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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas


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#1 Lizzie1

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 12:31 PM

So with only 53 days till Christmas - not that I'm counting tongue.gif and someone else already got a christmas thread going, so I'm not the first! biggrin.gif

It's well and truely sneaking up on me... we've just bought a house so this year for the first time we'll have a mortgage to pay as well as all the usual presents, food, holidays etc.

So my question is......... how do you afford christmas/ holiday time? Do you save though out the year? have a special account? do you buy your presents early in the year? have a spending limit? does your family do a kris kringle?

Let me know your secrets, so I don't go broke over christmas!
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#2 ----

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 12:47 PM

I have almost done all of my christmas shopping, I started back in July so that I wouldn't be scratching around in the last few weeks trying to find the money.
For adults in our families we do a KK, with a $50 limit, and we usually buy a joint present for our parents.
I try and buy a present a week also.

Our families live close by so it's only a quick drive for us, and christmas is hosted by a different family member every year. On our turn I start to save and buy up on the non perishables early.

#3 Amelia Jane

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 01:12 PM

This is the first year I've had to think about being careful with money, being on maternity leave and all. Luckily for us my side of the family already do a KK, although the limit is $200. It started not as a cost saving measure but because we all had enough 'stuff' and decided to limit the amount of gifts and go more for one big/practical thing that we wouldn't necessarily buy ourselves, instead of receiving 10 smaller gifts. It still works out cheaper though which is a bonus. DH's family have a $30 limit on gifts but he is going to suggest we do the KK thing because again, each person gets lots of small presents and we don't need more stuff just for the sake of giving and receiving stuff. I'm trying to simplify our lifestyle and be a bit more minimalist.

I often buy presents for DH's family and stocking fillers for my family during the year.

Food wise, everyone pitches in and brings something so the cost of food is split amongst the family and it doesn't end up too expensive. I don't know how much Christmas costs us but even this year I don't think it will be too bad. We have never been ones to buy huge extravagant presents or buy masses of special Christmas food so for us, low key=low cost. DH and I also don't buy presents for each other so that is not a cost we have to factor in.
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#4 nephthys

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 01:51 PM

I just buy small things although it really does add up. Our annual Christmas spend is usually in excess of $600. Fortunately on DH's side we only do gifts for the children and I extort the fact my boys are too young to know what presents are, yet. tongue.gif

Food wise, it's usually just a dish of something for each gathering. We travel the farthest so usually don't have to bring as much as the locals.
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#5 Swarles Barkley

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 02:35 PM

We have a spending limit for each of the kids on DH's side and do a KK for the adults that is only $50. On my side of the family we only buy for both my parents. I normally buy a small token gift for my SIL and BIL family, though I would prefer it if we didn't, as they always get us a crappy hamper thing that I just chuck or give to the salvos.

Food wise we each bring a dish of some variety. This year it is at our house, so we will provide the meat, and Bri's sisters will each bring a salad or two, his mum the pudding and custard, my parents another desert and a nibbles platter.
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#6 aChocLover

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 03:46 PM

No forward planning here, other than the $. I usually allow for $1000 - we then decide how much per adult/child/friend's child/niece/nephew etc and a secret santa between DH's family (adults only capped at $30pp - all children get presents). That $ also includes Santa presents for the 4 of us.

As for celebrations/food - Mum does christmas eve dinner. I normally buy the ham, unless she specifically asks me to get a turkey or something that's on sale in the lead up.

Christmas morning at our place (just us) so nothing fancy, then Christmas lunch/dinner with the ILs & extended family. We usually supply a dish (prawns etc) or contribute $ towards the costs with someone else (family) doing most of the preparation (and us helping where possible). A lot depends on who and where it's being done...

#7 Thelma

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 04:37 PM

we don't go overboard. I would spend about $50-$100 on presents for Lily. I pick things up throughout the year that are on sale or clearance. Sometimes DH and I will get each other a present, sometimes not, depends what else we've go going on. DH's family doesn't do presents, but this year I've had 2 new nephews born so will get them some bits and pieces because I like giving presents. On my side of the family we do a KK for the adults with about a $30 spend. DD is the only child on my side so everyone usually gets her something.

