How much we spent on Christmas! Christmas at the Pages, 2017

Not only showing what we bought our kids, but exactly how much we spent and how we stayed UNDER budget - WITHOUT coupons or black friday shopping!

“How much do you spend on Christmas gifts?” That's a question I'm guessing doesn't come up during casual lunchtime conversation with people. Why? Well, for one it's very personal! Maybe you don't want to sound cheap, or sound like you're spoiling your kids, you don't want to feel awkward or be put in an uncomfortable position. I get it! I've been there!


Aren't you curious?

I am! And lucky for you, if you've been following me for long you know I'm not afraid to talk about the awkward stuff. So this year I'm not only showing you what we bought our kids for Christmas, but telling you exactly how much we paid, where we got it from, how we decide on what gifts to buy, and how much we spend on other family members and friends as well.

Last year I did and huge 3-part blog post series called “How much to spend on Christmas“. I break down “Christmas shopping” in full detail with spending guidelines and estimates to help you get your bearings, so that's probably a good place to start. Then head over and watch the video below where I break it down in even better detail and show you some of the tips we've done that has made this year's Christmas shopping the simplest experience EVER!

PS – in case you didn't know, I upload a new video every Thursday on my YouTube Channel. If you haven't subscribed yet, be sure you do, so you don't miss out!

Ok, now onto the video!

See what we spent on Christmas in the video online or click and watch below:

Hopefully that helps some of you who struggle with Christmas shopping as well!

Here is a list of the toys we got our kids:






Don't forget to check all the detail on “How Much to Spend on Christmas” 3-part series for more information.

Ok so now I'm curious, how much do you spend on YOUR kids for Christmas, and how do you do the shopping? Share below if you dare!


  1. AvatarEbony says

    Jordan, this is unrelated to Christmas. I sent an email a few weeks ago about Budget Boot Camp. I haven’t received a reply yet. Am I able to pay for the program in installments?

  2. AvatarSheena says

    Thanks for sharing! Do you buy clothes for Christmas gifts too? Is that a separate budget? I feel like most of my budget went to buying the kids clothes! And I even got some great deals…

  3. AvatarMom of 2 says

    We have a 3 gift rule for Christmas morning so the kids don’t have expectations of mounds of presents. My kids are more into preteen things (electronics, gadgets, some toys) I usually try and keep it around $200 per kid. So if one of your gifts is $160 hoverboard there’s about $40 total for the other two gifts. I have them write a list and I try and get the thing they want the most. If you kids agree on something (like a game system it can be a joint gift that comes out of both budgets). They also get 1 gift from grand parents each and a gift from thier aunt that we make sure isn’t extravagant. They actually love Christmas morning the same as when they had 60 presents that were half junk and it’s much less stressful.

  4. AvatarEle says

    5 kids
    4 gifts each (Need, Want, Wear, Read)
    1 Santa gift

    Pretty simple. Don’t go extravegant with each request either.

  5. AvatarLaura says

    We have 6 kids and are pretty “comfortable”- but both grew up dirt poor and don’t want spoiled/ entitled kids. So Santa fills the stocking and brings each kid one thing. Mom and Dad give three gifts…(representing 3 gifts of Christmas)….gold=thing they really want within reason….myrrh=something promoting family time, such as a game, tickets, etc. and frankincense=something a tad more practical. Need/want. IT FEELS LIKE THEY GET NOTHING COMPARED TO THEIR PEERS!! Which is hard for me, but i want to keep it simple and reasonable. The big kids have started getting more pricey things- but i make a detailed list back in October- and refer to it so i don’t “stockpile gifts” but buy only my intentional gifts instead. I also mainly shop online to be able to read reviews, price shop, and not let other things JUMP in the cart!

    • AvatarLaura says

      I forgot to say- we try to keep it no more than $100-150 per kid, Santa included. But that adds up with 6- to $600-900 bucks- not counting teachers, neighbors, and grandparents!!!

  6. AvatarKate says

    Yes! I love it when people talk real numbers. I shared on my blog last week what we spent too and no one commented on their price, so I thought I’d speak up here 🙂 Last year we only spent $325! But this year our budget is a little over $1,000. Yep, got me a new tree and some garland! It’s even flocked and I’m quite happy. Anyway, thanks for your openness! From one frugal gal to another — Kate,

  7. AvatarJenny Aldrich says

    We had a small budget for each of our kids this year just $300, so $100 each kid. So far we are under budget and we only have a few more to get. They each so far have 3 gifts, and one of hem is from Santa. I actually made a together gift for my girls because they want a market for their play kitchen so I have been saving our food boxes, and plastic jars to put on a shelf for them as play food?

