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View Poll Results: How many gifts do you typically give your kids for Christmas?
One big gift 0 0%
Two or Three 16 21.62%
More than 2 or 3, but less than a dozen 40 54.05%
You lose count 13 17.57%
You don't exchange gifts at all 5 6.76%
Voters: 74. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-20-2009, 02:16 PM
belladonna belladonna is offline
Join Date: Feb 2001
How Many Christmas Gifts do you Typically give your Kids?

Pretty self-explanatory question. Myself, I always got way too much as a kid, and only a few gifts really stick out that I still remember now. Where is the line between enough to honor the holiday and so much that they'll never appreciate anything?
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:22 PM
MsWhatsit MsWhatsit is offline
Join Date: Jul 2000
We don't have a quota per se. It usually winds up being one "big gift" per kid, and then a small handful of other gifts. I try to keep it under the threshold of gift overload. I would say it usually winds up being maybe 4-5 total gifts per child. I also make them new Christmas PJs every year, but that doesn't count.

A friend of mine gets 5 gifts per child every year, using the philosophy of: Something they want, something they need, something to read, something to wear. And then one gift from Santa.
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:22 PM
Velma Velma is offline
Join Date: Apr 2002
I don't have a number of gifts set but I do stick to a $100 budget per child. Plus maybe some stocking stuffers like new crayons, drawing paper, etc. They usually get 1 'main' gift and then 2-3 more depending on how much stuff costs. Considering they also get things from grandparents and aunts/uncles they still get a haul every year.

(disclaimer...around Christmas I tend to save anything I would have bought them anyway for them to unwrap. Thus clothes they needed or winter hats, etc. get given as 'gifts' just because they like to unwrap things and it makes getting new socks more exciting (my kids are 5 and 2). But I don't count these in the budget.)
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:27 PM
Dung Beetle Dung Beetle is offline
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Location: Florida
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I think I use a general guide of: One really good (read: expensive) gift from Santa, one smaller gift from parents (usually clothes or books), plus the traditional Christmas morning stocking and the traditional Christmas Eve pajamas.

All children who are not my own get books.
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:29 PM
Rushgeekgirl Rushgeekgirl is offline
Join Date: Aug 2000
I buy my little girl probably a dozen presents but they're mostly Family Dollar deals. Today I got her a play tea set and dishes for five dollars. She gets coloring books and crayons in her stocking with candy. I'm planning one gift over ten dollars; a Tinkerbell DVD.

Her big sister won't get as much because all she wants is a gift card.
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:53 PM
belladonna belladonna is offline
Join Date: Feb 2001
Originally Posted by Velma View Post
(disclaimer...around Christmas I tend to save anything I would have bought them anyway for them to unwrap. Thus clothes they needed or winter hats, etc. get given as 'gifts' just because they like to unwrap things and it makes getting new socks more exciting
Ha! I do the same thing. My "boring" gifts are usually school uniforms or underwear. I love the looks on their faces when they realize they've been had.
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:00 PM
Voyager Voyager is offline
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Deep Space
Posts: 34,495
This is all the fault of my wife's family - I didn't do Christmas before we got married. We only give presents to immediate family, but we like lots of presents. The lots include trivial ones. For instance, if we buy mystery books for my daughter from the used book store we'll wrap them individually. One year my mother-on-law got perfume samples and wrapped them up. I'm giving my daughter a coffee cup from a conference I'm involved in - though that is good since she gave a tutorial with me at it. Lots of thrift shop presents are expected. BTW, all presents are officially from everybody, and we share in the cost according to ability to pay.

When my son-in-law started doing Christmas with us he became a big fan. The big advantages, besides opening presents well into the late afternoon, is that if you miss on one, no big deal. Very low stress, and it is obligatory to have lots of discussions during shopping season.

Though my kids are in their 20s now, it is still traditional that we put out the presents after they go to bed, so they can be surprised in the morning.
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:53 PM
ZenBeam ZenBeam is offline
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Four or five "real" gifts (one "big" one and other moderate ones), plus clothes and books usually. Also, the stockings have candy and little toys.

ETA: The dog only gets one gift, but she has a stocking too.

Last edited by ZenBeam; 11-20-2009 at 07:57 PM..
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:16 PM
GameHat GameHat is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
I don't have children myself, but man, I was spoiled rotten as a child.

Christmas usually meant between 12-16 gifts, with 1 or 2 "big" gifts (NES, bike, something like that).

It was a mixed blessing. I remember feeling guilty about getting so much stuff. It's a rare 8-year-old that thinks, "Man, mom shouldn't be spending so much money on me" but I was that 8-year-old. Age 6 was the last time I ever asked for a bunch of stuff (like any kid - "I want a Nintendo, and a bike, these 10 games, a puppy...etc.) I still shudder when I remember the pained look on my Dad's face Christmas morning when he saw all the stuff my mom had bought. It still makes me feel like shit.

