Mother-of-two, Caroline*, doesn’t usually overspend at Christmas. But after a year of hard work pulling her away from home, she’s decided to spoil her kids with some pricey holiday purchases – with a grand total of about £2,100.
“The outdoor play centre was £920 and I also got a trampoline which came to £1,180. Then just things I’ve gotten during the year clothes, books, personalised pencil cases that had been on lay-by at Big W,” she told Kidspot.
In previous years, she’d spend about £300 each on her seven-year-old son and four-year-old daughter, but this year she wanted a Christmas her family would never forget.
“I work in palliative care within the community, so I’m terribly time-poor and don’t get to the parks as much as I would like to with them – so instead of buying my son another DS game or my daughter more Shopkins or Frozen toys – I wanted an outside toy,” Caroline explained.
While shopping for the perfect gift, she was tagged in a post about a outdoor play house and the decision was mad.
“I thought ‘right, this year I’m going to set up my kids own playground/ park right in our backyard – it will get them outside with hours of endless fun’,” she said.
But not everyone is on board with the mum’s extravagant gift choices, with family and work peers commenting that she had spent too much money on materialistic items.
She wrote a post on Facebook to discuss it, “I wanted to settle a fight with people from work and my partner over how much I spent – oh and with myself also – because I didn’t think it was really that much but when so many people question your choice – you start second guessing yourself,” she said.
The reaction from her post was similar, with many maintaining the mum’s gift to her kids was excessive.
“Most have said I’m crazy and it’s a waste and it’s spoiling them – but once seeing it’s not just Lego or computer games they understand but wouldn’t buy it for their children because it’s way too much,” Caroline said.
“I understand you get what you can afford and I respect what everyone has said on my post. I will never judge anyone for making their point and everyone does what makes them happy Christmas. It isn’t just about giving thousands of dollars’ worth of gifts – it’s about families spending time together.”
But how much is too much?
A survey conducted by CPA Canada revealed the average Canadian would spend about $800 CAD (£470) on holiday gifts this year. Of more than 1,000 participants, 19 per cent said they had budgeted to spend between $400-$600 (£235-£355), while 19 percent aim to spend $200 (£118) or less.
Interestingly, a whopping 59 per cent of participants said they’re worried about their financial position, yet plan to buy the gifts anyway.
Where do you fit in on the spectrum?
*Name changed to protect identity
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