  8. AvatarAmanda says

    How do you keep the kids picture lists separated? I take pictures of things my girls want just like you but can’t keep them straight quickly and easily.

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      We just add space between them, or put each list on a new page so you just keep scrolling down to get to the next kid.

  9. AvatarDiane says

    Hi. I’m spending about $350 on a teenager, a pre-teen and five adults. This is more than I usually spend though I decided I want to pamper the people who are important to me. Also, some of my family members do not want to exchange gifts so I will hold some things as “just because” presents at another time.

  10. AvatarAmber Vore says

    I think we spent maybe $200 on everything. I got gifts for coworkers of EOS that I put in jars with candy, all of which I found on amazing clearance and it was about $2 per person. Teacher and daycare gifts were Bath and Body Works bath bombs found on sale for $2 and socks from Old Navy on sale for $.50, packaged in a jar. Extended family got gifts made on Shutterfly when I had free item AND free shipping codes. Kids gifts and husband gifts were 3 per person, all on clearance, probably between $30-$40 per person (son is getting small Lego set, and Pokemon cards and daughter is getting some Disney Barbies and small animal figures). We are usually pretty frugal at Christmas and I gather things on clearance during the year, I pride myself on being done by September, and this year was more so because of my husband’s cancer treatment bills. (A coworker also got my children a couple gifts like pajamas and blankets) 🙂

  11. AvatarBethanie Lege says

    This year has been such as a struggle. Between losing jobs, Hurricane Harvey, and medical crap I have no money for Christmas. I have been struggling to get things together that I can give as presents but as far as spending, I think I’ve spent maybe $30 on presents this year. Not easy to do either.

  12. AvatarJamie bailey says

    I think we spent about $1000 this year. That includes 3 sets of parents, our 1 child, our 3 nieces and eachothers stockings. Plus two teacher gifts. We threw in 2 birthdays in there too. Our step dad in law and my dad have birthdays this month.

  13. AvatarTammy says

    Thank you for always being willing to BE REAL. Our children are grown, but the principles still apply. I think the list is key. Without a plan things can just go all over the place. Last year I heard a little jingle that helped a lot and that narrowed the giving down to four items: Something they WANT, something they NEED, something to WEAR, something to READ. We stuck with this pretty well…only bought one extra thing for each of the girls that we found a GREAT deal on. It’s a practical item, so that makes it ok. =) Merry CHRISTmas!

  14. AvatarHeather says

    Tradition from my upbringing is santa brings the toy, mom and Dad bring books. We have carried that on and love it. I spend $20 a kid on books, and $40 a kid from Santa. So around $60 a kid.

  15. AvatarErin says

    For 3 kids we used a $250 amazon gift card that my work gave us for Christmas, then about another $150 (because I didn’t plan ahead well enough). Santa does stockings and one gift for each kid. Then we kept it pretty simple. We didn’t want any new toys so our girls got some clothes, dress ups and a pillow lounger for each girl, then each girl got a coloring book. For my husband and I we spent about $130 total. I just got him a shirt then made a date night book (one at Home date night per month planned out), then he got me some kitchen stuff to organize a bit better.

  16. AvatarSarah says

    We spent about $1700.00 and I thought we were doing good until I read these comments. We have two kids and spent about $500 per kid. 1 niece and one nephew at about $125 each and the two sets of grandparents $150 per set. My sister and I married brothers so they are our only siblings and we agreed to do $25 for each person so $50 total.

  17. AvatarKaitlin says

    I absolutely loved this video when it came out! I used your tip on taking photos with my daughter of gifts she likes! Great advice works awesome ?

  18. AvatarKasey Rigdon says

    My husband and I stuck to this concept for Christmas and we are so glad we did. It really helped us focus better on each child.

  19. AvatarChelsie Penman says

    I love how you guys did this!!! Christmas doesn’t need to cost $394843 and you broke this down so simply! Thank you!

  20. AvatarAnisa says

    We spend WAY too much at Christmas time. And after following your stories this past Christmas, my husband and I have decided to follow this way of doing it. Hopefully to avoid wasted money from toys they play with for a day. We also started incorporating the year long wish list for the kids!