Of course, like any kid I liked the loot. But it was always tempered by feelings of guilt. I remember lying about what I got for Christmas to my friends (always leaving out a bunch of stuff) because even that young I knew it was overindulgent.

Plus it was a source of friction between my mom and dad - mom spends way too much, dad gets angry. Money was kind of tight back then and I always felt horrible about getting stuff when it would mean more fights between them about money.

Even now that I'm an adult (late 20s) my mom still wants to overspend on me. No, I do not want her to do this. I don't want or expect a ton of gifts. Two Christmases ago mom literally broke into tears on Christmas Eve - "*sob* I only was able to get you 5 things this year because you didn't give me more gift ideas!"

I hugged her, told her I loved her and that I didn't want or need a bunch of stuff. Didn't matter, though she did like the hug. If she doesn't bury me in gifts then in her mind she's a bad mother.

At least it's not as much of a friction point anymore (my parents are pretty well off).

I've sort of come to understand that's one of her crazy ways of showing love, but man.
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Old 11-21-2009, 03:02 AM
flodnak flodnak is offline
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: outside Oslo, Norway
Posts: 4,762
The last years we've fallen into the pattern of four presents under the tree for each child, plus a few small things in their stockings. The stocking presents are mostly candy and other consumables, however.
An American flodnak in Oslo.
Do not open cover; no user serviceable parts inside.
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Old 11-19-2011, 01:23 PM
crazybox1918 crazybox1918 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011

Last edited by crazybox1918; 11-19-2011 at 01:25 PM..
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Old 11-19-2011, 01:24 PM
crazybox1918 crazybox1918 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Im young and I have to raised up money in a cereal box and buy my own christmas gift
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Old 11-19-2011, 01:43 PM
AngelSoft AngelSoft is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
I'm a gifter in general. If I care about someone, I show it by buying them things. So when Christmas comes around, I go crazy for my daughter. Usually $200-$300 a year on her for presents. Stocking stuffers, a big gift from Santa and a bunch of little gifts. This year is going to be different though, since I have no job and I have MAYBE $50 to spend for her entire Christmas and it's killing me not to be able to get her everything I want to. But I guess they say it's not about the gifts but about the joy of the holiday. We'll see XD
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Old 11-19-2011, 02:52 PM
Rhiannon8404 Rhiannon8404 is offline
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 6,041
We don't follow it strictly, but I like the rule:

Something they want.
Something they need.
Something to wear.
Something to read.

Ledzepkid is our only child and the only grandchild on either side of the family. He got so many gifts from the rest of the family that we kept it to one "Santa" gift and a couple of things from us. For the last couple of years (he's 13 now), we've done one big family gift (PS3, larger TV, etc). Sometime all of us will use and enjoy. Then we add smaller things like books, Magic the Gathering cards, etc. This year our big family gift is good seats at the Bob Seger concert on 12/21.
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:09 PM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Cape Town, South Africa &
Posts: 14,624
Well, it's "2-3<ngifts<12" for our child, but that doesn't include gifts from the grandparents.

Or the many birthday gifts she gets 5 days earlier...

Last edited by MrDibble; 11-19-2011 at 03:09 PM..
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:11 PM
Pixel_Dent Pixel_Dent is online now
Join Date: May 2011
Last year my daughter needed socks so I got her 10 pairs and wrapped each sock individually. That was almost two dozen gifts right there!
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:27 PM
DISMom DISMom is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Too Many?!

As it goes we are quite an effluent family. My husband being a heart surgeon we have never had much trouble for money as you might could tell. My kids are age 9 and 14. The 14 year old is a boy and the 9 year old is a girl. My 9 year old LOVES getting clothes for a gift. So before Christmas we go out and she shows me 20 of her favorite pieces of clothes. I then pick 10 of them to buy for here. I also get her a major gift like this year she got a Ipod-Touch and her first pair of Uggs. The my husband buys her the toys, him being a man I give him a list of 7 or 8 toys to go get for her. She still likes some barbies and LPS...My son on the other hand is much harder to please. Being a boy he absolutely despises getting clothes for Christmas. We usually stick with electronics for him. This year I got him an Iphone the new kinect thingy 5 or 6 xbox games, and i even got him 2 new jackets. He shockingly liked them! He also got a four wheeler this year. And after Christmas his dad took him on a shopping spree. He was allowed to spend 350 dollars on clothes. Now I know most of your jaws are now floored to the ground. My view on all this is that if you can afford to cherish your children and indulge in shopping for them, then do it! My children dont ASK for all this stuff but I as a mother enjoy pampering my kids if they deserve it. And they do.
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:41 PM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Originally Posted by DISMom View Post
As it goes we are quite an effluent family.
How charming.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:19 PM
CrazyCatLady CrazyCatLady is offline
Join Date: Nov 2001
Originally Posted by Ferret Herder View Post
How charming.
Have I ever told you I want to not have your children?
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:33 PM
Happy Lendervedder Happy Lendervedder is offline
Join Date: Dec 2001
As it goes, we are quite a flatulent family. That being said, I voted "more than 2 or 3, but less than a dozen." And then I farted.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:50 PM
alice_in_wonderland alice_in_wonderland is offline
Join Date: Mar 2001
We're quite an effeminate family, so we got our son The Best of Cher Collection of CDs and a bra. He's 2.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:53 PM
overlyverbose overlyverbose is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
This year our kids (boy, 5.5 and daughter, 2) got two under-the-tree gifts and two stocking stuffers. As a kid my mom tried really hard to compensate for the fact that dad wasn't there by buying way too much, but my daughter still hasn't totally settled on any particular thing or things that she likes and my son has a zillion and one toys anyway. Plus my family got them toys, too. Going all out just didn't make sense.

