Curious...Paying for Christmas/Holidays

Two Peas is Closing
Click here to visit our final product sale. Click here to visit our FAQ page regarding the closing of Two Peas.

Posted 12/6/2012 by MrsScrapDiva in NSBR Board
1 2 3 >


PeaNut 101,638
August 2003
Posts: 3,932
Layouts: 2
Loc: New Hampshire

Posted: 12/6/2012 3:31:10 PM
Just curious if others are willing to share how they handle this. From other posts here, it seems like gift giving is upward of $500 - $1000 if not more (multiple electronics, Legos, AG Dolls etc)

I am thinking about maybe starting a savings account in January 2013 and every month adding up to pay for gifts/expenses. This year we are guilty of charging (due to online shopping for better deals) and then we will pay it off in January.

Do you charge everything and then pay it off in January or with Tax Return?
Charge and pay it off all year?
Charge and not think about when it is going to get paid off?
Pay all cash out of savings?
Use a paycheck or bonus?
Christmas Club? (do they do this anymore?)
Buy a little at a time all year?

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 186,656
January 2005
Posts: 8,134
Layouts: 7

Posted: 12/6/2012 3:33:25 PM
We save up. Most of the time it's last minute (Oct/Nov) when we start. But it has always worked out. Also, my largest checks tend to come in December. But we have decided starting in Jan, we will put away $50-$100 each week. This will include gifts but food, tree, etc.


Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 11,642
February 2001
Posts: 8,692
Layouts: 66
Loc: Ohio

Posted: 12/6/2012 3:33:45 PM
My credit union still has Christmas club, and I do that for the bulk of what we spend at Christmas. The rest of it is small, and I just use my regular spending money.

Shut the PEA UP! Yer gettin me all twitterpaited!

PeaNut 123,471
January 2004
Posts: 16,907
Layouts: 165
Loc: Husker by Heart in WI

Posted: 12/6/2012 3:34:13 PM
I love love LOVE our christmas club account. Every paycheck, a certain amount gets put in, and December 1st, we take it out and pay for christmas. (presents, activities, parties, etc) Most banks, I think, still offer one. It makes life so much easier.

Miss Lerins Momma
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 151,660
June 2004
Posts: 13,597
Layouts: 38
Loc: KY

Posted: 12/6/2012 3:36:41 PM
We save up, DH works as much overtime he can and everybit of that money goes towards Christmas. We usually don't have to put any on a credit card, but we did this year bc things are pretty tight.

Trolls *heart* me!!


PeaNut 431,337
July 2009
Posts: 380
Layouts: 3

Posted: 12/6/2012 3:37:33 PM
It's tough! I'm thinking next year I'm going to buy my girls one gift a month for 12 months. I can't believe I haven't thought of this before.

Pastafarian Pea

PeaNut 11,942
March 2001
Posts: 20,489
Layouts: 39
Loc: Midland, TX

Posted: 12/6/2012 3:38:48 PM
I use my credit card for everything, all the time. I pay the balance every month. We used to use our debit card but they nixed the debit reward so we switched to the credit card. So we technically "charge" Christmas every year but I don't ever pay interest.

The way I save for Christmas expenses is holding my flexible spending claims until October every year. I file medical and child care claims in October and when I get the lump sum reimbursement, I use that money to cover the extra Christmas charges on the credit card as we make them. When my youngest gets too old for summer day camp we'll probably divert the money from the child care FSA to savings and cover Christmas that way.


I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. --Susan B. Anthony

Blog link - Dryer Lint
Aprons and More

Dancing to the end of love.

PeaNut 8,446
December 2000
Posts: 12,064
Layouts: 199
Loc: Newport News, VA

Posted: 12/6/2012 3:38:50 PM
We charge it to get the credit card points and then pay it off in January. We spend at the lower end of the spectrum, though, so it's not hard to pay it off all at once.



PeaNut 33,625
March 2002
Posts: 9,769
Layouts: 0
Loc: Washington State

Posted: 12/6/2012 3:39:02 PM
Dh started Christmas shopping in August. We use our debit card so I guess you can say we save for it.

~ Dori ~

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 471,001
June 2010
Posts: 9,109
Layouts: 0

Posted: 12/6/2012 3:43:39 PM
We pay all cash for Christmas. I start buying in August so we spread purchases out over 6 paychecks.


PeaNut 263,952
June 2006
Posts: 3,831
Layouts: 60
Loc: in the land of fruit, nuts, flakes & quakes!

