I, cheapskate

My friend was telling me about a friend who was “only” going to spend $500 on each of her (grown, non-board paying, college graduates still living in her house) children for Christmas — because times were hard.

Which kind of shocked me, because I don’t think I’ve ever spent $500 in total on Christmas presents, including all my relatives. I don’t think you have to buy everything a kid wants, especially when you can’t afford it.

But then, I have a different gifting philosophy. If I don’t see something I think that person would really, really like, I just give them something generic – like a box of good candy. If I do see something they’ll like, I get it. Otherwise, I don’t worry much about it. I’m just not oriented that way. (I’m more likely to stumble across something a few months later and get it for them then.)

How much do normal people spend on Christmas? How does your family unit do it?

2 thoughts on “I, cheapskate

  1. $1200. That was my Christmas fund, $100/month for a year.
    I grew up in a house that didn’t celebrate Christmas. In fact, it didn’t celebrate *any* holidays. It wasn’t because we were poor. My mother didn’t like Christmas so she joined a religion where she wouldn’t have to celebrate it. What she never considered is tge effect that would have on her kids. I felt it most strongly because I was the oldest. I found christmas time beautiful and unbearable at school.
    So, I vowed to give my kids a nice Christmas. They make wish lists and I try to accommodate them. They don’t get everything they want and around here, a kindle is a bauble.
    I will be watching my money more carefully this year but my eldest daughter already told me what she wants and even though her request is modest, it will probably exceed $500 by the time done.

  2. Daughter and I have agreed to buy what we want, and then stick it under the tree from the other.
    She got “Rango.” I suspect I might go with a skein of sock yarn. So, $40. Max.
    We’ve been broke for too long.

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