  21. AvatarCamille Morton says

    I’ve really enjoyed your posts and fb live about Christmas! Nice to know I’m not alone with certain struggles ☺️

  22. AvatarTiffani says

    I really liked this post! I’m always wondering how people do Christmas with their kids so it was great to hear what you do and your tips. Definitely agree that the little ones don’t need as big of a budget!

  23. AvatarTalisha says

    We were shocked to see that this is ALL you spent AND you didn’t do black Friday shopping! It will change the future of our Christmas’! I thought it was out there at first that you would share EXACTLY what you bought. But once you did I totally got it!

  24. AvatarKatie says

    This is awesome!! I would totally do this if I had the space in my house to keep all the presents. I do have a drawer of good stocking stuffers/friend gifts though.

  25. AvatarLauren Williams says

    We totally implemented these tips for our two girls this Christmas! We also tried to make sure the bigger gifts from us and not Santa.

  26. AvatarMara says

    I love that you were open and shared this. I have two young kids now with number three on the way and loved reading the tips for managing all the people!

  27. AvatarNat says

    I am so happy to hear this. It makes me feel less guilty for not going overboard! I have family that loves to buy so many gifts it’s just crazy to me and I feel bad for my child who sees his cousins with tons and he just gets a few items. Thankfully after seeing this I don’t feel that mom guilt and I’m happy that I can teach my child good habits with money and gratitude.

  28. AvatarKrista Sidhu says

    I seriously love this post!! When I bring this topic up with other moms I normally get a very broad answer. I’ve decided to only get my kids 1 toy that they really want and then a book, outfit (pants, shirt, etc) puzzle and craft supplies. they get some many toys from other family they don’t really notice

  29. AvatarJaime Alexander says

    This year was the least stressful Christmas because of how well we were able budget and spend on each kid. Thanka for the tips!

  30. AvatarSamantha George says

    We only have one child right now but this method is great. I love how you don’t buy all at once and stalk up. I was so impressed how fast you finished your shopping so early!

  31. AvatarMegan Keller Barker says

    LOVED this idea! We only have a two year old but next year when she had more of an opinion on what she wants for Christmas we are doing this!

  32. AvatarRoseanne Young says

    I loved watching your video. Such great ideas. I stock up when I see good deals all year, but this seems pretty fun. I like how you take a picture of it too. Smart!

  33. AvatarKristina Lewis says

    Thank you for sharing actual numbers! My kids are older, so we try and keep it around $200 per child. But I’ve always been curious as to what others spend. I love that you keep it real, no matter what you are talking about.

  34. AvatarNancy says

    It was my first Christmas with a baby it was so hard to not buy him all of the things! He doesnt know what’s up yet but I will need to get a system in place for the kids to follow.

  35. AvatarRainna says

    After watching this, I have been saving so much money on gifts already for next Christmas! Gifts are something that hit my budget the hardest. Thanks for all the tips!

  36. AvatarShayla jones says

    I watched and rewatched this before Christmas and it really helped me stay focused and to a budget this Christmas! Great tips!

  37. AvatarBetsy says

    Love the per child thinking, without a ridiculous expense for the family. I love a good sale, and feel like this could be a fun way to challenge yourself to push to shop earlier and stop once you’ve met the cap.

  38. AvatarSarah says

    I love this! Thanks for giving me an idea of how much others spend on their kids. Thanks for being willing to talk about it!

  39. AvatarLaken says

    Loved all of your ideas! I have started taking the pictures of the toys my kids say they want so When it comes time for them to get a gift I know what to give them!!

  40. AvatarHannah hailey says

    You’ve completely changed my view of gifts for family and others now. I was tired of spending so much on people every year! Thank you

  41. AvatarSusan smith says

    Great tips! I really kept this in mind Christmas shopping this year! Not to go overboard on my kids. They each got 3 gifts. It was the perfect amount!

