How Much Should Santa Spend at Christmas?

Well, I don’t know about you lot, but round these parts, it seems that as soon as the pumpkins are binned and the calendar strikes November the conversation takes a sudden festive turn. Actually, when I think about it, with all the toy shops having their big sales in September and October, Christmas chat has been happening for a little while now.

Coincidentally, Ethan’s toy requests started flooding in when Nick Jr decided to start ramping up the advertising slots between shows. (Honestly, one of my most hated things on this planet is the fact that it’s legal to advertise to children). But alas, he is human and much like myself, he seems to be a sucker for a good shiny ad campaign.

The toy request on repeat in our house is The Paw Patrol Sea Patroller. A large, plastic boat that doesn’t seem to do much of anything… And costs £70. I’m pretty damned sickened at paying that money for something that I honestly don’t feel is worth it, so I’ve been scouring internet sales for the last few weeks trying to catch a bargain. After clubbing together with a friend to take advantage of a recent 3 for 2 sale (instead of just buying 3 x £70 products, which was tempting but felt excessive), I managed to get said stupid toy boat for £50! Horrah!

Parenting = Misplaced excitement

My dismay at the cost of this toy also prompted a lot of conversations with friends. How much do you spend on your kids at Christmas? Thankfully, most of my friends are forthcoming oversharers like me, so I gleaned a lot of interesting insights. Full disclosure… Gavin and I have budgeted £150 to very max £200 for Ethan this year. That’s a sum I feel comfortable parting with for a 3-year-old. And he rarely gets toys throughout the year.

To one couple of friends whose budget was £80, they thought we were going over the top. To another couple, they spend £600-£700 per child every year (they have two) and are of the opinion that Christmas is the time for blowouts and excess and that it’s all part of the fun. We have friends who have no budget and just buy within reason and friends who feel that a single gift and some stocking fillers are enough. The conversations have been awesome.

Obviously, everyone is different. Everyone’s budget is different. And how we all celebrate Christmas is different (if we do indeed celebrate it at all!). But I’m super nosey and love to know how other families work behind the scenes.

So do you care to share your Santa budget?
Do you feel like the price of toys is completely ridiculous like me?
And has anyone else noticed this odd trend of people taking pictures of their child’s Christmas/Birthday loot and posting it on Facebook? (perhaps its own topic, but I couldn’t help but throw it in).

xo Santa

mm
Naomi can’t decide which she loves more: adventuring with her boys or being left alone in a luxurious bath with a great book.
Follow Naomi on Instagram @naomiliddell

56 Comments. Leave new

Ok so Father Christmas does NOT get the credit for the big stuff in our house. He does chocolate, books, little bits and bobs for stockings. Mummy and Daddy get credit for any big shiny items, not the bearded one.

Between FC and gifts from us, I’m budgeting about £60-80 for Silvia and another £40 for Paddy. She gets lots of books and the odd new toy through the year and both their birthdays are in March. She only watches CBeebies so thankfully no ads- we don’t have Sky so Nick etc are off limits. Black Friday is my plan for shopping.

600 quid per child just seems crazy to me. I never really understood people I’ve heard interviewed saying they got into debt for kids Christmas presents but if that is what is spent then wow! Like how much stuff do we have or need? That’s a family holiday! I could take Silvia to see her beloved proboscis monkeys in Malaysia for that! Yet another “great for you, not for me” thing I suppose.

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You know Lucy I had never actually thought about where the credit went, but you’re absolutely right! Why should the big man get all the credit… You’ve inspired me to put one of Ethan’s bigger presents under the tree from mum & dad this year!
Also ‘great for you, not for me’ is the best way to look at it.