Edited to add: I'm so glad I opened this thread. This place makes me feel better when I'm stressed. The flatulent family comment was the first time I've laughed today.

Last edited by overlyverbose; 01-24-2012 at 09:55 PM..
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:56 PM
msasada msasada is offline
Join Date: Dec 2012
[QUOTE=DISMom;14701997]As it goes we are quite an effluent family.

I do not have alot of money, but I go crazy for Christmas. I cant do it all year, and my daughter does not get things throughout the year. This year I got her 27 presents and that is not including stocking stuffers. As it goes, this year she has gotten less then ever because she gets more expensive as she goes. I applaud you for speaking up. All I think when I see that people get 3 or 4 gifts is "these poor kids" You know they have to lie when they tell kids in school what they get. I remember comparing gifts with friends. As a parent, you want to give your kids the world
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:04 AM
Ludy Ludy is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
My kids have two sets of grandparents that spoil them rotten, so we just stick to a Santa gift and a gift from us.

However, I do really enjoy shopping for stocking suffers, so if that gets counted in then.... lots
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:47 AM
maggenpye maggenpye is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
2-3 from me. I've pulled back over the years since she used to get a glazed look in her eye halfway through the pile of prezzies.

She knows what her big presents are this year (Art & nice jacket, she's almost 14)- she was given the choice of picking what she wanted and having it bought or getting the same in cash.

I'll add something fun and small that she isn't expecting.

Other relatives have already said they've bought a huge pile of prezzies for her.

Last edited by maggenpye; 12-13-2012 at 01:49 AM..
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:20 AM
cherry cherry is offline
Join Date: Nov 2002
She's getting less this year than before. New baby will get less because I buy her new toys as her development increases. What she really wants every time I ask her is a giant trampoline fr the back yard but I'm not sure how safe those are. I have siblings who don't have kids so she gets a lot of presents from my side of the family.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:37 AM
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is offline
Join Date: Jan 2001
I lose count, but most of them are pretty small. A set of matchbox cars, coloring books, harmonica, and other little things really up the count. This year there is no big ticket (>$100) item, but a few 20-30 dollar toys along with a bunch of sub $10 items.

I did get rooked into buying a $20 toy I really didn't want him to have. It's for a much younger child, a toddler really, but he's been talking about it over and over for months. What good is Christmas for a kid if the toy he really wants isn't under the tree?
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:18 PM
shiftless shiftless is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 3,963
Dozens and dozens of gifts for each child (2), each one wrapped with bows and ribbons, plus huge stockings that any normal child would love for his whole Christmas morning. When the carnage is over the floor of our living room is completely covered with torn wrapping paper. We rarely visit on Christmas day because the unwrapping process takes so long.

Originally Posted by GameHat View Post
... I still shudder when I remember the pained look on my Dad's face Christmas morning when he saw all the stuff my mom had bought...
I am that dad. I gave up trying to restrain my wife's Christmas excess years ago. That's how her family did it, that's how everybody has to do it. It doesn't really matter what I buy or give because she is going to make me look like a Scrouge by time the presents are all open. Now the month of December is just an unpleasant and expensive effort I make for her each year. The unpleasantness of Christmas goes well with the cold and darkness of the month so I can just hate the one month and then it's over.

The kids loved it when they were little, of course, because they get tons of really awesome stuff. Now that they are old enough to be earning their own livings they are starting to see the excess.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:32 PM
Maastricht Maastricht is online now
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Location: Dutch in the Netherlands
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We already had the giftgiving done at St Nicks (Dec 5th). I got my four year old son 5 gifts. I asked his grandma and uncle to chip in with my gifts (or just write a poem for them, as is the Dutch tradition) instead of giving more stuff themselves.

