December 19, 2013

Buying Christmas For Many.

I'm not great at budgeting.
My heart is always bigger than my wallet.
But, I'm not stressed this year about Christmas for my kids... and this is why.

1. I separated Christmas morning from my never ending list of things my kids need.
2.  I focused on 4 gifts per kid. {Want, Need, Wear, Read} Plus Christmas pjs and stockings.
3. I did all my shopping online.  Amazon Prime (2 day shipping), JCPenny and Lands End.  (I got stocking stuffers at Target and wrapping paper at TJ Max.)
4.  I could take returns back to the stores.  Lands End can be returned to Sears and we have a Penny's nearby.  So, any clothes I bought online that weren't right could be easily returned to the store.
5.  I have a simple composition notebook where I wrote each kid- ideas and then actual purchases.  I keep a running to do, to return, and to buy list in the same notebook.  I also stuck all the receipts in it as the boxes arrived.

Our budget was about $100 per kid, plus $30 from Grandma and Grandpa.  The oldest boys ended up with a bit more than that.

Our Christmas budget was separate from our monthly money.  So, if kids needed new church pants or stuff for school, that came out of our regular money.  I just bought them what they needed and kept it separate from Christmas.  Or, I told them we could get it for them in January.(Usually I try to combine everything and it's overwhelming.)

Sure, Christmas is still a crazy, busy time.  I still wish I could play Santa to many more people than I actually have the funds to support.  I'm really excited for Christmas morning.  

(Today I want to wrap!! Wish me luck.)

I love Christmas with a large family!
This is a great time of the year.
Ho Ho Ho!


Tawnie said...

I have 6 (7 in a week) kids. This is my system! I love to hear others who make silly lists the way I do. I folded a paper to make 6 columns. I listed everything. check mark when it was purchased, w when it was wrapped. It's all on one side of one paper and super organized and it makes me feel good. I like to look at it just to feel like I've accomplished something awesome. HA!!! Good job to you! I wanted to do the 4 things but it quickly went further than that. As always. Not a huge Christmas but seems that way with lots of people to buy for.

Angie Vach said...

We do similar things. We open gifts from grandparents on Christmas eve, and then our 4 kids open 3 gifts from us on Christmas morning. Usually all fun gifts, crafts, or interesting reads. Since they're all little (7 and under) we save clothes usually for when they're needed; which seems to be all the time lately! Have a wonderful Christmas season!

Tristan said...

Hubby and I still have some wrapping to do. We decided this year to try putting each child's gifts in an Amazon shipping box the size our diapers come in) and wrap that. We'll see how it goes.

Speaking of Amazon - I love shopping online! We bought gifts online from Amazon,, Joann Fabrics, and from my Lilla Rose store. So much easier when you have eight kids to do it that way! We did 3 gifts for each, except the 5 month old who really doesn't know/care/need anything.

We also have 6 kids birthdays from Oct-Feb. Then two birthdays in April and two in the summer.

Evaly said...

thanks for sharing. I like to hear about how other people do things.

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