Posted: 12/6/2012 3:43:55 PM
I use my credit union's Santa Saver Christmas Club.

i'm living my *dash*, are YOU?
the dash movie
the gratitude campaign ~ join today!


PeaNut 196,615
March 2005
Posts: 4,599
Layouts: 2
Loc: in front of my computer - where else would I be?

Posted: 12/6/2012 3:46:48 PM
I use all cash and spend less than $500.


Love Letters Pea

PeaNut 65,852
January 2003
Posts: 29,505
Layouts: 385
Loc: Nashville, TN!

Posted: 12/6/2012 3:47:23 PM
Dh gets a bonus in January. We are lazy--we use a credit card and pay it off in January. It's less than $500...if we needed to pay for it without a credit card we could.


PeaNut 399,391
November 2008
Posts: 695
Layouts: 7
Loc: Northeast Pennsylvania

Posted: 12/6/2012 3:47:28 PM
I usually buy gifts starting in August, and pay cash for them. The we finish up in December with our spending money.

Happily married to my DH since September 1992
A crazy-busy Mom to my four awesome kids - DS 19, DS 17, DD 13 and DD 8
Life is good (most days)!

"Home is where your story begins."

Proud owner/designer of "Paper Creations By Sherry", specializing in mini albums, party supplies, hair bows, and much more!


PeaNut 115,520
November 2003
Posts: 620
Layouts: 0
Loc: Boston, MA

Posted: 12/6/2012 3:50:45 PM
I'm kinda of amazed at what gift giving happens according to this board. My kids must be seriously deprived. We spend maybe $250/kid on gifts - MAYBE. Probably closer to $200/kid. One "bigger" item and a few
smaller things.



PeaNut 412,905
February 2009
Posts: 1,708
Layouts: 5

Posted: 12/6/2012 3:51:54 PM
I try buy throughoput the year, but usually do the bulk in November. Cash for me.

Pastafarian Pea

PeaNut 11,942
March 2001
Posts: 20,489
Layouts: 39
Loc: Midland, TX

Posted: 12/6/2012 3:54:15 PM
I think how much is spent is partly due to how old the kids are. When mine were little I could spend $150 and fill up the room with toys. Now they are older and want fewer but more expensive things. My husband and I also still buy for each other/ourselves and socks, jocks, and chocolates doesn't cut it for me.


I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. --Susan B. Anthony

Blog link - Dryer Lint
Aprons and More


PeaNut 65,877
January 2003
Posts: 13,181
Layouts: 30
Loc: So CA

Posted: 12/6/2012 3:58:53 PM
Put a little aside each month. I started shopping and finished early as well. We will use a credit card to get extra money back but pay it off in full each month like always.



PeaNut 574,034
December 2012
Posts: 975
Layouts: 0
Loc: Obamaland

Posted: 12/6/2012 4:01:08 PM
I always pay cash for Christmas. I put aside a little in savings each month. It's so much easier than getting a big bill in January.


PeaNut 53,328
October 2002
Posts: 6,323
Layouts: 2
Loc: Bellaire, TX

Posted: 12/6/2012 4:01:10 PM

I think how much is spent is partly due to how old the kids are.

Also partially depends on marital status. Since ds gets separate presents from me and ex, it just doesn't make sense to spend over $200. Plus, his grandparents are divorced as well, so he's getting double there also. He just doesn't need that much stuff!

Anyway, to answer the OP, I don't usually start shopping until after Thanksgiving, and I pay cash. I'm a total procrastinator.

Thrift Whisperer

PeaNut 114,407
November 2003
Posts: 22,729
Layouts: 66
Loc: At the intersection of Hooterville and Stars Hollow

Posted: 12/6/2012 4:01:24 PM
We save all year. It's just automatically transferred into a separate account and we don't go crazy, so we really don't miss it.

Uploaded with iPhone client

Bring me that horizon!

PeaNut 239,162
December 2005
Posts: 29,196
Layouts: 417
Loc: The final frontier

Posted: 12/6/2012 4:01:31 PM
We use a credit card for anything purchased online and pay it off right away and cash for anything purchased in a brick and mortar store. Christmas is part of our annual budget so we have the money available when it rolls around every year.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 228,820
October 2005
Posts: 5,597
Layouts: 0

Posted: 12/6/2012 4:03:54 PM
We pay cash and do all of our shopping in December. My husband's job is chock full of overtime in December, and he gets paid weekly. We just do a bit of the shopping each week in December.

