As you say EVERY Family is different
(There was another post here earlier today, where a Bride / Adult felt overwhelmed by the show of wealth shown at her Inlaws)
The fact is…
Every family handles Christmas Traditions / Customs differently… and if they believe in Santa… or Gift Giving they tend to BUDGET for that differently as well.
This is the part a lot of people forget:
- Some people have more disposible income…
- Some people go in debt for Christmas
- Some people prioritize Christmas as an Event differently than others etc.
Growing up I came from a family where day-to-day expenses were fairly “steady”… we never went without… but there was no BIG Show of wealth… things were bought strictly on an as needed basis (so new clothes for us kids Labour Day before Back to School… and Easter… if a Coat or Boots were need for Winter they were bought just before the season… same with Shorts or a Bathingsuit in the Summertime). There was always enough… but no excesses
The exception was Christmas. My Father grew up in a poor Farming Household… dirt poor.
Money was put aside each Fall after the Harvest specifically to ensure that the “necessities & niceities” were bought for Christmas.
This is the way I grew up. There were always clothes amongst the toys & sporting equipment. There was a LARGE amount of presents and as a kid / teen I’d have to say that ALL My Wishes came true.
When I met & married my Ex-H he too was overwhelmed by the generosity of my Parents / Family… having come from a setting where each person would receive perhaps 3 or 4 items IN TOTAL.
Lol, he quickly adjusted.
The secret for us as a couple, (and my Parents in those days) was making Christmas a PRIORITY… and Budgeting for it all year long.
This was especially so once kids came along…
I would do as my Parents had done for eons… buy a Canada Savings Bond one year, and cash it the next… or as I got older and a better saver, just calculate what I’d need based on the previous year, and put that money away monthly.
WE ALL made out like bandits for sure.
Kids more than the adults… as they’d get gifts from other people than just Santa, Mom & Dad… they also were the ONLY GrandKids on both sides… so Grammas & Grampas often went overboard too.
We didn’t measure Gifts by the number of packages… we measured by the amount of money budgeted. So ya the number of Gifts per person was never equal… but the value was.
On the otherhand, like I said, in our household like my Parents that was it. Other than Birthdays there wasn’t a lot of extras given throughout the year for “miscellaneous” spending… (allowance wasn’t even a big deal in our house). People got what they needed, when it was deemed needed.
So Labour Day & Easter were New Clothes. Birthday a couple of presents… and Christmas a boat-load… all your wishes coming true.
Other families give stuff to their kids year round…
“Hey look at my new Cell Phone my Dad got me”
“Nope, just needed / wanted a new one”
That stuff didn’t happen in our house… infact unless you absolutely needed a piece of sporting equipment cause one had worn out / broken… it too went onto the Christmas List as things you’d LIKE
Our Rule of Thumb for spending kept us in good stead for over 20 years (1980s to 2000s)
- Kids = $ 300 each
- Spouse = $ 200
- GrandParents = $ 100 each
- Other Relatives = $ 25 to $ 50 each depending on their relationship with us
Today, these amounts have been adjusted only slightly. The kids tend to get closer to $ 400. GrandParents & Other Relatives remain the same. And Mr TTR & I aren’t one to exchange “wrapped presents”… we now to tend to more enjoy “Experiences”… so throw what would have been our Christmas Money into a Weekend Away or Vacation.
The one thing we do do at Christmastime is Entertain… either at home or out with Friends. And we also take adantage of the Sales to usually add to / update some of our Household stuff (I’ve already made a list of Kitchen Gear I’m after during the January White Sales)
So ya, it is all a matter of priorities, and how one WANTS TO spend THEIR MONEY
Hope this helps