Setting a Christmas budget when it comes to buying for the kids can be simple on paper but when it comes to shopping if you don’t stick to the list you can easily blow that budget.
Some kids can create a wish list that is so long and off the charts sometimes you wonder if you are doing the right thing buying them everything they want or desire or stick to a plan like CBB writer Katrina outlines below.
Some kids simply need to learn that gifts are not what Christmas is all about.
Sitting with your children to explain about how some children around the world don’t even get food on their plates let alone gifts under the Christmas tree.
You might even combat double duty with alleviating food waste and having your children think twice about not eating everything that is on their plate.
Creating a Christmas list
My best friend was able to find and print a free printable Christmas wish list for his daughter to get started thinking about what she would like to un-wrap Christmas morning.
Your child might be of the creative type so you can even turn this activity into an arts and crafts time and have your child create their own list with crayons, pencil crayons, markers and other art materials.
It seems that kids either want all toys or outrageous things that no one could ever deliver, not even Santa just like the 7-year-old daughter of Deadspin writer Drew Magary who created what was deemed an “insane Christmas list“.
It was interesting to read what she listed because it’s not every day you read that a child wants “a little thing that can turn into anything at any time” and it makes you wonder what she was imagining in her mind. I’m not sure we could put a price tag on her creativity and imagination but I’m betting it’s colourful.
My wife said when she was a child she never did make a wish list for Santa, rather Santa already seemed to know what she wanted and she was pleased with what she received.
Her parents encouraged her to go Christmas caroling around the neighbourhood at night to spread some holiday cheer which she believes has been lost for years. I have yet to have anybody sing Christmas carols at our door but it would be a pleasant surprise if they did.
I can relate to my wife as my family did the same but Christmas is very commercialized these days and that’s why my best friend talks to his daughter about the meaning of Christmas and why it’s important to give rather than receive.
If you want to know how to raise your kids to be successful in love and life it starts with you giving them the push but also by setting examples as they do look up to you and trust you.
Giving also doesn’t necessarily mean money or gifts it could simply be donating time to wrap gifts or to volunteer over the holidays. If you are handy and creative with the sewing machine or with a ball of yarn you can also make Christmas presents such as blankets, hats, mitts, booties, curtains, table clothes etc. rather than rushing out to buy the latest and greatest. Many times people appreciate gifts that were hand-made for Christmas.
Managing a Christmas list
The approach my best friend took with his daughter was that he asked her to write out what she needed and wanted for Christmas along with any type of educational or reading material she might want. He really wants to see her focus more on reading rather than video games and plush toys which seem to be a big focus in her life.
I was speaking to Katrina who writes for me here at Canadian Budget Binder and she filled me in a little bit more about how she goes about buying gifts for her children and I thought it was a brilliant idea.
Well anytime we are out shopping and the kids say they want something I tell them to add it to their list…a list of things they want we write down and I tell them that gives me options for birthday and Santa…it curbs a fight in the store too.
It could be a toy on TV too as kids shows commercials are all toys!
When planning my list for things to pick up for the kids I stick to buying one thing they want, one thing they need, one thing to read and one thing to play with.
This is a tradition to not overspend and spoil my kids more so than one to make memories but makes creating my shopping list to work away at throughout the year a lot easier.
Christmas toy drive
My best friend also asked his daughter to go through all of her old toys and to pick out the toys she no longer uses so they can be donated to other children that would play with them and love them. It’s a great way to start teaching the kids to give back as well to think about how much stuff they have don’t really need.
There are still many toys with tags or toys that have hardly been used and it’s just filling up so much space around the house. He admits that he spoiled her and still does to a certain degree as he feels bad when he doesn’t make her happy but is working on cutting back on the spending.
He is learning the hard way that it’s difficult to stop something that you started, especially when they start to expect it all of the time when they are out shopping. He is now beginning to realize that it’s OK to say NO to a child and to talk to them about money, how to earn money and how they have to save for things they want. Money doesn’t grow on trees.
She then mentioned that her school was holding a Christmas toy drive asking parents if they are able to donate an unopened gift. I think this type of drive at the schools are a great way to make sure that children are hearing the message that gifts and stuff are not what Christmas is all about.
Christmas can be costly but managing the kids Christmas list can be tough for those parents who want to make their kids happy and try to fulfill ever wish their child has. If you take a list that a child has put together and break it down like Katrina does it’s like taking an item out of each of the food groups to create a balanced meal.
If you have too much of one thing it’s not good for you but if you balance it out then it makes it easier to see the end goals and the same goes with a Christmas list.
How do you manage outrageous Christmas wish lists from your kids and what is the oddest request you have ever seen from your child?
Canadian Budget Binder this week
If you missed any of my posts from the week here is the list of posts you can catch up on reading!
- Christmas Countdown: Traditions for a lifetime of memories
- How Rogers long-distance bumped up our monthly wireless bill
- The Grocery Game Challenge Nov 2-8, 2013 #1: How often do you go grocery shopping?
- Bust our Budget November 2013: How do you pay your bills?
- Stollen Bread for the Christmas Holidays
- The Saturday Weekend Review #48: How your name can affect your salary
- PF Friday Grab a Brew #49: Are all online reviews telling the truth?
CBB at home and the blog
Not too much has been happening on the home front this week as I’ve been away training for work and will be for the next 2 weeks a few days a week. I’ll be happy when it’s over and done with but the fact of the matter is that technology and our lives are changing every day and so must we if we plan to stay ahead in the job market or desire to move up the career ladder.
We are slowly buying our Christmas gifts and wrapping them as we go along so we don’t have a huge mess of gifts to wrap at the last-minute especially since we are travelling away to the relatives for the Christmas holidays.
