How Much Does Santa Bring Your Toddler?

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santa felt beard

Child's Felt Santa Beard from her flying horses

Santa and toddler gifts: there are several conversations in Answers and around CafeMom about what Santa brings for a toddler.

One CafeMom asks How much does Santa bring your toddler? and MommytoBabyCole asks How much do you usually spend on your Toddlers for Christmas?

I'm curious too! How much loot can your tot expect to receive when the holiday arrives?

I know many families go all out for their kids on holidays. Other families, like mine, may give more minimally, not only due to our income but also due to our basic feelings about gift giving (and continuing to fit into our small house).

My boys usually have a stocking, a Santa gift, and two or three small gifts from mom and dad (usually books or clothes). As a family we don't believe in going into debt for holiday gifts, and, in general, think a few quality toys, games, or activities are enough.

What are your thoughts about buying for your kids and others for the holidays? Are you a big giver? A small giver? Do you value homemade gifts? Is it "the more the merrier" or "the thought that counts"?

holiday gifts, toys

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Angel... Angelgirl25

Last year we moved into a bigger apartment and had more income so we were able to go a bit nuts. This year we have just bought a house and have a new baby coming a week before Christmas so needless to say we aren't going crazy. DD (3) is getting a couple of "big" gifts and then just a few smaller things and some clothes. She gets a lot from family so I'm not too worried. Plus she doesn't really remember last Christmas so she's not expecting too much :)

Mybab... MybabyKisses

Depends on how much extra we have to spend. One year we were blessed enough to be able to buy for everyone in both dh and my family plus our friends and buy the kids lots as well. This year dh has  a new job, no Christmas bonus, so things will be tight and we are not going to be able to buy for everyone. For our little girls that are 2 and 4 they will get several small toys, my son who is 13 and decided to live with his dad in Alabama will get one small item bc I have to pay for half his airfare to come home for Christmas, and my 18 year old daughter will get a 50.00 gift card. I have been trying to explain to dh that we are not going to buy for each other but he is like another child and keeps asking what I am getting him for Christmas and it is really starting to drive me insane!!!! As long as my children are happy that is all that matters to me.

toria... toriandgrace

I normally spend around $150 on my daughter. I shop clearance and BF, so it goes a long way. The year she's getting a easel and all the art supplies, a big gift bag of dress up clothes (Halloween costumes, purchased at 75% off), 5 board games, several books, and some toy kitchen accessories from Ikea. Oh and a number of DVDs from BF and a beading set. Those are from her parents.


Santa brings her only what she asks for. This is her first year asking and she wants a dinosaur, a book, and some chocolate. So he's bringing her a dinosaur playset, some fabric books that I got at a craft fair, and a big plastic candy cane filled with chocolate kisses! Plus the stocking.


I am doing it like my parents always did, one gift is from Santa, but they all appear under the tree in the middle of the night, so it's ambigious to young kids. It's just more impressive that way. Even hubby and my gifts won't come out until then.


I would also never go into debt to buy Christmas gifts. When we return to civilian life and we're making more money, Christmas may get bigger, but for now, I keep it at a comfortable amount.

ethan... ethans_momma06

I don't believe in going into debt either, so we buy presents that we can afford. DS got a lot of presents from Santa last year because they really were from 'Santa' and not from us (his parents) at all. But normally only one or two are from Santa (and stockings are as well). I like being a big giver but I really try to watch myself because I think TOO much detracts from the holiday.


And homemade gifts rock!

Lumin... LuminousMom

Around $50-70 dollars each this year. They are TODDLERS.. they dont need much. Could we spend more? Yes... but why? They are getting gifts from grandparents, aunts+uncles, friends... they dont need it all. So we get them each one $30ish dollar toy, one game, and puzzles and coloring books and so on. Small things. Lots of things to unwrap, but not much spent in the end.

cassi... cassie_kellison

we have a $50 budget for our son this year. I personally think its a bit much, but my husband doesnt think it's enough. I just dont see what a 3yo needs with $50 worth of toys? I certainly wouldnt spend the whole $50 on one toy, because my little destructor would destroy it in no time!

Pishyah Pishyah

We have been broke every year for Christmas so our son gets one "big" item from us (which hasn't been more than $30) and then a small item or two (which usually are less than $10).  He gets gifts from our families most years but this year it's going to be crazy.  We haven't spent much on his presents this year but our family has spent a huge amount. 


We don't buy for others because we've barely had money to buy two or three things for our own child.  We've not bought necessities for us to be sure that our child gets something special on Christmas morning since there are only two days a year that he really gets anything (birthday and Chrismas). 


I LOVE home made gifts.  I'm making both of my children sock monkies this year and I think every year I'm going to make them a matching "from mommy" gift. 

sodapple sodapple

our family gives small, ussually one big gift from santa, like las year, our daugther (3 yrs)  got a bike from santa and that will mean us both. Then she will get a gift as well from friends, family and that will be it, nothing big and sometimes not even on the same day. although she wants everything that she sees on tv, she is still happy with whatever she receives during that special day =-D 


my friends and I have created a tradition, I will give their kids, they often give mine, and we give each other a christmast ornament, the more unnusual the better and yet not too expensive. I do think the thought is what counts, even if i'm buying a christmast ornament i want to give them one that they will appreciate and remember who it was from.  

drake... drakemom1

Oh wow!  Christmas has always been a big holiday for me growing up.  I remember my mom filling the room up with presents on Christmas morning no matter what the income was (she still does :) ).  Each year I would say I spend around $500 on my son alone.  I usually put money away through the year to save up for the season, but this year, it's going on the cards.  I love the memories I have as a kid waking up Christmas morning and looking at all the presents under the tree, and I want to continue that for my son, no matter what income I fall under.  My son doesn't get much throughout the year and we don't do vacation, so Christmas is the time of year I like to spoil him!

laura... laura7485

We are "small" givers. My girls are little. Even when they are older, I doubt I'll be buying a mountain of gifts. "Santa" is bringing them a train set this year. They each get their own train, but they have to share the track. And I KNOW they will be thrilled. They will each get 2 toys and some clothes form us. Its not that we can't afford more, but they don't really need/want much. they tend to get things here and there. I think they are more excited about the tree than the presents under it.

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