The 4 Moms of 35 Kids are discussing gift giving in a large family.
I’m not going to lie. Christmas stresses me out. That doesn’t mean I don’t love the baby Jesus. It just means that there is a lot to do/buy/bake/make/rehearse/wrap/decorate and not a lot of me.
The “lot of buying” can be particularly stressful for a large, one-income family because, well, we are plentiful and the cash… not so much.
Which is why we are cheapskates.
We decided when our first child was a baby that we would give one gift from Mommy and Daddy and one gift from “Santa-which-is-really-us-but-isn’t-it-fun-to-pretend-and-if-you-tell-the-neighbor-kids-no-one-will-like-you”.
Now that we have 8 children we still give each child those same 2 gifts, plus a few very inexpensive stocking stuffers, which include nuts, Lifesavers, Chapstick, and the like.
We try to give gifts that the children have mentioned wishing for, but there is a limit to our funds, so all wishes are not fulfilled, and our children know and understand this. Big ticket items are for working hard and saving up for, not for Christmas wish lists.
We usually spend well under $100 per child, which is why I nearly choked on my (knockoff) Cheerios when Suze Orman claimed a second baby costs $700-1000 each month! We don’t even spend that much for our family of 10 for Christmas!
Whenever possible, I use Swagbucks to pay for gifts, which keeps me from blowing the budget.
For gifts that the children give each other, we are the tacky types and encourage them to re-gift a toy of their own that they have noticed is admired by a sibling. Alternately, they can make something from supplies we have on hand. There is plenty of secret wrapping of treasured dolls and knitting, gluing, and painting going on around here!
Be sure to see how the rest of my 4 Moms team handles Christmas shopping:
How do you handle gift giving on a budget?