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I think that’s a really good idea to tell your children that Santa brings the stocking, and all other presents are from mummy and daddy. My little girl will be 7 months at Christmas so far too young to understand what’s going on, but I had wondered how we would approach the whole issue of who buys/brings presents. Don’t get me wrong, I will totally be encouraging her to believe in and embrace santa, but I think parents should get the credit for the big stuff. I work in a school and on the first day back after Christmas we always allow the children to share their stories of Christmas and what presents they got (mainly because they’re so over excited that until we get this part out the way minimal works gets achieved!!) and I’ll never forget one little boy coming up to me at the end of the lesson when all the others had gone out to play and asking me why Santa had bought all his friends an IPad but not him, even though he had put it on his Christmas list. 😥 It broke my heart! Not that he hadn’t received an IPad (personally I disagree with iPads for 6 year olds but that’s a whole other debate!) but that he wondered why Santa had been unfair to him, and had he been naughty? I swore from that moment on that whenever I had children I would always tell them that Santa brings the stocking, but mummy and daddy buy the big things, and then mummy and daddy get the credit (or disappointment depending on how you look at it haha!) over what it under the tree on the big day.

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That’s such a heartbreaking wee story. Poor kid. That’s a good argument for the Parents/Santa divide!“

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I work on a similar budget to that although it’s not set in stone in either direction. Our oldest is almost six and has requested a PlayStation this year after seeing some of his friends with one. I’m having to work hard to explain the value of it to manage his expectations that this will be the only thing he has to open from us this year so his pile will be considerably smaller than his siblings!! It would be easy to fall into the trap of buying more things to top it up but there has to be a line??? Also on a mean mummy confession- our smallest of 3 is one next week and I will probably spend very little on him- he doesn’t need anything- we are suffocating in plastic stuff from the big two that he can use and I would literally be buying stuff for the sake of it when he’s too little to know what’s going on anyway and is more than happy to play with the cordless hoover for hours anyway!

Totally with you on advertising aimed at kids- One friend of ours last year tried to get relatives to buy presents that weren’t ‘things’; stuff like theatre vouchers or annual passes to attractions which I really like the idea of! I have another friend who has older girls in their early teens and works to this rhyme as a guide to buying 4, and only 4 gifts-
Something they want,
Something they need,
Something to wear,
Something to read!

This is my present buying aspirational goal!!

Your post has me twitching to start online shopping!! 😂

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Firstly, sensible mummy, not mean mummy at all! I think the price of Christmas naturally hikes as they get older, so why spend a fortune when they’re that wee.
As for the experiences instead of gifts thing… I try to do this with my niece and nephew. It’s mainly because I don’t want to get them a toy they already have!
I love that rhyme! I may need to adopt that too. xo

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We are spending around £50 on my daughter (4.5 year-old) we’ve got another baby due just after Christmas and are having the house extended so we have to be very careful with our finances especially as maternity leave pay looms! I can understand the temptation to spend much more but don’t want to get us in debt and also the fact she gets so many other toys from family members I know she won’t be phased. I do think that it will be increasingly difficult the older she gets and trying to manage her expectations of what’s affordable (the the above poster said about the PlayStation!) X

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Lottie I dread what we’ll be buying for our kids in future! A class trip to the moon? Virtual reality houses?! Where could it go?!

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WR have three kids aged 5, 3 and almost 1.

We have budgeted £100 per child for Christmas (not including new pyjamas on Christmas Eve).

I stopped the kids watching channel 5 and milkshake because of adverts and use Netflix instead because it was driving me mental.

We buy all of toys from Santa who makes and delivers them, Santa gets no credit here 😂

I think that as the kids get older, they may want/need more expensive things, so the budget may go up to pay fora laptop etc.

My kids get lots of presents from family too so they get more than enough!

We don’t do big presents at Christmas, so the paw patroller boat will have to wait until my 3 year olds birthday! (And until the price drops in the post Christmas sale.

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I love that you buy the toys from Santa! Such a good way to teach the older kids the value of what they’re getting without ruining the magic.

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After many Christmases where the box get played with more than the toy, they spend hours with the 99p cardboard aeroplane rather than the £50 electronic toy or tell friends and relatives that they received a tube of pink smarties for Christmas we are definitely being more strict this year. We’re also doing the ‘four things’ that Rachel mentions and when people ask what the children want we are kindly suggesting that relatives buy tickets for events or day trips so they can spend good quality time with the children rather than more and more toys. This seems to have been popular idea. We are also signed up to our local food bank to do a hamper for a family in need. We know some details of the family and I have explained to my son, 5, why we are doing it. What’s nice is occasionally he’ll see something and say “shall we get one of them for the family Mum?” .

