It’s easy to veer off budget when you’re doing your Christmas shopping, particularly when your kids are little and they expect that Santa can bring them…well just about anything.
I’ve shared this tip before, but I’ll do it again. Our kids have always known that even Santa has a budget – he has to have enough money to get kids around the world all of their gifts, right? So, we set an amount with them (it was/is $200 each) and if they wanted a gift that cost more, they had to save up the difference, and leave it out for Santa. He would take the cash and leave the gift. If they couldn’t save enough, they would have to change what they wanted.
They don’t believe in Santa anymore, but we still do this. For instance, my daughter wanted a “fashion coat” for Christmas this year – it was a (staggering) $315 (I’ve never spend that on a coat for myself!). So, she’ll be leaving out her $115 on Christmas Eve.
It was just a couple of years ago when my youngest was asking a friend about how much he owed on a recent BIG present from Santa/his parents, and came home saying “Are you telling me that other kids don’t have to pay for their own Christmas presents?”
This little thing has really helped to control our spending, with the added benefit that I believe the kids appreciate and care for their gifts more, as they had to contribute to it themselves. Yes, my kids get allowance and/or money for chores, before they could earn through a regular part time job. Leading up to Christmas I assign a lot of jobs (the car was just cleaned out yesterday…)
How do you get your kids to understand Christmas has its limits?
(excerpt from her facebook post – www.kathybuckworth.com)