  42. AvatarBRITTANY says

    I’m a wife and a mom of 2 under 3, and Christmas is something my husband and I have struggled with in terms of how much or little to spend and deciding who gets to be “the man”in terms of gift-giving—-us vs. Santa. We want to set our traditions early and have them reflect the ultimate meaning of Christmas. Your post about this gave us SO MANY good tools: mom and Dad > Santa, set a number budget and stick to it, taking the picture to avoid the tantrum when shopping and dishing out “no’s”, and doing each other’s stockings are all traditions that resonate with our values and we are excited to put into place. Thank you!! ❤️

  43. AvatarLindsey says

    We have 10 kids and spend $125 per kid. Christmas shopping is stressful because money is so tight but our kids don’t get anything except for at Christmas and their birthdays (and we budget $100/kid), we don’t even do fast food throughout the year so I feel they deserve it at Christmas. Every year we say we will start saving in January for the following Christmas but we haven’t yet.

  44. AvatarElizabeth Feldpausch says

    Thank you so much for your transparency on this. My husband and I took this idea and budgeted for all (known) gift giving occasions for the year so we can set that money aside when he gets his bonus! (All family birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s Day Father’s Day, Valentine’s, Anniversary, etc)

  45. AvatarKelsey Schmidt says

    I LOVe how transparent you are about everything! So good to know we are doing alright on our Christmas spending ?

  46. AvatarSamantha says

    We are very careful when it comes to spending money at Christmas time . It is so easy to get caught up in the sales and wanting to make your kids smile on Christmas .

  47. AvatarKristen says

    This post was so helpful this year!!! We have 4 kiddos and a large extended family and friends circle, so was tend to go waaaaay overboard. Already planning on saving this year and this helps, thanks so much!!!

  48. AvatarJennifer Cyphers says

    I really need to work on not going overboard with presents for our kids and to set an age appropriate budget for their gifts! Thank you for the tip!

  49. AvatarVictoria Rippel says

    Oh my goodness this was a huge issue between me and my fiance this Christmas. You normally used to just give his kids cash and this is the first year we also bought gifts. I was super Frugal I think and did a pretty good job getting pretty nice gifts at a good price. One question is I’m dealing with teenagers, how do you see your family possibly increasing the budget as they get older.

  50. AvatarEmily Price says

    For Christmas last year we put away $50 every pay period (twice a month) into a savings account for Christmas. By November we had saved $1100! We considered it a bill so we saved it much easier!

  51. AvatarCarlee says

    Thanks for sharing! Love that the biggest gifts come from you and not from Santa. Also what a great idea to take pictures of the kids with what they want!

  52. AvatarSusan Cutler says

    Looks like they had a great Christmas! I can’t wait to follow along and see how or if this changes as they get older! Teenagers are expensive!

  53. AvatarNatali says

    I loved this post – it helped me think through which of my Christmas purchases I felt pressured into because I didn’t go into this year with a good plan!

  54. AvatarTeresa Bess says

    I love this post!! I watched the video and it gave me so many ideas on how to do Christmas shopping differently next year!

  55. AvatarKimberly says

    Love that you don’t have to spend a fortune for Christmas. Also I liked how not everyone’s budget was the same. I like to factor in Age and what they want and if it can be a shared gift. Not every child needs wants are the same every year. Very practical advice!

  56. AvatarRebecca petersen says

    We tried this this last year for Christmas and loved it! It made Christmas gifting so simple. Thanks so much!

  57. AvatarStephanie Becker says

    Our family planned and budgeted for Christmas. I always find making the meal is he most expensive part. This year I didn’t host and offered to bring food over. It was a great way to pitch in because I know the load is always heavy to cook everything.

    We talked with our son and he is such a time kid that doing things was more important than gifts. :0) our comments has a ton of free events that we did to make Christmas special!

  58. AvatarLaura says

    I always wondered what others spent on holidays! I love how you guys do this! I read this post after the holidays and so wish I read it before cause we went overboard X5. Ugh!!!! Anyways especially the comment also on how much you spend on friend gifts! $15 bucks is so reasonable. Plus I’ve started to grab stuff I see at a discount and put it away for that day I need a gift! Thank you for making my life easier with this tip! I want to do your budget boot camp but can’t get my better half on board! He is a know it all but I do all the finances so I want to do it in my own. Show him I can save ha ha and pay off some of our debt!

  59. AvatarKim says

    I almost pooped my pants when I heard your totals per kid…then I did the math and realized I spent the same (maybe more) on our 1 one year old!!!! ???
    We’ll be implementing more of your ideas this year!!
    Plus I LOVE the idea of taking a pic of the souviner the kids want and then at the end of the week/trip going through the pictures and picking 1 item! I’m absolutly going to do this for MYSELF!!!! I’m such a sucker for souviners….and I’m trying to embrace a minimalistic lifestyle, so yeah, I think this help SO much!!