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You’ve inspired me Sarah, I was thinking of doing a Christmas shoebox with Ethan, but a hamper is a lovely (and practical) idea.

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We don’t have a strict budget but I’d say around £80 for my two year old and probably around £40 for my baby. He will get bits from santa- crafting, stickers etc and then a couple of bigger presents from us. I’ve asked grandparents to limit to a present each and money for savings from great grandparents. He was overly spoilt on his birthday and when his sister was born and I think it needs to be tapered! I also want him to enjoy xmas – and realise it isn’t just about gifts!

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Anna, I’ve asked grandparents to limit presents too. My dad’s response: “he’s our only grandchild, we’ll spoil him if we want”. 🙈

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We don’t have a budget as such but my two and a bit year old is getting a micro scooter from us (£16 on eBay versus £95 in JL new…) and from Father Christmas a wooden tea set (Aldi – amazing toys at the min!) and some M&S Paddington chocs with stickers. He doesn’t want or need anything – we haven’t a huge amount of disposable but I have expensive tastes so I’d rather buy good quality branded second hand than a load of plastic tat. The baby will be 8 months and I’m not sure I’m going to get him anything. Maybe a book from us and book from FC, I actually think it’s obscene the amount some people spend on children and wonder how on earth they manage their kids expectations about anything?!

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Thanks for the tip about aldi- we don’t have one nearby, but I’ve just looked online and they have some beautiful toys- worth a trip I think.

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I think your tastes are wise Victoria! And good tip for Aldi, might have a peek in there today for the last couple of stocking fillers.

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I’m surprised.

We don’t have a budget per se but we’re sensible. Grandparents spend £80-ish on one side and £50 on the other, plus Uncles and Aunts but I do try and explain that we’d prefer one useable item than crap loads of tat and I will take it back (or try to). I hate the idea of people wasting money on something I’ll donate to charity. Past gifts from inlaws have been a crazy coupe, a set of nice small dining table and chair for crafting, a slide for the garden, a wooden garage and cars or brio. If I can buy second hand branded like duplo or brio on a selling group then I will and pass the savings onto relatives.

I try not to wait until Christmas to buy clothes just because they need a huge pile. If she needs a coat in October, we’ll get one.

We’re lucky that older cousins are very generous – we recently inherited five or six big boxes of playmobil which get played with daily. I don’t feel the need to buy more just because.

We go away a lot with the children so I’d much rather think about the money spent on a weekend in a safari tent together as a family.

We do a family present of a board game each year so we can all play together on a Sunday night like the Waltons with hot buttery toast and early pajamas. That’s much more my cup of tea.

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I love the vision you just gave me of you guys playing board games with hot buttery toast. Sounds perfect. xo

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Wow! £600- £700, I’m shocked! How can anyone justify spending that on one child? Admittedly mine are still little (4 and 18 months) but I’ve never spent that kind of money on one person and don’t intend to soon. I’ve done a fair amount of Christmas shopping already thanks to the Sainsburys toy sale and a few gumtree bargains, and will probably spend around £80 per child. I aim for one big toy, a couple of smaller toys, a few stocking fillers, something to wear, something crafty and something to read.

Oh and just to reassure you about the Paw Patrol tat; my daughter got the Paw Patrol transporter nearly 2 years ago and it still gets played with by both kids on a daily basis. Bloody ridiculous price, but on a cost per use basis its down to pennies x

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Sara, that actually is a real reassurance. My niece has some paw patrol toys and they do seem to be pretty durable.

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I have one who’s 2.5yrs and one who’s 5mths, and this will be the first Christmas we buy anything for the toddler… is that mean?! He didn’t know and won’t remember. And he got lots of presents from friends & relatives.
We’re also going to wrap up some of his baby toys, for the baby to open – we’re hoping if we do this with him, it’ll stop any future “that’s my toy!” arguments!!
I sound really mean, but they do get bits and lots of books during the year, I promise… 🙈

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I don’t think that’s mean at all. Sounds smart actually! Genius idea to wrap the hand me downs!

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Great idea to wrap old baby toys for the baby – I’m going to steal this idea.