Lost and Found in Pea-land

PeaNut 138,098
March 2004
Posts: 6,558
Layouts: 2
Loc: NC but wishing I was somewhere else

Posted: 12/6/2012 4:04:32 PM
We NEVER buy more than we can afford (we pay off credit cards right away and never use layaway). That is how I was raised and how I raise my kids. But I think starting a budget at the beginning of the year, sounds like an excellent idea.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 257,022
April 2006
Posts: 8,640
Layouts: 5
Loc: USA

Posted: 12/6/2012 4:04:56 PM
We use some of DH's bonus for Christmas presents. We don't buy christmas presents on credit, unless it is something that we order online. Then we put it on American Express and pay it off when the bill comes.

Sony a77
Sony 18-70mm F3.5/5.6, Sony 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6,
Sony 50mm 1.8, Sony DT 35mm f/1.8 SAM
Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di 1:1 AF Macro AF
Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 AF Zoom with Macro
MacBook Pro 15" (Mid 2012)
Photoshop CS6 & PSE 11
Lightroom 4


PeaNut 415,025
March 2009
Posts: 1,353
Layouts: 176
Loc: Southwest USA

Posted: 12/6/2012 4:05:48 PM
We only buy what we can afford to pay for with our debit card. We have probably a smaller budget than most, at least according to this thread. Last year we had a REALLY small budget due to financial strain we had a the time, but we preferred fewer presents over going into debt for Christmas.


*Mommy to Adam, born October 2010, and Tommy, July 2012*

Be gentle; I'm a delicate little flower

PeaNut 172,765
October 2004
Posts: 12,223
Layouts: 2
Loc: Why do you wanna know?

Posted: 12/6/2012 4:05:54 PM

I think how much is spent is partly due to how old the kids are. When mine were little I could spent $150 and fill up the room with toys. Now they are older and want fewer but more expensive things.


We charge our presents and pay the bill in full when it comes in. We usually start shopping November 1, and probably finish by early to mid-December, so it gets broken down into at least 2 payments, or however many billing cycles run during the shopping season.


FYI--That avatar is NOT me; it's NOT my DH; it's NOT my father; and, I'm NOT related to him by blood or marriage. It's just a dude...wearing a Wal-Mart bag.

"May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your crotch and may your arms be too short to scratch." TheSeaBee&Me, 5/20/2009

I love the smell of drama in the morning!

Mommy to Maximus!

PeaNut 270,034
July 2006
Posts: 12,676
Layouts: 116
Loc: Houston

Posted: 12/6/2012 4:08:47 PM
I do most of my shopping with my debit card and SO prefers to pay with cash. We don't use credit cards anymore.

This is Texas. We don't have regular seasons here. We have Summer 1, Summer 2, Summer 3 and January.

"As you attempt to make big differences, remember to appreciate the small differences. And remember that you don't always have to reach the goal you set in order to make a difference." - Win Borden

My Personal Pinterest - MissApril82

My Business Pinterest - PlatinumWeds

Please Like me on Facebook - Platinum Wedding Event

Follow me on Twitter - PlatinumWeds

Advocare - We Build Champions
Uploaded with iPhone client

You know what grinds my gears?

PeaNut 242,768
January 2006
Posts: 6,620
Layouts: 2
Loc: Where the rabbits roam free....

Posted: 12/6/2012 4:12:42 PM
I have a birthday and christmas in December, and my dd is pretty spoiled. We spend around $500 for both, though this year we also bought a Wii U and all the Skylanders stuff to go with. but that's a "family" gift, not necessarily just for dd. plus dh takes the week of dd's birthday/christmas off and we spend a lot of family time out and about, going to places like the zoo, movies, aquarium, etc, and THAT costs a lot too since we eat out that week as well.


PeaNut 180,283
December 2004
Posts: 3,159
Layouts: 18
Loc: California

Posted: 12/6/2012 4:13:04 PM
We have a gift budget that we use throughout the year for birthdays and all other gifts. Whatever is left in there at the end of the year, we use.

After that, we just pay cash (well, we put everything on a credit card for the points but pay it off right away). We don't spend a crazy amount though so it's not too difficult to cover. Sometimes we'll shift some money over from savings then put it back in there the next paycheck or with the tax refund.



PeaNut 452,927
January 2010
Posts: 3,047
Layouts: 23
Loc: Mass

Posted: 12/6/2012 4:15:13 PM
i do most of it online , so it is charged... I will pay it off in January


PeaNut 539,539
January 2012
Posts: 3,850
Layouts: 0

Posted: 12/6/2012 4:15:14 PM
I put a little cash away from each paycheck all year, charge for the rewards and pay it all off in January with the cash I saved.