For food my Mum usually does most of it, but will let me know if she wants me to bring a dessert or something. And we usually stay at their place a few days so will take other food stuff. So it really doesn't cost us that much. We don't tend to go away at Christmas time because it's too expensive and would rather go away at another time when it's not so hot too.



#8 Liz.Wis

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 05:15 PM

For DD - I try and stick to a couple of big things, rather than lots of little things to make up parcels. I start looking a few months early, buy things on special, and this year in particular, have tried to get better deals online (saves walking the shops too!). We'd probably typically spend around $300.

Our new bub will be 6 weeks old at Christmas, she'll get a couple of little baby toys, and maybe one big item like an activity centre to put away for a few months until she's the right age.

For DH - he's near impossible to buy for, and won't ask for anything specific, so he doesn't get a lot of variety from funky t-shirts, video games, comic books, etc. I usually aim to spend around $100. DH tends to spend considerably more on me, usually jewellery or electronics.

My parents - we ask what they'd like/need. Usually they tell us something around the $100 mark, and we try and given them a few little extras - nice photos, etc. They're incredibly generous in what they give us (usually spend a few hundred on each of us), but hate asking for things themselves.

DH's parents - tend to get a few token gifts like wine, christmas cakes, hamper stuff. They do the same with us.

Siblings - I don't have any, DH and siblings have agreed to not buy presents for grown ups. Nieces/nephews - we only have 3, and they'll get something around the $50 mark each.

Friends - all of our friends have an arrangement of no gifts for each other or children, we've all got small children and hefty mortgages laugh.gif

Food - We typically spend Christmas eve with my parents, who are completely not into food, so we usually would get take away - fish n chips, chinese, etc. The ILs put on more of a traditional Christmas lunch the next day - they're into preparing excessive amounts of food.



#9 Angel_Elle

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 05:16 PM

For us - Dh and i do a major pressie to each other jointly last year was a large photo printed and framed, this years will be a video camera. On top of this we get a few small items as surprises.
Kids - we aim for around $100 each and maybe a joint pressie totalling $100
Neices and Nephew - aim for around $20 each
Our parents - around the $20-30

We tend to buy and put away throughout the year so the budget isnt affected. This year its just us and the kids since we relocated interstate. Next yr we are thinking of flying back from xmas not sure as it depends if DH can get time off and the $$ side as flights alone will cost around $4-5k alone and im not sure if i ready to fly that distance with the kids getting up here was torture enough.
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#10 CookiesandCream

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 06:19 PM

This is our first year with a bub and being on one wage so we have had to be extra organised. I purchased most of the kids stuff during the mid year toy sales.

For Seth we didnt really have a set limit but in total we have spent about $250, he got quite a few toys and books for that amount.....for future christmas's we will probably just get two presents a big outdoor toy from Santa and a smaller indoor gift from us.

For nieces & nephews (3 in total) we set a limit of $80 per child. They are each getting one larger present and two smaller presents.

Parents are getting photo flip books filled with photos of Seth (great deals on vistaprint for these) and home made Rocky Road

Siblings (that we see) are getting a framed photo of Seth and home made Rocky Road

Mothers group is doing a Kris Kringle so limit has been set at $30 and I have one friends little girl to buy for and have set a $30 limit on that as well.

I know my Aunties and Uncles will buy Seth a present this year so they will all be getting home made rocky road as well.

DH & I haven't done birthday or christmas presents for years as we usually go out to dinner instead....This year we might do a nice seafood dinner at home after Seth has gone to bed.


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#11 Jaydee

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 07:52 PM

This is definately our most expensive Christmas yet- though we ordered the small ones a swingset in the July toy sales that we've now fully paid for, it's one of those ridiculously enormous ones...with a ridiculously enormous price tag ph34r.gif And along with that they'll "only" get their stockings and an outfit to wear on the day.