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This is a really interesting one as yesterday I was sorting through the girls xmas presents (yep I’m organised and have most of them now!). You’ll see a post popping up in a couple of weeks about how I’ve realised we need to reign things back in especially as it’s Mollys birthday in a couple of weeks. In previous years there was always something big like new bikes but then they got lots of other bits too so the budget crept up. This year they have no big requests so I have tried to keep it smaller and they also have so much stuff that there is nothing they need. The only thing they have desperately requested is Glimmies which are great as they are about £8 and a singing Dolphin (!). I thought Alice was making it up but it appears that this was viewed on said awful adverts whilst at Nanny’s house. Luckily I tracked it down and it is as hideous as I imagined but it’s what they both want. Plus only £13 on an offer so I figure that’s ok. I’m trying to buy some nice bits from independents this year too (check out Cotton Twist if you want some ace craft kits) and hit little cute local shops wherever we go.

They have so many relatives that we end up with a ridiculous amount of toys so I tend to add in clothes/knickers/socks etc to their presents at home as they enjoy the opening as much as the presents.

In my head I have a £100 budget but it probably more like £150 by the time I have added lots of other bits and pieces. I just have to stop Edd constantly hitting up Amazon as all manner of lego arrives daily!

xx

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Haha – agree. I’ve said below I spend £80-£120 but thats probably total lies if I added up all the bits and bobs. In my head I spend less than £100 but I might be lying to myself 😉

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Really looking forward to that post Lottie! I totally get the sinking feeling when Ethan asks for something that I think is just hideous. I think it might be aesthetic snobbery on my part (“it won’t look very good on a #shelfie 😂)

Our initial budget was £100, but that’s definitely been pushed.

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The question is do you add in pjs, clothes, socks etc in to the budget? I’d be buying them anyway!!!! x

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We’ve had this chat this morning. No I don’t – I’d buy them anyway and I like her to use them before Christmas when we’re going to stuff.

Incidentally, Christmas PJs this year are RUBBISH on the High Street. I have a boy and a girl aged 3 and 1. HOW HARD CAN IT BE TO BUY MATCHING PJs?
Incidentally, for your inevitable Christmas pj post – check out Matalan.
These
https://www.matalan.co.uk/product/detail/s2667492_c438/unisex-wincey-christmas-sleepsuit-tiny-baby-18mths-cream
and
https://www.matalan.co.uk/product/detail/s2667093_c270/unisex-4-piece-reindeer-pyjama-set-12mths-5yrs-navy
are in my basket for this year.

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Excellent. I may have some budget left afterall 🙂 And great PJ recommendations. That reindeer set is brilliant. x

Rebecca I’ve got a boy and girl the same ages as yours and I’ve gone for these ones from mothercare….
https://www.mothercare.com/pyjamas/christmas-pyjamas/983376.html

https://www.mothercare.com/pyjamas/christmas-pyjamas/983025.html

To be honest, we don’t add that into our budget.

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This is soooo interesting!
In my house we too always got the ‘big present’ from Mum and Dad. Stockings were for bubbles, books, colouring things, fun little toys and gadgets. Therefore I do the same with my kids. We probably end up spending about £80 – 120 with the main present being about £40 and then bits and bobs for their stocking. They always get PJs and slippers. From the grandparents we have also done the same as people above and asked for money towards the trampoline, garden swing etc and this year my Dad is getting us Panto tickets as they really do not need much more plastic tat!!
I ADORE Chirstmas but had the mass consumerism that comes with it. We try and get treats but keep it reasonable. For my Christmas is about family, friends, food, drinks, festive spirit and not STUFF. xx

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Loving this post. Our little girl turns 2 just before Christmas & as others have mentioned we are yet to have brought her any Christmas/Birthday presents ever…why? (I feel I need to justify)…we have big families and generous friends and she gets so many beautiful things I really don’t think she needs anything else from us.

Throughout the year we buy her treats e.g. In The Night Garden live show tickets and consider a big fancy family summer holiday always a priority and where she gets quality time with us for 2 whole weeks.

Lottie-just looked at Cotton Twist and will definitely be buying Christmas gifts for my many nieces/nephews for there. Any more recommendations for independents would be greatly appreciated! I have particularly girly nieces and always buy them a beautiful handmade bow from Rose & Bows (on Etsy).