PeaNut 308,963
April 2007
Posts: 972
Layouts: 0
Loc: Lovin Life in CA

Posted: 12/6/2012 4:15:25 PM
We have a seperate savings account-seperate from our regular savings and our other emergency fund savings-that is strictly for Christmas and vacations throughout the year. The account automatically gets $1000 transfered into it each month. We charge everything on the AmEx, so when we get the bill for Christmas, I just transfer the $$$ and pay off the bill.

Spongemom Scrappants
In my happy place.

PeaNut 297,141
February 2007
Posts: 11,811
Layouts: 31
Loc: South Carolina

Posted: 12/6/2012 4:17:45 PM

We do the bulk of our shopping on-line. If a site takes PayPal then I use that. Otherwise, I'll put it on a credit card, but I never carry a balance. They are paid off each month as the bill comes in.

Any shopping in a store is usually cash - except for Belk (department store) and Ann Taylor. I use their branded cards just for the benefits I earn.


PeaNut 379,453
June 2008
Posts: 4,364
Layouts: 59
Loc: UK

Posted: 12/6/2012 4:18:00 PM

We have a gift budget that we use throughout the year for birthdays and all other gifts. Whatever is left in there at the end of the year, we use.

Same here. We don't spend a massive amount throughout the year, so what's left is usually enough to cover Christmas. We might spend a little extra but it's never so much we can't pay cash if we choose (but rather like Compwalla we put a lot of things on the CC which is paid off in full each month)


"We're not all the same, we're not all posting at the same time and we are not Borg." - Gamerbabe

My Pinterest boards


PeaNut 508,279
May 2011
Posts: 1,047
Layouts: 0

Posted: 12/6/2012 4:27:10 PM
Some stuff is cash, some on the credit card. The credit card is paid down weekly. We rarely carry a balance on it, and if we do it is less than 2 months.

We aren't really buying big ticket stuff like I see on here though. I spent $200 -250 each on DH and DD, and DH spent about the same on me. My mom and my in-laws were another $100.


PeaNut 33,625
March 2002
Posts: 9,769
Layouts: 0
Loc: Washington State

Posted: 12/6/2012 4:27:44 PM

I'm kinda of amazed at what gift giving happens according to this board. My kids must be seriously deprived. We spend maybe $250/kid on gifts - MAYBE. Probably closer to $200/kid. One "bigger" item and a few
smaller things.

I doubt your kids are deprived

When I was a single parent my budget was much smaller, but I still started shopping in August One year my ds got a used game system, luckily it was also his favorite toy for many years.

We spend a lot more now because dh and I are both fully employed, dh is also retired from a previous job and we only have 1 child living at home. So we have a larger budget to spend.

~ Dori ~


PeaNut 378,405
June 2008
Posts: 2,152
Layouts: 9

Posted: 12/6/2012 4:44:21 PM
just 3 of us, (DD is 17) and we usually buy what we want for ourselves throughout the whole year (which isn't too much)...

Christmas is normally one big purchase for the house (all of us)...hence, the new JCP leather sofa in the card, unfortunately...

Then we do very small gifts & stocking stuffers...SBUX gift cards, hickory farms, socks, pjs, stuff like that...there's no high dollar individual gifts in our home...

we all have our phones and share the laptop & tablet...all of which are not new; old ones work just fine...

were very simple...

plus college loom$ on the horizon...
Uploaded with iPhone client

Lady of Ledgers

PeaNut 52,585
October 2002
Posts: 5,714
Layouts: 45
Loc: Alberta, Canada

Posted: 12/6/2012 4:49:39 PM
We contribute to a savings account each paycheque to ensure we have funds put away for things like birthdays, back to school expenses, Christmas, etc. Because of back to school, annual car insurance, a birthday & Christmas it's kind of depressing to see the balance fall so fast in the last 1/3 of the year, but we're thankful that we're able to have that savings to cover those expenses.

We ususally pay credit card to get the points, but then immediately pay it off with savings.


Wife to my sweetie for 18 years

Mommy to:
Timothy - Feb/00
Benjamin - Jun/02
Gabriel - Sep/05

"Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved." - Thomas S. Monson

Typical Liberal

PeaNut 221,236
August 2005
Posts: 21,421
Layouts: 67
Loc: Houston

Posted: 12/6/2012 5:07:57 PM
We tend to hold back in other discretionary areas (clothes, entertainment, eating out) during November/December and spend that money on gifts instead. We don't give extravagant gifts (no iPads here) so that's always been enough. This year, for the first time, DH got a nice Christmas bonus, but almost all of that is going in savings. We did spend some of it on Christmas.

