How Much Are You Spending on the Holidays?

by Kelly · 6 comments

in A Frugal Home

The holiday season comes early and hits hard at our house. Starting with my aunt’s birthday on November 15 and ending four months later with my mother’s birthday on February 16, we celebrate almost all the birthdays and wedding anniversaries in our family, plus Thanksgiving, Hannukah and Christmas.

This year we’ve decided to scale back as much as possible, and I’ve even bought and paid for most of the gifts already. The biggest gifts, both in scale and  number, that we’re giving are to the children and even those are to be given spread out over the first two nights of Hannukah and then Christmas Day. We’re not buying presents for our parents, but rather giving personal items (I can’t be more specific, as my family reads the blog and doing so will spoil the surprise!). I’m only buying practical gifts for my husband- think socks and electric toothbrush heads.

There was a survey recently done in France that said that a family of four spends on average €600 for the end of the year holidays (Christmas and New Year’s Eve) and that while spending on presents will be reduced by about 3% per family, the food budget isn’t budging.

I think this will be true for us as well.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but Christmas dinner and Hannukah’s fried goodies make those two events close seconds. I have a hard time imagining that we’ll be reducing the food budget, even just a little bit.

How about you? Where does the biggest part of your holiday budget go? Are you spending more or less this year?


1 Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog November 24, 2009

I hope to spend about the same this year, but do so a little more creatively. My boyfriend and I are cutting out restaurants and sweets (among other things) to make up for the extra cash that isn’t in the budget.
.-= Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog´s last blog ..15 Thrifty Gifts Under $15 =-.

2 Simple in France November 25, 2009

Great topic! A couple of years ago, DH and I decided to do a year of buying nothing new–not simply to be more frugal but also to be more green and just to quit filling our house with so much junk. We were planning an international move and looking ahead to living for an unknown time on only one salary.

That year, we cut way back on the number of presents we gave and I gave only food: spiced wine packets that included inexpensive French red wine and a packet of whole spices and sugar. For children we gave small amounts of money.

But since then our extended family in the US has hit upon rather hard times–and our family gift exchange has basically been canceled. We are not complaining.

DH and I don’t buy each other anything. Is that sad? We don’t think so.

As for our Family in France, we don’t really exchange presents in the same way, so it’s almost a non-issue. I’ll bring them California chocolates and whiskey. We’ll probably buy a little something for DH’s god-daughter and that’s it. Food will be the biggest expense as the family meal in France tends to be a little more elaborate than in the US.
.-= Simple in France´s last blog ..DH on strike against his will. =-.

3 Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog November 25, 2009

The wife and I are scaling back our gifts to each other by quite a bit. In the past 6 months we’ve bought a new house and had our first child so we could use the increased frugality. Plus we don’t really need much, why spend on each other when we don’t particularly want anything?
.-= Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog´s last blog ..What Is A Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA)? =-.

4 Aspiring Millionaire @ November 25, 2009

First of all, I just want to say thank you for such a wonderful blog. For the holidays this year, I don’t plan on spending anything on anyone. I told my family this very honestly. I am a big believer in giving. Giving can be in the form of a compliment or a positive thought. I am not religious, but plan on doing some kind of volunteer work on Christmas Day. When I get married and have kids one day, I’d like this to become part of the traditions in my family. I should do a post about this on Happy Thanksgiving!
.-= Aspiring Millionaire @´s last blog ..I Love My Magic Wallet =-.

5 Payday Loans December 1, 2009

Great blog!
In answer to your question we’re reserving less money for holidays now… we prefer to save incase times get worse. I don’t believe they will but there is the potential.
Thanks again,

6 candygiftbaskets December 5, 2009

We decided to homemade all our gifts. Not spending money on gifts even for our extended families. This has been decided before fall so i started earlier to make all these gifts just to give me enough time to send my postal service. Most of the money will be spend on food but again we are trying to minimise and have whatever is necessary only.

Thanks for sharing.
.-= candygiftbaskets´s last blog ..Over the Hill 40th Bouquet of Cookies =-.

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