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Christmas with a lot of kids

Forum: Large Families


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November 29th, 2012, 11:48 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,797
I was wondering if you find it's different than smaller families, or what do you do different?

I talked to my mom yesterday and she is so determined that everyone has the same number of gifts, she's driving me nuts, and it's not even December yet . For her, gifts and the "image" are very important. Do you all worry about that?

For us, each one gets one from Santa, one sibling secret santa and one from us. Honestly, the focus of it isn't on the gifts we give but what we do for others in our family and community. But we keep it pretty small here, or should I say, it's fun, just not overwhelming.

So do you set $ limits on gifts or number of gifts? How to keep from going "overboard?"
Jesus loving, homeschooling, gardening lover, devoted wife to a wonderful hubby and 10 kids, ages 13 down to 12.5 months . We are expecting number 11 due January 1st, 2015.

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November 29th, 2012, 11:55 AM
Repti.Mom's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 15,641
I do the same amount of gifts still too. This year it will be about 5 for the older 5, 2-3 for Bastian and Weston. That's from us, my parents like to buy them stuff too.
I think my mom kinda feels like she has to buy them things since she barely comes to see us anymore.
My brother asked what to get for them I said just a big bucket of legos to share and maybe some 3-6 month sleepers for Weston.

I am trying VERY hard this year to only get them things they really want, or are going to play with. The 'boys' are getting a lego table, and the 'girls' are getting a large doll house. Those are the most expensive things, and the things that actually I am most excited about. DH will be super excited to spend hours putting that doll house together too I bet haha!

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November 29th, 2012, 12:27 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 8,385
We normally have done 3 gifts per kid, one from us (mom and dad) that's for you, one that's fun for everyone and one from your secret Santa person. I'm downgrading to 2 gifts I think. I have a few different motivations in this, first is that I don't want to take away from why we celebrate Christmas in the first place, it's more about Jesus than anything else, also, I want the kids to appreciate the thought that goes into the gift more than the amount spent. I don't keep the $ amount the same, for example, my oldest wants a straightener which will probably be more $ than what I would spend on a toy for my youngest. I do always make sure there's a gift for the family to play with, most often a wii game.

I set this limit for myself too though, because it's easy to get caught up in it, especially when you see something for a particular kid that you know they'll love.

My kids do know there's a shopping trip in it for them after Christmas, there's a few with some wardrobe needs, so may as well go shopping when everything is cheap.

Our kids don't know any different, and there will always be kids that have more than them, but know they've got it pretty good with us. What we see around here is the kids that get the biggest gifts have the least stable home life.
mom of 5 girls
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November 29th, 2012, 02:26 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 404
We try to set a $ amount just so we know how much to have saved up. It's been different every year really. This year is way less than last year because we don't want them to expect alot if we ever don't have the money. We do try to keep it even in how many toys BUT we also tell them that some things they want may cost more than what another sibling wants.
My parents(especially my dad) went crazy for us on Christmas. There are 5 of us (plus now 2 sons in law and 10 grandkids) but they still keep it even. My dad came from a family of 8 kids so I don't think they had Christmas so he's always gone all out. Even though the true meaning of Christmas is obviously about Jesus, I don't want my kids to ever have bad feelings against their siblings because we had more kids and they didn't get as much as other families. Thankfully, my kids are pretty good. We already told them that next year the main Christmas present is a vacation to Hawaii and they're all okay with that.
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November 29th, 2012, 02:41 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,797
A trip to Hawaii! Wow, I'm sure they will be okay with that! Can I come
Just_Marie and mamato4andc like this.
Jesus loving, homeschooling, gardening lover, devoted wife to a wonderful hubby and 10 kids, ages 13 down to 12.5 months . We are expecting number 11 due January 1st, 2015.

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November 29th, 2012, 07:27 PM
~mommy~'s Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3,496
Dh enjoys going overboard for ...well all of us. Here's a few photos from last Christmas.

