$224 Isn't Nearly Enough to Spend on Your Kid at the Holidays

OMG 260

If I were a parent back in my mom's day, my kids would have never had Christmas toys. The idea of facing huge, aggressive crowds at toy stores each year and battling it out over the last Cabbage Patch Doll sounds like an absolute nightmare. Luckily, we can do all of our shopping online now -- in our pajamas.

And according to the results of a survey at The Prowl, most parents feel exactly the same way I do and are refusing to leave the comfort of their homes in order to procure a Tickle-Me-Whoever. Just 24 percent of moms plan on doing all of their shopping in stores! Black Friday deals? Pssh, forget it -- forward us coupon codes instead. And even though the average wait time on a holiday store line is 37 minutes -- guess what? -- the average time it takes me to click a button and then grab a snack is just under one minute. 

I'm in  line with most other moms who took the survey except for this finding: on average moms spend $224 per kid for the holidays.

Don't get me wrong: I would like to only spend $224 on my child at Christmas. We work hard for our money and it sometimes kills to see it wasted on a toy that our little one might outgrow in a matter of months. Is there anything worse than finding an $80 doll she wanted so badly shoved in the corner of her room like it's a dirty sock? 

But I'm a realist here. Toys can be incredibly expensive and tend to become even more pricey as kids grow up and desire sophisticated technological devices or sporting equipment or what have you. I don't believe in getting our children everything their hearts desire, but I don't spoil my daughter at any time throughout the year. I enjoy seeing her eyes light up when she receives a gift she truly wants.

And the sad thing is the price for toys adds up quickly. Her rocking horse is $40. A scooter costs about $45. The doll house we've been thinking about getting her for six months is a whopping $330. I've surpassed the survey's "average" spending price on just three items. I could certainly stop there. But then three gifts doesn't seem like a lot, so we include little throw-ins -- each of which costs about $15 to $20. And before you know it -- we've totaled about $500.

It's wasteful. It's absurd. But it happens once a year and it's fun.

How much do you typically spend on your children during the holidays?


Image via ToysrUs.com

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miche... micheledo

We spend about $25 per child. Though in past years, it was less.

keelh... keelhaulrose

We're splurging this year. About $150 between the two. And not many toys, if any at all. I don't need more stuff they'll stop playing with in a week.

LeeshaE LeeshaE

I spend between $150 and $200 on my one although this year I was thinking of scaling back, I think the holidays have become too commercialized, I am not religious but holidays are about surviving a day with the family, not stuff.

nonmember avatar J

This author disgusts me. $500 per kid? Yeah, I'd rather have my kids in sports, roof over their heads, new clothes, food on the table, etc. I think its absolutely obsurd and part of the problem with the 'me' generation, entitled little greedy brats people are raising. Hell, I don't expect to spend $500 for our entire family. I'd rather save for a family adventure or something we can do together. How pretentious is this article?? Ick. Where's the true meaning in Christmas anyways? We have our kids pick out gifts they really like and then wrap them and take them to a toy drive. They love it. You know how long there 'must have' or 'want' list is? 1 to 2 items that may cost $50 total. Teach your kids about giving and not about self.

sylph... sylph_ironlight

2 years ago, we spent $330 on 11 children (ours and nieces and nephews), and that included buying a $45 car seat for our son. Last year, all of them got homemade playdough and bows and arrows ( like these ones http://www.imalazymom.com/make-it/awesome-bow-and-arrows-that-you-can-make/ ). The preschoolers got personalized colouring books (with pictures of their family members)and crayons. If you're willing to put a little work into it, you can give some really cool gifts that don't break the bank. Also, second hand shopping from mom-2-mom sales is a LIFESAVER when you're on a budget.

nonmember avatar Maya

I spend less than that on my entire family (of 5). Not because I want to avoid spoiling the kids, but because it's the most I can afford right now. What counts as splurging is different for everyone, it depends on their situation.

jrphelps jrphelps

This article is sick & twisted... $224 is NOT ENOUGH.  Do you forget what Christmas is about?  The birth of Jesus, spending time with friends & family, eating good food, & yes GIVING gifts.  BUT it isn't the amount you spend.  This article just pissed me off.  Go sit in your corner & spew about how much you spend on your kids at Christmas.  DISGUSTING.

nonmember avatar April

Ispent about 200 dollars all together for both kids last year. Maybe. It was probably less. I buy one, moderately expensive gift for each. and then I fill in. They get socks, and little toys, inexpensive video games. and then cheapies. stocking stuffers from the dollar store, things like that. M kids know, the more expensive what they JUST HAVE TO HAVE is, the less other things they will get.

Rachel Megalos

Last year for our 3 year old we bought her a calico critters townhouse with about 8 different sets for $60 used.  There was enough to wrap up many different things so she had many gifts to open and we didn't spend anything else on her.

elle7777 elle7777


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