15 Ways to Reduce Christmas Spending on Your Kids

Christmas is one of the best times of the year. It’s a time filled with happiness, joy, and love. But it can also be a stressful time for many people. If you are someone who has children, you know that Christmas can cost an arm and a leg!



You list every person you want to buy for and as that list REALLY starts to grow, you start to wonder how on Earth you’re going to afford all of the Christmas gifts.



Is it even possible to buy something for EVERYONE without busting your Christmas budget?



Hopefully, you’re operating from some type of budget, but even then, you know darn well that your Christmas budget is only going to stretch so far. So, you start giving a dollar amount to each person, trying to keep things fair as you go along.



And then, you get to your kids.



If you have one or two, it might not be so bad to think about spending even $100 on each kiddo.



However, if you have 4 or more, that $100 per kid thing might quickly make you want to hyperventilate.



You want to give your kids great Christmas gifts without spending a fortune. Here’s how to spend less on your kids’ Christmas gifts.



This blog post will give you 15 ways to reduce the amount of money that you spend on your kids’ Christmas presents this year while still giving them something they’ll love!



Christmas budgeting- discounted gift tag


*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link. I only recommend products I love or would personally use.



Ask Your Kids What They Want

It’s likely you aren’t going to have to ask them what they want because they’ve already told you ONE. HUNDRED. TIMES.


Take note of what Christmas gifts they have asked for and start watching for sales a few months BEFORE Christmas. There are often really great sales during several of the holidays leading up to Christmas


This is the first step to reduce Christmas spending on your kids.


If you have a toddler like me, check out some of our favorite toddler gifts!





Think About What Your Kids REALLY Need

This one is the trickiest of all to me because I can’t really say that my kids *need* anything.


However, I can think up some things they would benefit from having. They may need a new backpack, or a new pair of shoes, or even a bicycle, depending on their age.


If your kids are little, they may need some toys that are developmentally appropriate.


Buy the glittery pack of pencils that you wouldn’t normally buy. Or, buy a slightly more expensive pair of snow boots that weren’t accounted for in the budget.


Have Fun This Christmas!: Christmas Eve Activities for Families





Buy Some New Clothes for Your Kids

If your kids could use some new clothes, Christmas is a great time to buy them!


You as a parent are getting a 2-for-1 deal because you’re able to gift them something you would’ve already been buying them.


I’ve shared my tips on how to save money on kids’ clothes to get name-brand items for super cheap.


Buy them some *NEW* clothes if you usually shop at consignment or second-hand stores.






Pick A Few Books for Your Kids

I take my kids to the library several times a month and make it an exciting adventure.


I love giving my kids new books. There is something about flipping through the pages of a new book that is exciting for kids. Even some older kids enjoy getting a new book about something that interests them.


If you’re unsure of what your kid might like to read… ask them. And if they say I don’t know, ask again.


Eventually, they’re going to give you some type of idea of what they like. Even if it might not be reading. I don’t like to read, but sometimes I come across a good book I just can’t put down. That’s the kind of book you want to give to your kid for Christmas.


Thankfully, books aren’t terribly expensive so buying one or two for each kid is a great way to reduce Christmas spending on your kids. P.S. Here is my FAVORITE Christmas books for kids!





They rhyme, and I love that. I can think through what Christmas gifts I’ve bought and I can be sure I’ve checked off one for each kid. This makes Christmas shopping MUCH easier.


I don’t feel like I’m breaking the bank every year Christmas shopping for my own kids.


If you think about it, your kids will likely be bringing home between 10 and 15 gifts from other friends and family. Add in your 4 gifts (WANT, NEED, WEAR, READ), and all of the sudden your kids will be getting close to 20 gifts for Christmas.




There are SO many kids who won’t get anywhere near that for Christmas, and sometimes we teach our kids unrealistic expectations about Christmas.


