Sunday, November 11, 2007

Christmas Budget

I've been slowly decreasing the amount we need to spend at Christmas. I now send a $25 Harry and David Gift Basket to multiple people in the family. My grandmother, great-grandmother, great aunt, 4 siblings, 3 aunts/uncles, 4 cousins, and two parents. The number used to be so much larger when I bought for all my neices and nephews.

But I decided about 2 years ago after we got married, that I would do family gifts. I felt more like a "married" person and grown up than a kid just sending out gifts. I never sent to my siblings instead we would send each kid a $25 GC to a store. Plus my parents, grandparents all got individual gifts as well.

Now we just spend about $750 because I try to give a gift around $25. Before it was a lot higher with so many individual presents. Also we spend a bit more than the $25/per family because for our parents we'll be giving out $100 GC to Ruth's Chris. Plus we usually buy something for our office, like a box of candy. It's so much less stressful than trying to pick gifts which people will like.

Also this year since we'll be alone together and at home, I'm thinking of actually buying DH a gift. Usually we don't but I may ask him to splurge and have an extravagent dinner out in Vancouver, but we'll see.

How much do you budget for Christmas?


Anonymous said...

Do you have to pay a fee for the GC (like Visa?) They charge $4.95 per GC. Do the GC have a 'use date'? I read a report that the companies want to book the sale as soon as the card is sold (to look good on their 4th quarter earnings) so they may be putting time limits on the GC by imposing a fee after a certain date. Otherwise, People may use their gift cards the following year.

I usually send my family checks. If I see them in person, I give cash. My DH and kids get a needed gift plus cash. This year, I'd like to just deposit cash into my kids savings account in addition to the little gift.

We'll see.

Velvet Jones said...

Zero. My parents, friends, and I do not exchange gifts with each other over the holidays. We'd prefer to actually spend time with each other, so that's what we do. All year long.

Anonymous said...

We usually spend at least $1,000-1,500 for Christmas gifts, with my husband and I spending about $300-400/each on gifts for each other. This is up from years past when we spent maybe $200-250 each. We haven't made up our budget for this year, yet, but I think we'll be cutting back this year. I want to spend less overall and buy for fewer people.


Living Almost Large said...

Velvet Jones, what a nice thought. That would be a nice day to not exchange gifts. It would be even nicer to live nearby family.

Living halfway around the world is not condusive unfortunately, but it would still be nice to not have do gifts.

Nope, no fee for the GC Boomie. I usually buy them for things I know they'll use. I used to do the kids walmart so they could buy books, video games, toys. For my sibs usually a chain restaurant near to the house.

For my parents now an upscale steak house and DH's as well. They've used all the restaurant GC we've used usually within a week. They are both empty nesters and like to eat out.