Also any ideas for 8-10 year old boys? so difficult to buy for don’t like to give money at Christmas.

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Cotton Twist is my new favourite. I have a large parcel winging it’s way to me. It’s perfect for relatives and I figured at under £2 the little bracelet sets are great stocking fillers. I’ll get on with an independents post asap for you. I have 9 year old boys to buy for and I get a bit stuck too. Last year I got him a WH Smith voucher and a book to accompany it as he likes reading. Otherwise maybe a nice scarf/hat as the ones I know are just getting in to their fashion. xxx

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Lottie didn’t you do a post on independent stores for kids? Maybe it was just clothes… A toy one would be great!!

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It’s underway already Naomi as have hunted out lots of lovely toys! It may also have meant that today I have added even more things to the wish list! x

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I don’t really agree with such massive amounts being spent, especially on you children, though I can see how it’s easily done and why people do it.
We tend to get one main present and then me and my husband choose a present each for our son. That doesn’t necessarily mean he main present is an expensive one. He is 3 this year so has a better understanding of Father Christmas, and we’ve bought a couple of additional presents this year, but mainly because they will help him with his occupational therapy (he had a surgery earlier in the year that left him with weakness in his hand).
Because of his hospital stay he’s had a lot of gifts this year. And one set of grandparents go nuts which I hate. It takes the enjoyment out of toys, he has so much that he spends 5 minutes with each and then just ends up frenzied!

His birthday in in January so we also have that to handle. I usually end up putting some gifts away for a few months, but we do end up buying him things all year round. Maybe that’s one reason we don’t go mad at Christmas.

I very much like he 4 presents rhyme, may have to mention that one to the grandparents!!

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I’m pregnant with my first baby so don’t have an experience of what we’ve spent on our own child, but from my own experience growing up, and still now, Christmas is a big deal. We go all out on presents (within our own spending capacity) and I definitely spend more on Christmas presents than any of my peers. My parents have always spent a lot and opening gifts has always been about appreciation and enjoyment – nobody is allowed to open things at the same time, we take it in turns to open one at a time and all enjoy the excitement from each other. Have they/do I spend too much? Probably, but I save for it throughout the year, it doesn’t put me in debt, and I enjoy doing it. If my brother and I have wanted things then it’s always been “put it on your Christmas list” which errr, we still do now and I’m 30… I don’t think there is a right or wrong with this, I feel it is very much personal feelings, a bit like how anyone elses way of celebrating Christmas seems weird!! xx

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I think like everything budget is so personal. We’d usually spend £50-£100 and try to get big garden toys or a scooter or whatever age appropriate thing suits that year.

We try to give family etc ideas but if they get given a £50 piece of plastic based on a CBeebies character and they love it, that’s fine with me. There a couple of childrens’ charity shops near us that I donate toys to and I like to think that those plastic character toys they grow out of will make another child happy in a couple of years. My kids understand that and it helps them look after things a bit better which is a bonus!

Any judginess around what people spend on their kids doesn’t sit right with me (and your post wasn’t AT ALL Naomi). Some people happily spend £400 on a pair of shoes or a bag whilst some choose to spend it on their kids at Christmas. I don’t think there’s a right way at all, unless your children are very ungrateful about gifts in which case it might need looking at!

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We spend about £150-£200 on our almost 3 year old. I have to be very restrained to keep within this, as I love Christmas and am a sucker for marketing! Her birthday is in January, which is annoying in terms of gift giving, but I just ask people to give clothes or money as a birthday gift and I keep a toy or two back for us to give her.

We have a newborn this year too and she’s just getting a stocking and maybe a couple of toys. Trying SO HARD to restrain myself with her, as I know it’s unnecessary expenditure and she won’t have a clue what’s going on!

My 14 year old stepdaughter is getting an X Box, but she won’t get a lot of other gifts and we don’t spend that much on her every year.

I always make sure one or two of the bigger gifts are from us and there’s usually one bigger Santa present, plus their stockings. I do a Christmas Eve box for each of them too, which I don’t count in the present budget.

I also know people who spend upwards of £500 on each child (and post the evidence on social media). Personally I feel this is excessive and potentially teaches kids that instant gratification is the norm. I also think it’s so sad for children whose parents can’t afford to spend that much to think that Santa hasn’t brought them the same amount because they haven’t been good. For that reason alone, I wish all parents would limit Santa presents (whilst completely understanding the inclination to spoil your kids).