It is what we do as a family every Christmas, and I hope that it’s something you can either adopt this year or adopt this concept in some way to help you meet the needs of your kids and your Christmas budget.



SUPER HELPFUL!: The Perfect Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers and Preschoolers




Give Fewer Gifts

Give fewer gifts to your children. Kids will be just as excited about a few great presents as many mediocre ones (and it’ll save you money!). This follows along well with the idea of want, need, wear, read!





Shop Early

Don’t wait until December to start shopping! Start early so that there’s more time for sales to pop up on your favorite items (so they’re cheaper). I usually start my Christmas shopping long before Black Friday. There are awesome summer closeout deals you can take advantage of depending on what kinds of gifts you’re looking for.





Shop Around

Shop around for the best deals. For example, maybe you can find cheaper prices on certain items at a different store or online than what’s available in your area. You might consider getting an Amazon Prime membership and trying a free 30-day trial. You’ll get free and fast shipping to many US addresses, access to Prime Video, and so much more!





Buy Used

Buy used! Lots of people sell their gently used Christmas presents on places like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for a fraction of the original price. This will give you the money you can use to buy gifts for other people. Oftentimes, the gifts are practically unused!





Give Instead of Recieve

Donate to a charity in lieu of getting gifts for your kids (or get them something that is made by someone in your community who needs financial support). You can donate clothing, toys, or other items for families in need this holiday season! You can also donate your time as a family. Here are some fantastic ways you can serve your community this Christmas season.





Make Christmas Gifts

Help your kids make their own presents this year. If they’re old enough, you can get them to help wrap and decorate gifts for family members or friends (and it’ll be more meaningful!). You might also want to have some of the children in your life write a letter with an update on what’s been going on in their lives as a way to give them something they’ll treasure for years.





Give the Gift of an Experience

Instead of buying gifts, spend time with your children this holiday season. There are many things you could do that don’t cost money and will be just as much fun! You might go ice skating together, visit a local Christmas festival, or even plan a fun trip. I know this is expensive, but some parents even give their kids a trip to Disney. If you have an upcoming trip and you can call it their Christmas gift, do it!





Give Gifts They’ll Use for a While

Buy your children things that they can enjoy and use for a long time. You might also consider getting board games or books (or both!). These are my favorite board games for preschoolers.





Give a Gift Card

Consider buying your children a gift card to their favorite store. This way, they’ll be able to pick out something that they want! I personally have received plenty of gifts that sit on a shelf because someone bought something I couldn’t use. A gift card will never go unused!





Start a New Tradition

Start a tradition with your kids that is less expensive and still fun. For example, on the night before Christmas, you might have them open up one present. Here are 30 fun family Christmas Eve activities.






Christmas is exciting, but you certainly don’t want to, and shouldn’t have to be paying off Christmas into the new year. Make a plan and stick to it. You will thank yourself later.



MORE Helpful Christmas Posts

Christmas Eve Activities for Families

How to Save More Money at Christmas

How to Serve as a Family at Christmas

Fun Christmas Shirts for Moms

Fun Family Activities to Celebrate Christmas


blessings to you, Lisa






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6 thoughts on “15 Ways to Reduce Christmas Spending on Your Kids”

  • Great examples to think about! What worked for me was using cash. You can’t spend more cash than you have! We told our kid’s this is the budget for everyone and we took each kid out and they spent only what they were given. Then they saw exactly what items actually cost (and with tax) and they soon realized some of the items they “wanted” weren’t really necessary (at least for the moment). It’s not fool-proof, but it’s a start.

    • I love this idea! I think raising our kids in a completely credit card driven world is really dangerous because they don’t grasp the concept of the dollar. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Great post!!! I love all of your ideas! There are six kids in our family, so we often didn’t get many gifts and they usually weren’t expensive. But we love the holiday season and are super grateful just to be together. 🙂

    • I couldn’t agree with this more. It really is a gift to be together with family. There are so many who just don’t get that chance, and it’s often taken for granted!

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