Friday, November 23, 2007

Don't Spoil the Kids!

Last Christmas was crazy. My kids got so many presents, a week after Christmas there were still things in their original boxes unopened. This year I wanted to make sure that didn't happen. I mean, I could have saved close to $100 on each child on the toys they didn't bother to open until they got bored with the others. This year I created a three tiered list for each child.

I took a regular piece of paper and folded it in half. On each half I wrote one name. Under each name I made three sections. In the top section I wrote down items they were likely to get from Santa ;) Under that I wrote gifts they were getting from us. And finally items that would make good stocking stuffers. I limited each section to 3 or 4 items. I probably should have cut it down even more than that. I know they will get items from both sets of grandparents and my ex husband usually sends my oldest a ton of stuff she doesn't need. At first parts of the list were empty. However I still knew about how much I could spend on those items.

Some people may be able to do this without a list, but I am horrible with it. Last Christmas as we were getting things wrapped and set out, I actually saved a couple of toys for my oldest's birthday which was only 3 months away because I knew we had gone overboard. I may still end up doing that again!! That is always another option if you have bought too much.


Shelby T said...

Good advice! That deal with your ex-husband...I have that problem too. But, I know he wants the kids to know that he is still a art of his life even though he is out of state. I actually caved and am going to let them spend Christmas with him this year. We are going to have a special "Christmas" here before they fly down to their Dad. He has a girlfriend, and I know she does most of the shopping for him. I always feel bad when I get irritated at him for the amount of gifts. Do you ever not give your oldest all of her gifts, or get rid of them after opening? I saved a few to give them later one time. I will be checking online before I go shopping...that is a great idea! Shelby T.

Jen said...

No, I always make sure she gets ALL of her gifts from him. I don't want there to be any way for anyone to say I took something that he gave her away. The only time we get rid of anything from him is when we do our yearly "spring cleaning" in her room but then again we get rid of a lot of other stuff as well. I hate having to deal with all the stuff but it is important to me for her to know that I never try to mess in her relationship with her dad. Anyway he does plenty to mess that up himself, lol. That is great you are letting yours go for Christmas. Your holiday will be a lot less stressful, except for missing the kids. But, it is good you are letting them go too.

Shelby T said...

That is good! I am (in a small way) to a very quiet Christmas with my fiance. Have you let your oldest go for Christmas yet? I always dread the gift thing, especially this year because he has a wife now so I'm sure she is going to overcompensate with a bunch of gifts for my kids. It's too bad I couldn't take them all back and buy them what they really need. How is your pregnancy going? Do you know the gender yet? How exciting! I just won a gift card to a local department store, so I was able to get most of my Christmas shopping done for free. I took the money I had set aside and deposited it into my "hard to wothdraw from" savings account. I hope you are having good financial times as well! Shelby T.