  60. AvatarJanae Hanvey says

    I love this! I really try to stick to the 4 gift rule (Want, need, wear, read) and it simplifies Christmas so much. I really want my kids to learn the true meaning of Christmas and that can be so hard with all the commercialism of the holiday. Thanks for sharing your tips so I don’t feel like the only one who doesn’t give much for Christmas!

  61. AvatarDiana Burk says

    I ALWAYS stress about Christmas. Am I doing to little, too much, I want to give the “perfect” gift to everyone (which, never happens). And then my budget is never the same…so this was insightful. I have already started to plan better in 2018 for Christmas expenses to take the pressure off (using the different bank account budgeting technique). Thank you for sharing!

  62. AvatarArianna says

    I loved your shopping for Christmas stories and posts. I really tried to follow the advice you gave and it helped a lot!

  63. AvatarNicole Morton says

    Thank you for being so honest and open. This was definitely a question I have, always wondering am I overspending? I also LOVE that you shop Costco because it’s one of our favorite stores for more than just food.

  64. AvatarJaime says

    So refreshing! Thanks for posting, Christmas is my time of year where I tend to wreck all the good I’ve done sticking to a budget the rest of the year. You are inspiring!

  65. AvatarStacey Friesen says

    I love how open and honest you are! We stuck to our budget and it felt awesome! I saved $100 each month towards Christmas so it didn’t hit me like a truck last year. I’m already doing the same for 2018. Freedom!!!!!

  66. AvatarSydney says

    Thank you for the links! I was hoping for those during your video. Great tips for Christmas. I love how ready and prepared you were!

  67. AvatarJen schneiter says

    Our kids are still toddlers, so Christmas is minimal. Only 3 gifts per kid. In the future, I love the idea of skipping gifts altogether and going on a trip together. #makememories

  68. AvatarAbby says

    I love that you take pictures all year round of what your kids want at stores! I thought it would be a great idea just to organize your pictures into folders other each persons name!

  69. AvatarErika Hoffenreich says

    I love this post! This past Christmas we actually did really good with being frugal and it made us think about having some kind of “system” if you will helping up be awesome every year. Then I found you online and this post! Thank you for the tips!

  70. AvatarSarah says

    So nice to know that not everyone goes crazy with Christmas spending. We are also making the effort to buy less gifts but things that our kids will really like and actually use.

  71. AvatarMaKayla Cueva says

    Love the idea to take pictures of your kids with the items they want!! I still only have a baby but I’m DEFINITELY doing that when she gets older!!

  72. AvatarSarah says

    I love this. I’m going to rethink how we do/budget Christmas to make it more simple, and less stressful! Thank you for being so open!

  73. AvatarBreanna Zitzelberger says

    So, I realized we spent way too much money on our baby. I am inspired to go a different route the next holiday season, and limit the amount of gifts we buy and do more home made gifts too (photo albums, kids art, etc). We are determined to get out of debt or at least not put ourselves back in debt over the holidays (which we tend to do all too often).

  74. AvatarChristina says

    You guys are such a Godsend. Jordan, you truly help inspire me to work harder at being a better person, wife and mother. Thank you for all of your lessons.

  75. AvatarBrooke says

    It’s so helpful to see how you do it and how much you spent on each kid. I have found it super helpful to take the person’s list, figure out prices of everything, before I even go shopping, so that I know which items on their list I’m going to get, to stay on budget.

  76. AvatarPatti says

    Do you buy gifts for all the relatives, which would be your siblings, parents, nieces and nephews? If so, how much do you spend on them?

  77. AvatarBecky says

    I’m late to the game but thinking about Christmas now. We have 3 kids and on average spend around $200 per kid. Last year our oldest did get a laptop so that was much more than usual but he earned it. This year we’re going to scale back a bit more because the kids end up with SO much. I’m setting a budget of $100 for the younger 2 and $150 for our oldest. Anything leftover will be used for hubby and I to split to get each other gifts or a dinner date.

  78. AvatarChristina Walker says

    I like the idea of telling the kids that there is a budget for Christmas because there is! I think that helps them appreciate what they are given and Ben more realistic with what they ask for.

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