spend on each kid at Christmas. I'm dealing with my DH's ex who wants to be the girls best friend and has already spent around $600 on each child and is still shopping.  My son was raised a bit more realistic, and only wants what he needs, some new boots and a gift card for some new clothes. Is that sad or admirable? All of us have been together for 7 years and I'm just trying to get an idea if I'm being too logical and rigid on this. These kids have lost the whole concept of money and I'm walking a fine line.  What are some of your thoughts?


by on Dec. 7, 2012 at 7:47 AM
Replies (31-32):
by on Dec. 8, 2012 at 4:57 PM
1 mom liked this

I can't believe people have that much to spend on each kid.

We spent about $175 per kid (two kids, one mine one his both live here ft and they are 11 months apart).  And that was a lot to me.  We spend that every year,  sometimes a little more or less, but on average I would say about $200 each.  I guess it really depends on what you can afford and what you want to teach you kids.

I think even if we could afford to spend $1000 on each of them, we wouldn't.  They would probably get bigger gifts or nicer/more expensvie versions of what they want but I wouldn't spend $1000 on each of them, I would save for college or something.  My kids are already spoiled and entitled sometimes-I wouldn't want to encourage that more by buying them everything constantly. 

by Gold Member on Dec. 11, 2012 at 1:14 AM

Like the other posters said, spend what you can afford, but also, what you can comfortably afford.  We could spend a lot more, but don't.  For example, my DH and I are estranged from his son.  SS doesn't come to see or call us so when we see him at my MIL's house on Christmas Eve, my DH hands him an envelope with $100 in it.   We also give my SD $100, but we also spend $300 on SD for when we exchange gifts with her which we don't do with SS.   My son was raised in the home with DH so over the years he has had a big Christmas at home with us where we spent a lot more on him because of Santa shopping and we still do now that he is grown and married.    So, family dynamics play a role in the wallet too.

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