Monday, August 4, 2008

Christmas in August

Today I've been thinking about Christmas.

Last year, we spent $170 on our two children. Of all the things that we bought (PJs and books and dolls and DVDs), there are three items that they still play with or use regularly:

So, $52 worth. Sigh.

We have been saving for this Christmas since January and while I know we'll never be at 100%, I hope to do better than 31% spending still be in usage. The real problem, I find, is that the toys with the "wow factor" aren't at all the ones that make it over time.

Anyone else thinking about Christmas?

12 comments:

Carrie said...

Yes, I said last month, I was going to start buying presents NOW so we would be finished before September... uhmm... hasn't happened as of yet!! I'm impressed with your budget for your sweeties though!! Great job! I just wish I didn't feel obligated to buy presents for our close family members, who always want to spend big. I've tried to several years to discourage this, but to no avail... grrrrr!!!! ANY ideas??

Lindsey J said...

Unfortunately, no. Starting on Thursday and ending in Sept, we have a string of 8 birthdays + our anniversary to buy for. All of those birthdays include 2 siblings, 2 nieces, 2 children, 1 brother-in-law, and me. Needless to say, we don't have room to spare budget-wise for Christmas yet.

Lindsey J said...

by "2 children" I meant, of course, our own children.

zdoodlebub said...

Yes, thinking about Christmas and what the Obama's recently said in People...that they don't buy their kids presents for birthdays/Christmas because they spend for the party/Santa. I thought it was quite brilliant. One daughter was quoted as saying she knew there was a Santa because her parents would never buy her that stuff.

Talk about people who could afford it and are making choices about the kind of people they are raising.

Mainly, I'm just mentally preparing myself that my oldest is going to be disappointed that he's not going to get even 10 percent of what his heart desires. So I've got to figure a way to have grace and let him grow into a more generous, selfless spirit. Hard for 9 year olds, in this day and age. So I'm focusing on my parenting...letting it unfold without trying to shame him into feeling differently. Because I know he'll come around if given some time. And I'm well aware that we might be talking YEARS. But I'm committed. Which is why I'm going to focus more on my reaction to his disappointment and not focus so much on all the conversations with him about why he shouldn't be disappointed.

Tenille said...

Gratitude is something I've had such a hard time teaching my 4-year-old. I don't know how she got so spoiled when we never gave her anything, LOL. :)

Tenille said...

Carrie - that is something I can *so* relate to. We have so many family members that really splurge on Christmas gifts, but we just can't afford to do that. We just can't. Over time, I've grown enough to not feel ashamed that the gifts I give may only cost $15. I feel like if they are meaningful gifts that are wanted, that's more important than the price tag. Maybe other people don't see it that way, but I guess that's their issue and there isn't much I can do about it!

Amnesty said...

We have the kids' birthdays in August and October, so I don't think about Christmas until after Halloween. But we keep it small. I spent about $80 total for Christmas last year. They each got a pair of shoes (needed them anyway) some clothes (also needed them anyway), one train set, one tea set, and a couple of small toys. Their aunt and grandma chipped in to buy them each a bike. They were thrilled to bits. And very thankful to us for the clothes and Santa for the toys.
Poor Rory, he's getting school supplies for his birthday this year, lol. But a "cool" Lightning McQueen backpack and lunchbox set that I otherwise would never spend that much on. Since it kills 2 birds...it's worth a little extra money :)

Tenille said...

Yay it's Amnesty!!! I know you! :)

You got an AWESOME gift assortment for $80!

My birthday is also in August (ahem, I'm 30 tomorrow!), and I always got school clothes and supplies as birthday gifts. I didn't mind at all!

Amnesty said...

Your blog is great...I linked to you from mine too, hope you don't mind :)

Shopping second hand helps keep the budget down. I forgot one thing too, one of my friends gave us one of those Fisher Price Zebra bouncy things, but Daisy was too short for it when they gave it to me, so I stuck it in the closet and surprised her with it all over again on Christmas, lol.
I think too many gifts on Christmas overwhelms little kids anyway. They can't play with everything and then they get overstimulated trying! And if you keep it small when they're little, they accept it better when they're older ;)

huddtoo said...

Christmas? You're kidding. :)

I like to get thru August, which has to many birthdays and other things, it's worse this year with more birthdays and a wedding. Our Anniv is in Aug too. Not that we go out and buy gifts and things, but still, I try to get cards for some and maybe a little something for my brother, etc.

I do a Christmas club, a little from each paycheck and I get a check in Oct. Which I think stinks because I'm SOOO not ready for xmas shopping on Oct 1. I would like to get it done in Oct or Nov, but it NEVER happens. I end up going over my club every year..GRR! I'll try harder this year. My kids don't need much stuff. I get my girl clothes which she loves. And my family decided last year to exchange names and buy one gift. That was SOOO nice!

Good luck!

Jamie said...

Our Holiday theory is to keep the number of gifts limited.

We have FIVE kids. So, the kids get something for each other (one gift from all kids to each)


Mom and Dad give them ONE gift (usually something small) and sometimes a family gift.

Santa does the rest... usually a bigger gift for each child (like a bike) and then a family gift (like our Wii last year).

I used to let each kid buy a gift for each sibling... but we are talking 25 gifts then! That's crazy. So the sibling gifts are usually about $20 and they collaborate on what to buy. Teamwork!

We get so much stuff from family members its crazy. I've tried to convince people to give the kids ONE gift and if they want to do more, put $$ into their college funds. It never works.

For our extended family we are doing baskets of goodies including homemade jams/bread mixes/etc...

Cheers!
Jamie

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