Can't believe how much she has grown.
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November 29th, 2012, 09:31 PM
Mom to 8 amazing kids
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Melba, Idaho
Posts: 2,672
We go overboard, it's more my husband then me, although this year we did cut back on the older ones. They can buy what they want themselves for the most part. I really do try to cut back but if I find a good deal, like Vanna's Lallaloopsy tree house doll thing (cause I find them to be crazy price wise) I have to get it, $20 versus $50 is a big deal and not something I can walk pass lol

My MIL goes overboard also, she LOVES to shop, so any excuse for her works. My mom doesn't do anything for the kids. Any extra money she has goes to my sister and her kids.
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November 30th, 2012, 07:53 AM
therevslady's Avatar Built for Birth
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 6,194
We do a pretty simple Christmas. We usually get one present for ALL of the kids and then a few small presents for each individual. Last year we did a Swing set and then 3 small presents for each. The swing set was a dual gift from us and from my mom.

The grandparents go ALL out and spend WAY too much. And they never ask if we can even have certain toys. We live in a small city house with no basement or attic storage. I'm pretty sure they ALL want to get some sort of power wheels toy for my 2 and 3 year old this year. We are going to have a parking lot full of those stupid things. We already have one. And we live on a freaking 1/2 acre lot and 1/2 of that is impossible to drive those things on. I wish they would listen when I told them I don't want those things here. Ugh. They always want to buy some HUGE toy for each individual kid and we don't have ANY space for it. Plus, those things are just going to sit outside in the weather and get all gross. What a waste of money!

Vent over.
Previously known as ~~Que~~

Student Midwife, Doula, Placenta Specialist, and Lactation Counselor
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November 30th, 2012, 08:29 AM
BeachMum's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4,219
We try to keep things simple. We like to do the
Something you want.
something you need.
Something to wear
and something to read.

They also get christmas jammies that get opened Christmas Eve and one big santa gift, stocking stuffers and a family santa gift.

So they get the same amount of gifts and we don't spend the same amount on the kids.

We also let them do a secret santa kind of gift for each other.
HalfDozen likes this.
Mom of 2 girls and 3 boys
Missing my 4 angels too precious for this earth: 2/22/04, 12/13/06, 4/22/08, 11/16/12

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November 30th, 2012, 09:26 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2009
Location: southern cali
Posts: 3,549
"Something you want.
something you need.
Something to wear
and something to read."

love this idea -- i am doing something similar this year for the grandkids although i may step it up to this. for the grown kids we are giving cash (not a lot mind you).

when my kids were little, i used to do it up big!! my tree looked like ~mommy~'s tree. even last year looked like that because we had several families living in our home and so everyone's gifts went under our one tree. but this year, each family is having christmas morning at their own home and then all are coming here for brunch later. my tree is going to look empty sort of....but it will have enough under it to make everyone happy.

as for the hawaii trip ~~ i think it was two years ago that we gave each family a gift of a weekend in march at a hotel in palm springs. it was like a mini-family vacay and it was great!! we have also given passes to knotts berry farm as family gifts too.
BeachMum and mamato4andc like this.
what goes around, comes around.....
speak with kindness....

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November 30th, 2012, 10:39 AM
Repti.Mom's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Posts: 15,641
I like that too, I have heard it before but I always forget it. Next year maybe!

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November 30th, 2012, 12:38 PM
Momtothe6thpower's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Location: Smalltown, USA
Posts: 8,418
We did the 4 gift thing (what you want, need, ect.) + a santa gift each and a family santa gift last year. It was our smallest Christmas and so much easier.

This year I'm sweating it since dh isn't making as much as he has in the past. They will all get something but it may not be exactly what they asked for. They have expensive taste and I have 1 with a birthday before Christmas and 1 with a birthday 2 wks later.
Cortney...mom to A, C, E, L, I, and R

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November 30th, 2012, 12:56 PM
HalfDozen's Avatar Formerly Number5OnTheWay
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,596
~Mommy~, Christmas morning always looked like that at my parents' house, too, and there were 4 of us. My hubby and I have tried to tone it down for our kids'. We used to do much bigger, but now they generally have 3-4 boxes each and sometimes there is a gift for all of them.

