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How Much Should You Spend on Holiday Gifts For Each Child?

The Average Amount Parents Spend on Christmas Presents Per Child Might Surprise You

As a childless 20-something, I can't exactly get it down to a science how much I'd be willing to spend per child on my kids' Christmas gifts in the future, but as a former nanny, I know that a lot of days of the year, whether it's a piece of chocolate or a toy to celebrate a milestone or accomplishment, kids are the recipients of something exciting. Add birthdays, random holidays, and when Grandma comes to visit, and that's a whole other bunch of gifts a child receives throughout the year. So I guess that's why I was kind of shocked to hear that the average American says they'll spend about $330 per child on holiday gifts alone this year.

Maybe I'm naive — or cheap (though I don't think I am — you should see what my Amazon order history looks like) — but I feel like that's a hell of a lot of green to hand over for a few toys, puzzles, or video games. (I'm of the same belief as a coworker that just three gifts is the magic number, so those would be three expensive pressies. Plus, with Black Friday sales practically starting in August, it feels like you can get basically anything on sale these days.) Sure, some things are just expensive, but how many inherently expensive gifts — like smartphones or computers — are parents buying their children? No judgment, you do you, but this figure has got me seriously curious.

Less surprisingly, though, is the fact that kids get to have all the fun. Other data from the survey conducted by RetailMeNot shows that little ones make out the best when considering everyone on a person's gift list. Those surveyed said they'd spend approximately $196 on significant others, $105 on parents, $90 on siblings, and $57 on best friends.

Weigh in: is this $330 figure about right for you and your family? Are you nodding your head along with me and my shock or are you chuckling, wishing the amount you spent was that low? (I know it's rude to ask people about their spending habits, so I'm sorry in advance . . . no pressure.)

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