Kid got:
  • His big gift: a lego dinosaur set. Initially he had wanted a 60 euro set, but when we looked at used ones on Ebay, he was equally enthusiastic about a used 15 dollar set. When he had unpacked that one, he pretty much lost interest in the other presents.
  • -A lego book with pieces, building instructions, and a story. 25 bucks. He loved it.
  • A game of press the teeth-til-the-jaw-snaps-shut. Four bucks and it came broken out of the box. Instant throw-out.
  • Two of his fabourite book series, that I got second hand.
  • Grandma also gave a dino excavation set for five bucks.

Kid was very happy. He gets most of his toys during the year on our weekly trips to Goodwill, where he can always pick out one toy to take home.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:32 PM
ducati ducati is offline
Join Date: Mar 2004
Christmas was a big deal when I was growing up. Perhaps I've romanticized it in my head over the years, but a white Christmas with a big family was common.

I've always held it in the back of my mind that the kids will grow up and move away, and the childhood we give them will be set in stone. I've always wanted it to be a good memory for them, as mine is, so I tend to spoil them.

Looking at the Excel spreadsheets for the last 10 years, it looks like they average about 37 gifts apiece, costing about $4,300 for both. One or two big ticket items, and a lot of books, socks, Think Geek toys and things like that.

October marks the beginning of Money Going Out around here. We do a big Halloween, have a big party, the boy's -and granddad's - birthday is in November, Christmas, plus a trip in
December, and January is our daughter's birthday, and you must outdo Christmas for that!
It's a 10 grand quarter easy, year after year.

Once my new patent gets issued, it'll be new cars every Christmas!
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:38 PM
cher3 cher3 is offline
Join Date: Apr 1999
We typically give stocking stuffers and a couple of gifts on Christmas Day, and then one gift a day for the rest of the 12 days of Christmas. Some of the gifts are "big" ones, but others might just be candy or a DVD or something.

The tradition got started when one of us was sick and "missed" Christmas.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:50 PM
Moonlitherial Moonlitherial is online now
Join Date: Mar 2010
I voted more than 2-3 but less than a dozen .

When they were little the number of presents varied every year but some things remained the same. There was always one gift to open Christmas eve and it was always pajama's. Amazing When they were little they were shocked each year that the gift they chose always managed to be the same thing, as they got older I had to designate which present because they weren't so easy to guide. There was always at least one book each, more often several, and a joint present of a board game of some kind.

Their stockings always had an orange in the toe, some small wrapped dollar store stuff, a magazine, some nuts and a single piece of chocolate. They were allowed to stay in their beds and open and play with the contents of their stockings. That usually bought me another 30 mins of sleep.

The number of other presents varied according to how financially secure we were that year, what they wanted and how I could balance those things out between them. They were never deprived but I avoided the all day unwrapping thing because it would drive me crazy.

This year they got cash. My daughter is in her 3rd year of university and is on an exchange program so she's spending her Christmas break travelling around Europe. I sent her the cash early because her trip ends Dec 31st and I want her to have the money for some fun experiences on the trip rather than spending it on school supplies for next semester. Since I sent hers early I did the same for my son. He's in a work cycle of his work/travel/work rotation right now so I suspect it will simply hit his savings account so he can leave a week or so earlier next year.

They're both at the stage in life where they're moving around a lot so stuff is the last thing they need. We did send my daughter a poster of the neighborhood around the Toronto campus of her school (and made her cry) and I picked up the traditional Christmas PJ's for my son and his girlfriend.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:10 PM
Sattua Sattua is online now
Join Date: Jan 2001
I aim for three toys plus the stocking and whatever books and clothes I want her to have (this is only her second Christmas). Last year I hit the mark. This year I went over, as one "gift" acquired lots of peripherals (baby doll plus baby doll stuff), and I got a good deal on a big collection of Looney Tunes DVDs that I might as well wrap up and put under the tree.

As a kid I usually got at least a dozen presents from my parents, and started to feel it was too much early on.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:13 PM
maggenpye maggenpye is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Originally Posted by Moonlitherial View Post
That usually bought me another 30 mins of sleep.
My parents wake me up early and come over for coffee while we wait for the kid to wake up. I've never ever ever been woken up by my kid on Christmas morning.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:42 PM
Grrlbrarian Grrlbrarian is offline
Join Date: May 2011
In our family, it's spending limits rather than number of gifts that sets the policy. So Kid #2 who prefers the finer things in life is getting two gifts this year; Kid #4 who prefers smaller things is getting numerous littler gifts. Everyone knows and understands - you hit your limit (which we do not specify ahead of time), you're done. And you better be nice & patient while everyone else is opening their stuff too. We do take turns with the gift-giving, so Ms. Big Presents will just run out early. And everyone gets a stocking, too - I have fun filling my parents' stockings now!
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