On a separate note, how annoying is it that plastic tat is ridiculously expensive just because it has a Disney/Nickelodeon character on it? I’d rather spend the money on something like Grimm Toys or T Lab any day (admittedly this may well be for aesthetic/shelfie reasons…) 😊

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I haven’t got any little ones, but my husband and I have recently spoken about our childhood Christmas presents and I think we got a good mix of gifts that I would like to carry one on when we have a family. I would receive one big present such as a bike or a barbie house that I could have accessories for as extra pressies from extended family or for the following birthday. I always got new clothes – it added to the pressie pile and I’m sure I needed them anyway. My other presents would be made up of a couple of craft kits such as cross stitch that would have more longevity than some toys, books, and chocolate/sweets.

It’s so easy to go overboard with children as there is so much choice but I would think around £150 is enough to spend and I could then justify treats during the year.

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Stockings only from Father Christmas, following the ‘four things’ rhyme (plus a satsuma in the toe and a bag of chocolate coins, obvs). I usually spend between £25-£40 on the stocking fillers per child; in my experience they get more expensive to buy for as they get older.

We set a budget of around £100 per child for Christmas gifts. This is a give-or-take figure, less for young ones, and if the eldest wants something particularly expensive we’ll get everyone to chip in and that’s his lot. Matching pyjamas etc don’t come out of this budget because frankly, it’s more for my enjoyment than it is for them!

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Hi there, I am British but living in the Unites States now with my American husband and 2 kids (2 and 6). As you can well imagine Christmas here is huge! And people go all out. Families easily spend $500 or more per child. To each their own, but my issue is when they say Santa got the kids all those expensive things, because then the more sensible parents have to explain to their kids why Santa didn’t get them as much- did they do something wrong?
In our house, Santa gets the stockings and one or two gifts (like something the kids specifically asked Santa for) and we get the rest. Clothes, books, small toys, puzzles.
Thankfully we don’t actually have regular TV and only use Netflix and Amazon prime so NO adverts! My kids have no clue what the “in” toys are which is such a blessing.

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We have a 8, 5 and 3 year old, and Santa always visits us in our house! Each bub gets a present from him, & a stocking (a few little chocs, a book maybe, mini toys/puzzles, colouring pencils etc). We buy them a couple of presents each, and they know they’re from us. (We did learn to keep some of the toys of the older one/s hidden in the loft/at my parents, and then wrap them up to give to the younger ones, and will be doing the same this year, saves some pennies!).

Both our parents and fam go super OTT every year, so I don’t feel the need to buy them a heap of stuff they don’t need on top of that, and I don’t want them to turn into spoilt munchkins who expect a million things each year. (And there’s only so much plastic tat I can fit in a cosy 3 bed!)

My 8 year old is a bit suspicious – she’s asked a couple of questions that have thrown me (she has a friend with an older sister who has told her he isn’t real, gulp!) How do I keep the dream going a bit longer? Not just for her (she’s only 8…too early not to believe!) but if she said anything to Ollie or Seb, can you imagine!!!

Doing a hamper is such a lovely idea Sarah! Will look into doing the same.

And TV ads drive me mad! Bring back the days of circling stuff in the Argos catalogue!

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I remember stumbling across these letters explaining santa on Pinterest and thought they were pretty genius. Although I wouldn’t give an older sibling such ammunition as an actual written letter, it might give you some ideas for how to actually explain it when the day does come. xo

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/explore/letter-explaining-santa/?lp=true

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In our house Santa brings only one present for each of our children ( we have 2 ) and it’s at the end of their bed to wake up to Christmas morning. The children aren’t allowed to ask santa for a big present as he has lots of other children to buy for. So we normally sit through the Argos/Smyths/Entertainer catalogue and they pick an item and write it in their letter to Santa.

I think Christmas budgets definitely differ between every person, I am a splurger and enjoy going all out for Christmas so we don’t necessarily have a budget and We’ve almost completed our Christmas shopping.

