How Much Is Too Much?

I’ve bought a few Christmas presents here and there, but nothing really big until this week.  I needed to get some ideas on what to get for my nine year old this year.  So I took him on a quick window shopping trip with me.  I asked him to take a look around and make a mental note of everything he wanted this year, then for him to write it all down once we got home.  I got some pretty good ideas, but I also found myself asking how much is too much to spend on Christmas gifts?

Image credit: iStockphoto.com

Image credit: iStockphoto.com

The most expensive item on his wish list this year was Band Hero Band Kit, which is just under $200.  I know he will not be getting it this year…or any year for that matter.  But it’s not for the reason you might think.  Yes, it is outrageously expensive, but the real reason he won’t be getting this is because I know he will not get much use out of it.  If I knew, without a doubt, that he would actually play with it for more than a month, my husband and I might consider letting him have it.  Still, $200 seems like an awful lot of money to spend on a nine year old boy to me.  With that said, we spent well over $400 last year on an x-box 360 and three or four games to go with it, but that was knowing that everyone in the family would get a lot of use out of it (and we have).

We don’t usually get all crazy with spending.  The older kids like cash, and I usually get them one other gift on the side.  My husband and I don’t spend a lot on one another either.  My personal wish list this year totals close to $2,000.  But in reality, I only expect about $100 worth of Christmas gifts and that’s is perfectly fine by me.  And since all of our gifts are strictly paid for in cash, this is a lot of money.  Our older kids (22, 18 and 17) will get cash, as they have for a couple of years now and we’ll probably end up spending around $200 on our nine year old this year.

Also, do you only buy presents for immediate family?  What amount do you think is appropriate to spend on a co-worker?  Do you participate in Secret Santa drawings at work?

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2 thoughts on “How Much Is Too Much?

  1. After this post, I’m beginning to think we are the cheapest family around. lol I always try to limit gift spending to $200 per person and that’s for the immediate family. Everyone else gets zip.

  2. we did a secret santa exchange at work….i got my boss…of all people! But i really only get one person at work gifts….Brandon’s family is huge…so..we usually just get “joint” giftcards that each sibling and their family can use for whatever they wish.

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