Other than that, we just set a budget and stick to it. We set a limit $50 per couple, and $20-25 per child, DH and I usually spend $200 on each other. He does usually get a Christmas bonus though, so being the first year that he's running his own business, perhaps not laugh.gif

Food-wise it's quite good, my IL's have a 'thing' where, on Christmas Day, each couple brings a meat (or vego alternative...okay, I'm the only one that applies to tongue.gif ), a salad, and a sweet or nibble. It works out really well. MIL usually gets such an enormous Christmas ham that she sends an enormous piece our way for DH, so that's taken care of.

Christmas Eve, I've set the tradition about 5 years ago that it's just us- DH and I, and now the small ones of course, and that's quite affordable.

I generally start picking up bits and pieces in November, especially for the nephews etc, and that helps too.

#12 hanes

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 09:43 PM

I havent really done much of the Christmas shopping. I always seem to say next year I'll start shopping early but it never seems to happen! rolleyes.gif

Hubby and I dont usually buy anything for each other. We figure we have enough people to buy for at that time of year, we'd rather buy something later in the year when the budget is less stressed.

My family have started a Kris Kringle kind of game where we only put in $30 pp for each adult. But we still buy for my parents and usually spend around $50 each.

For dh's parents we spend about the same.

We do tend to have a long list of other people to buy for, close friends, grandparents etc. and this usually means buying presents can be costly! I just tend to have a budget and stick to it. Ive found online shopping quite useful.

As for food, well, we dont really have the space to host family Christmases so we hop from the in-laws to my parents. We might bring a dish, but generally its all done for us biggrin.gif
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#13 LoveSweetpea

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 07:30 AM

We have a Christmas Club account that I put $50 per fortnight into. It's a specified Christmas account and you can only make withdrawals after 1 November (so my money's just been released - hooray!!). There's I think $1000 in there.

We don't buy for siblings anymore as we all have at least one child. Still have to buy for parents and my grandmother. I did all bar one nephew and one niece in the July sales so only $100 to spend there (I set limit at $50 per child). Not sure what were doing for presents for each other. Nan I usually wouldn't spend more than $50 and parents between $50 and $100 each.

Food I have no idea what we're doing yet this year so who knows. There's another 3 fortnights left so depending on what we do there's another $150 which will likely cover what we have to do there.

For Jackson I'd say we'll probably spend around $300 on him. I have about $100 of elc stuff in my cart online ready to go - all educational or crafty stuff and not too sure yet what else we're getting for him.

I'd be lost without my Christmas account!!
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#14 Monica

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 12:45 PM

I have lay buyed a few things.
I am banking on getting the $500 EFTPOS card we have gotten in previous years from work otherwise I am stuffed.
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#15 Puggie

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 01:07 PM

QUOTE(~Piper~ @ Nov 2 2011, 02:12 PM) View Post

This is the first year I've had to think about being careful with money, being on maternity leave and all. Luckily for us my side of the family already do a KK, although the limit is $200. It started not as a cost saving measure but because we all had enough 'stuff' and decided to limit the amount of gifts and go more for one big/practical thing that we wouldn't necessarily buy ourselves, instead of receiving 10 smaller gifts. It still works out cheaper though which is a bonus. DH's family have a $30 limit on gifts but he is going to suggest we do the KK thing because again, each person gets lots of small presents and we don't need more stuff just for the sake of giving and receiving stuff. I'm trying to simplify our lifestyle and be a bit more minimalist.


QUOTE(AliRo @ Nov 2 2011, 05:37 PM) View Post

we don't go overboard. I would spend about $50-$100 on presents for Lily. I pick things up throughout the year that are on sale or clearance.

Like others we tend not to go overboard. For others we try and buy experiences rather than stuff people don't need. So my parents will get ballroom dancing lessons (they go fortnightly since we first gave them a few lessons about 4 years ago - now our present buying for every occasion is sorted tongue.gif). I will usually pick up a little something for my MIL. My SIL only buys for the kids although I will get a little something for her if I see something she'll like.

I tend to get the kids a couple of pressies. Nothing major as they already have so much.

Food this year will be cheap. MIL is hosting and she won't want us to bring anything.




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