Christmas is all about family and not social media, We don’t buy presents to post anywhere to see how many likes we get, nor do we get ourselves in debt. We just spend as much time as possible with all our families making great memories for the kids.

I do like to spend time hunting for great deals though, places like smyths and toys r us are so expensive (unless its present from santa which is allocated max £30) I like to always look on amazon. Or take a trip to B&M and Home bargains.

will their be any posts about Christmas traditions? I love getting new ideas and seeing what other households have as their traditions! X

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I’ll see what we can do Jaime x

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We do a similar thing to the 4 things rhyme but it’s just something to play with, something to wear and something to read so even less! And we apply this rule for his birthday (which is dec 5th) as well. Unfortunately my mum bends the rules by buying a few of each category which drives me nuts! My issue is not so much with the budget because at 2 he’s too little to have a concept of that, but it’s the time it takes to open all those presents. Similar to a poster above, we all open our presents one by one and watch each other so last Christmas with 2 wee ones and 7 adults we literally took ALL day to open presents! Whereas I would much rather we enjoyed the day together as a family playing games and going for walks. My mission is to achieve this this year, wish me luck! Lx

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Love this post! I have a 3 year old and we follow the same christmas ‘rules’ as when I was a child. Santa leaves a stocking with presents and then we buy a present from us. I probably spend around £40 on the stocking gifts and then maybe another £30 ish on a gift from us. Last year we got the Asda wooden kitchen which was on offer for £35. This year, we’re going for a bike which I think may be a bit more expensive!

The relatives go mad with presents and so we try to reign it in. I also try to seek out good bargains. I’ve got some great stuff in Poundland for stocking fillers. A little Super Hero mask and cape set (not cheap looking at all!) and some little Paw Patrol cuddly toys.

Right now, at this age, choosing gifts is easy but I know as he gets older and see’s the TV adverts etc, it will be more challenging!

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My mum has decided to start the Xmas eve box tradition (Ollie is one and her only grandchild, and my sister is 22, so it’s been a while since she’s been able to go Christmas crazy) and so we’ve been on the hunt for Xmas pyjamas. Matalan and Asda are usually my go to for reasonably priced and a good range of clothes. We’ve gone for these, which have matching girls ones too.
https://direct.asda.com/george/kids/nightwear-slippers/reindeer-christmas-pyjamas/G005869158,default,pd.html
These are the girls ones: https://direct.asda.com/george/kids/nightwear-slippers/christmas-deer-pyjamas/GEM584616,default,pd.html

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Love this post and all the comments. My two are 2 1/2 and 18months so just getting into the whole Xmas thing.
We plan to do bigger present from mummy and daddy and stocking from santa.
I saw something once that basically said:
1 educational present,
1 present they can eat,
1 thing they need,
1 they can wear and
1 they have asked for.

Which is probably how we will do Xmas presents this year.
It’s so hard though isn’t it, as I always compare to family members and friends!

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I had a friend at school who told me the deal about Santa maybe not being legit…her bro had told her, and she couldn’t keep it to herself! I was so upset! But my dad left santa footprints up the stairs that christmas night, and I was so happy he was real, I cried! (A lot! Still get reminded of it every year!)

We have a now 9 year old, and last year (at 8) she was questioning him – I found a beaut letter from Santa, (just ordered this years from Classic Santa) and honestly, it did the trick! There were so many things in there that only he knew, that she was completely convinced! We did the footprints up the stairs aswell, and it sealed the deal. (Luckily didn’t question that it smelt like powder and wasn’t snowing outside??!!) I think /hope we have a year or two of it now!

BTW, £600 is INSANE! I’d love it if someone spent that on me, never mind them!