Honestly, I loved my family Christmases, but I don't think it made me appreciate how truly expensive it was for my parents, until I tried to do it myself. I always felt bad for my friends that "only" got 5-6 things. My girls know that what they get, usually, has some thought behind it, and they always get 1 gift that they REALLY want. I feel like we're preparing our kids a little better for the future. And they usually all get each other something.

Plus, our kids get to celebrate several times over Christmas. They have Christmas at home, Christmas later in the week at my parents' and then my hubby's parents', plus they have a gift exchange with their cousins.
Mommy to Jasmine (18), Kirsten (14), Ana (13), Katie (3), Xavier (1), and Gunnar (born 10-15-14)

New picture in progress......
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November 30th, 2012, 04:08 PM
~mommy~'s Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Posts: 3,496
Exactly, thank you. When I heard of the want, need, wear, read idea, I thought it was brilliant and brought it up to dh. He poo pooed the idea......I think he really likes being "Santa Claus"
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November 30th, 2012, 06:35 PM
sarahlorrain's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 5,501
We don't go too overboard. We save money throughout the year and then buy whatever we want until the money is gone, but we try to make sure that the kids all have the same amount of packages to open. We don't have as much money to spend this year, but they're still getting most of what they want. Plus, we have family members who get them stuff (and some who send extra money and tell us to use the money to buy presents for the kids) too, so they'll be just fine. My aunt sent us some money and said to use it however we wanted, so dh and I claimed that as our own and got a few things we needed. Nothing exciting, some maternity shirts and makeup for me and socks, underwear, belt and shirt for dh. We really know how to live it up, eh?
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December 1st, 2012, 12:16 AM
UrbanMomma's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I don't have a set amount or number, but we try to make it "fair." I have already told the kids that Christmas this year will be smaller. We have a space issue too and I am also sick of buying stuff that ends up broken, lost, under the bed by New Years.

Kya is getting a second hand doll house (Loving Family) with every piece of furniture and the whole family that was given to me by a friend. The thing looks like it was never played with. That is her main gift.

We don't do any type of santa anything, never have. I'm just not into it.
Jenifer....The Queen Bee
Nehemiaah Franklin 11/10/14 4:16am 9lbs 9oz
Welcome to the world lil' man!!
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December 1st, 2012, 11:16 AM
2pinks&ablue's Avatar Chantelle
Join Date: May 2007
Location: NB, Canada
Posts: 36,142
We don't go too overboard with Christmas, the kids get quite a few gifts, but we try not to spend too much. Some things I find used but in great condition, and I shop sales. They get a few from us, one shared gift from Santa, one gift each from Santa, plus stockings. They Do get spoiled by grandparents though (especially my parents) and extended family.
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December 2nd, 2012, 07:25 PM
Just_Marie's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 28,175
My goal was to do three gifts per kid from Santa, but after wrapping it appears they're getting three from Santa plus three from mom and dad, plus stockings-just more stuff to pick up each night before bed lol

Lucky mother to five!

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December 3rd, 2012, 06:32 PM
acupofjoe's Avatar Proud mama of three!
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Location: washington state.
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We dont have any set "rules' really but we usually get each child two or three things. Really depends on the price of each item..like if one of them wanted something that was a good chunk of money 50-100$ or so) then they would get that and one cheaper thing but if they wanted something and each thing was like 20-30$ then they would get all three things. I hope that makes sense.
Nessa proud married working mother of three kids in Washington state. Trying to raise our family of five as LDS. Taking life one day at a time.
Jordan - 6 yr; Stan - 4 yr; & Tyler - 2 yr.
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