What do you think the average family spends around this time of the year?

(Disclaimer: this question is being asked to an average family – exclude people on their own, going out for lunch, don’t celebrate Christmas etc).

Over $1,000?

Under $1,000?

Is that on gifts alone, or do you count food?

I was thinking about this in the shower this morning. We are an average family and I guess my boys do get a couple of hundred $$ spent on them each at Christmas time. I buy for my husband and lots of family members. I’m not an over-spender or extravagant.

I am having Christmas lunch here this year and while everyone is bringing food, we are still providing the majority (but I wouldn’t have it any other way!).

Here are some other items I was thinking about that I’ve added to the Christmas-spend:

 ♦ Batteries

♦ A new saucepan

♦ New Christmas lights and decorations

♦ Food, food, food

♦ A new t-shirt for hubby to wear Christmas Day

♦ Alcohol (excessive amounts! Not for me though, but for guests)

♦ Pool chemicals (to keep it extra clean for the festive season)

♦ Ice

♦ Petrol (if you are travelling, or even because you’re running around more often)

♦ New outdoor camping chairs to take to bbq’s and Christmas parties

♦ Hair cuts for all the family

♦ Dog groomers

I’m sure there are many more things I have bought for the Christmas period.

Now, this doesn’t include a holiday or a mini trip away!

As a child we always had a Christmas like I have with my own little family. Lots of food, some cool presents and surround ourselves in family. We’re not fancy, just fun and happy.

Have you thought about what you spend at Christmas time?

Do you plan and save money in advance?

How do families survive if Christmas has a way of forcing you to spend money?