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Hello ladies, I’ve Really enjoyed reading this blog & discussion. Naomi you sparked my interest when we were talking social media before our Yoga practice the other day & here I am loving your work Warrior Mama, and here’s to all you other cracking parents too!!
How lucky all these children are to have such devoted parents, providing all this magic to them in the way of gifts, love, memories. It got me thinking…whilst I can not relate to you lovely ladies from a parents perspective, I do not yet have children of my own, I can somehow relate, having lost my Mother two years ago, and through this growing interest I have in Yoga & Meditation, I can’t help put myself in her shoes now & then and see things from her perspective which relates to a lot of you ladies. You see, my mother was a splash out, shower us with gifts & all the credit goes to Santa kinda gal! Selfless & fantastic, She honestly experienced pure delight in our faces as we opened gifts one at a time & this was so great while we were little. As we got older however, my sister and I expanded our expectations and though she always remained selfless & hard working & probably would stress to provide our gift hunting happiness (all influenced by friends,ads & social media etc but again -another discussion) thus gaining her delight also, but not really teaching us the value of things and essentially all this shit she bought us over the years…..(apologies for the potty mouth) but that’s it isn’t it, it’s just stuff at the end of the day, bloody expensive stuff that brings happiness, but for how long?
Though in saying that, I still laugh at the story of how my Mother went desperately searching for sold out toys including a ‘My Baby All Gone’ & a ‘Boglin’ of all things just to make me, the problem child, happy. Great stories so well worth the stress, I think….
Please may I pass on one kind suggestion from my otherwise, random place in the discussion.
If there was one gift, just ONE, that I could recieve from my Mother now, it would be a letter. Ok, letterS, giving me an insight into her past, the gift of the REAL shit. Like, how my parents felt as I was growing up. What was great in their life at that time, what was hard, how many times a day they said they loved me and loved each other, what they were spending on me at that Christmas & their reasons for this at that time in their life with managing work & family.
– Maybe some of you already do this, but if not might I suggest that along with all these fantastic gifts you are giving to your children each year, write them a letter as well. It doesn’t have to be long but tell them the things YOU LOVE, which undoubtedly will include them. Don’t give it to them just yet, especially if they’re young, but keep writing, a letter a year – giving them the gift of your thoughts & all your family traditions, of all the important stuff we tend to forget. Then chose a time or a special occasion, maybe an 18th birthday, to give it to them. Maybe this is coming from an all female perspective as it’s only my sister and I, in our family but as I say, if there is one gift we would treasure more than anything now, it would be that insight, which would mean the world & that’s much more valuable than an overpriced gift, right?

Just a thought for what we think would be – the BEST gift of all! 🙂

Namasté and Love to you all xx

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Great read!! We live in New Zealand so allowing for currency differences…i set our budget at $100 per child for our oldest two (13yrs old and 7years old). Youngest is 20 months and her main present is a water/sand play table for outside (summer here at christmas) which is $25. Our oldest daughter i have bought new Nikes and designer swimwear (at an outlet mall -never pay full price!) She chose them, so her suprise presents will be stocking fillers. Its harder when older as they have real set ideas of what they love and hate and what they deem ‘cool’ so i have given up buying clothes etc for her and let her choose within budget. 7 year old still easy…lego anything she loves, she wanted a hatchimal…never gonna happen, i told her straight up that i am not spending $100 on a toy that really hatches then does bugger all. So i have compromised and bought some tiny hatchimal toys that were 2 for $10….win win. 😂 babies, thankgod for babies who just love sparkly wrapping paper!!! 😉😉😉😉

I also give all big gifts from mum and dad and stocking fillers are from santa.

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I’m very late to this discussion and usually stick with rock my style, but heartened to see so many people saying they don’t go so overboard. My parents ALWAYS went overboard when I was a child so I never realised it wasn’t normal. I’m not well off and have absolutely stretched myself every year to provide a ridiculous number of presents. I’d easily spend 600-700 per child. My parents would then spend around the same. It isn’t so much about the amount Of money, because I never budgeted, but the number of presents. I wanted something amazing. I’ve been trying to cut down for a few years now and had to have a very awkward and difficult conversation with my parents last year when I told them I want to stop going so over the top. My dad didn’t speak to my mom for a week after they discussed it because he refuses to accept that it is too much and the whole of Christmas is unbelievably stressful because of it. The level of presents my eldest has received is insane. We get up at around 7 and then he will go to his dad’s between 10 and 11 and sometimes he hasn’t finished opening them. I’m setting a maximum budget of £200 per child this year, which seems very mean compared to past years. My eldest has already started talking about the mountains of presents he will receive and I feel very guilty about it but I know £200 is still a good amount. It doesn’t help that his birthday is three days before, with another crazy amount of presents and I seem to end up throwing two parties for it every year!

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