PEAceful Pea

PeaNut 14,521
April 2001
Posts: 37,572
Layouts: 31
Loc: Washington State

Posted: 12/6/2012 5:15:49 PM
It all goes on our Amex which is paid off monthly. It's built into our monthly budget.


can't we all just get along?

PeaNut 205,184
May 2005
Posts: 6,406
Layouts: 118
Loc: Bowling Green, KY

Posted: 12/6/2012 5:16:11 PM
We pay with cash or debit cards. We use credit cards only for travel and do not carry a balance. We have 2 kids and several friends to shop for but we don't spend extravagantly. This year, I started a little earlier and spread the shopping out over a couple of months. DH gets a Christmas bonus that we sometimes dip into if we need extra money for gifts. Otherwise, that goes into savings.



Uploaded with iPhone client

Ideay pues?

PeaNut 143,106
April 2004
Posts: 7,420
Layouts: 36
Loc: Miami

Posted: 12/6/2012 5:21:27 PM
I save all year. My "personal" Christmas list is rather small, my work Christmas list is longer.

I start sort of thinking of the type of thing I'd like to give x person throughout the year, but the specific item never really gels until later in the year--which is why I don't buy throughout the year.

For example, with the Judge, I realized this year she likes "consumables" and "experiences" as gifts, rather than "things," so that was her "category." I didn't settle on the exact item until late this year (the gourmet popcorn).

That's sort of how I decide what to give each person. First determine the general category and then the specific item.

*Delphinium Twinkle*
I'm just a pea:)

PeaNut 163,613
August 2004
Posts: 78,773
Layouts: 236
Loc: *Sunny Southern California*

Posted: 12/6/2012 5:27:11 PM
No credit cards here. We pay cash or use debit cards. We don't save for Christmas but I do purchase a little during the year if I find something perfect at a great price.

I'd like to save each month next year to make it easier

proud Fiskateer #269
{My Blog}
*My Scraproom*
Uploaded with iPhone client


PeaNut 308,882
April 2007
Posts: 3,515
Layouts: 15

Posted: 12/6/2012 5:36:57 PM
Since we use christmas as a way to build our kids hope chest and tool boxes . I shop year around the two oldest have almost all the basic for a bedroom , kitchen and both have the start to a well stocked tool box. Youngest has basic lines and other basic.

I use debit and shop sale year around.

I have quite a few learing disabilitys that effect my spelling a grammer. I do know my grammer and spelling suck. I have been working on this problem all my adult life.

pynk E

PeaNut 48,314
September 2002
Posts: 13,303
Layouts: 295

Posted: 12/6/2012 5:43:06 PM
My husband has a savings plan at work that is matched by the company. Half of this is for Christmas.

Uploaded with iPhone client


PeaNut 31,018
February 2002
Posts: 19,621
Layouts: 156
Loc: probably here. maybe there.

Posted: 12/6/2012 5:44:10 PM
I buy throughout the year and I have a seasonal job. Definitely all cash

Uploaded with iPhone client

Chubby old groundhog

PeaNut 113,457
October 2003
Posts: 16,377
Layouts: 351
Loc: Hudson Valley area in NY

Posted: 12/6/2012 5:50:23 PM
We save for it basically. We distribute our 401k contributions over the first 10-11 months so the last paychecks of the year have extra in them. As for actually paying for Christmas, as always, I charge everything I can so I accrue credit card points. I never carry a balance and pay everything in full, but I like getting the points (for instance, I always get gift cards with my cc points for teacher gifts).


PeaNut 400,592
November 2008
Posts: 1,586
Layouts: 0
Loc: Mississippi

Posted: 12/6/2012 5:53:54 PM
I charge everything and then when the bill comes in I take it out of savings and pay off what I charged.


PeaNut 266,020
June 2006
Posts: 2,743
Layouts: 0
Loc: freedom, pa

Posted: 12/6/2012 5:57:31 PM
We normally buy everything outright cash. But this year a series of things kept sucking money so this year we will be using our cards and paying them in full in January.


Like my opinion really counts anyway...
Uploaded with iPhone client
1 2 3 >
Show/Hide Icons . Show/Hide Signatures
{{ title }}
{{ icon }}
{{ body }}
{{ footer }}