The blog has been fairly quiet as Katrina, Nicola and I battle the blogosphere each week we keep on plugging away to bring all of you the best content we can in order to stimulate conversation and saving money in your budget.
Fan deals of the week
Submit your Brag
If you have a brag that you want me to share email me at canadianbudgetbinder (@) [yahoo] [.ca] by Friday each week to have your brag considered for the Saturday post
A big thanks to the lovely Jen Peacock for submitting her brag once again this week who shares how her rewards points are coming in handy for the Christmas gifts she needs to purchase.
- $50 La Senza gift card redeemed 50,000 PC Points
- $50 Mark’s gift card redeemed 50,000 PC Points
- $50 Canadian Tire gift card redeemed 6,000 RBC Rewards
- $25 Subway gift card redeemed 3,000 RBC Rewards
I also have on order the other half of the gift to go with the Subway gc:
$25 iTunes gift card redeemed 3,000 RBC Rewards.
That knocks 4 people off my list and they were all FREE!
That leaves me with my hubby, mom, Mother-in-law (MIL) and friends daughter left to buy for.
I have nothing to buy for my son as he doesn’t need anything and I bought him a toy tool bench and mega blocks at yard sales this summer that will be his Santa gifts.
We bought my MIL a beautiful framed picture off a FB auction site last month for $25 (regularly $49.99).
So 3 1/2 people left seems pretty manageable to me and I will be as financially creative as I can to purchase their gifts below retail to fit them in my budget 🙂
Making a difference
Hi, I’m Maggie from Square Pennies! I go a long way back with Mr. CBB in the blogosphere.
Mr. CBB asked me to share a little bit about what I do at Square Pennies. At Square Pennies my goal is to help you live a rich life no matter what your income!
I’m a strong believer in setting goals. Write down all your goals and then prioritize them. If you accomplish the things that are most important to you, you will be a success! I post lots of money-saving tricks to make it easier to achieve those goals.
We raised four wonderful children and sent them to college, all on a single income. How? We cooked at home most of the time and built in little celebrations to keep it from being boring.
We went on hikes instead of going to the movies. We traveled to visit family instead of taking expensive vacations. We spent a lot of time reading to and with our kids. We played with them. We talked with them.
We did family projects together. We built a strong family this way and our grown kids say they still value it today. My philosophy is that if you give your kids a strong loving base, it will support them through life’s ups and downs. It gives them an inner strength. Nobody’s life is free from stress and problems, but having a strong family support system makes a huge difference in being able to handle it all.
You can save so much money by cooking and it’s a great life skill to pass on to your children. I post recipes that are easy and wonderful, ones that make a holiday even more special, ones that are healthy and inexpensive, ones that are great for entertaining yet inexpensive, and various combinations of easy/healthy/quick/inexpensive/yummy.
I want a recipe to be well worth my time to make and I want the same for any recipes I share with you.
Square Pennies has some crafts, especially for the holidays. I also post DIY decor that looks great and doesn’t cost much because that saves a lot of money.
I am fortunate to have a very engaged group of readers at Square Pennies. Often the comments section is full of great tips and advice as well. My readers are smart and share their thoughts regularly. I am so grateful for them!
Can any of this help you? I hope so! Come take a look at Square Pennies. I’d love to see you there!
Blog post sharing
I really appreciate when other blog owners recognize my hard work at Canadian Budget Binder and share my posts with their fans or even mention my blog on their blog or website.
Here are the blogs that did just that this past week, so please head over and check them out. If I’m missing you it’s because I didn’t get a ping back so please send me an email and I’ll add you next Saturday.
What is a blog carnival?
Some fans have asked me just what is a blog carnival so a little explanation is due here for anyone reading for the first time or for my long-time fans. A blog carnival is where a blog or website hosts what we call a carnival of blog posts from around the web.
Most blog carnivals have a theme and certain rules for submitting which must be followed. If you are a blogger and would like to learn what blog carnival directories I submit to each week you can find the information in a previous Saturday Weekend Review post that I wrote.
A big thanks to these pages for accepting my blog posts and sharing them in the following carnivals………..
- Carnival of Financial Planning–Kids ain’t cheap
- Personal Finance Carnival #20– Aspiring Blogger
- Carnival of Financial Independence– Reach Financial Independence
Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. Here are a few of my favorite searches that may have even brought you here and you’re reading this, right now.
- Should you wait for your Christmas tree to fall before you start decorating it– Hmmmm sure ok.
- Toothpick with balls- I presume you mean my Chocolate peanut butter balls
- Rogers the elf– ha ha… is there such an elf? My Rogers post and Katrina’s elf on a shelf
- Wear ripped jeans to grocery store– No big deal, heck I buy my jeans ripped already.
- Earn with a passion- This is so true and my favourite search term of the week.
Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?
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- Check out my new Free Recipe Index
- If you like FREE then click this link for my FREE Excel Budget Spreadsheet and all my Free Money Saving Lists!
- The Saturday Weekend Review #41: Would you buy a house with a spooky or illegal past?
- The Saturday Weekend Review #42: Don’t cancel that cable subscription just yet
- The Saturday Weekend Review #43: Demanding kids and budget Halloween costume ideas
- The Saturday Weekend Review #44: Holiday flyer gimmicks that gets your wallet fired up
- The Saturday Weekend Review #45: Outrageous online pricing deals gone wrong
- The Saturday Weekend Review #46:Gay lifestyle lands no tip from customer
- The Saturday Weekend Review #47: How two children share their views about rip-off prices for used toys
- The Saturday Weekend Review #48: How your name can affect your salary