What are your Limits?
How Much Are You Spending On your Charge’s Christmas?
In recent years, I’ve sort of set a $50 - $75 limit on what I spend for my charge’s presents, although I admit it’s not written in stone. I have spent as much as $150 for an only-child. I send past charges $25 gift certificates on their birthdays and at Christmas time as well. This is usually what happens to my Christmas bonus. Consequently, what I value more than bonuses is simply being left alone (childless) during holidays.
This year I’m doing something different. My two oldest charges (both girls, ages 3 and 5) share a bedroom and have stated numerous times that they wish it was pink. Their mother purchased new curtains and linens in an attempt to pacify her daughters’ request, but to little avail, because the older child insists on having pink walls too. I figured that since the girls were visiting relatives 3 days prior to Christmas, a room makeover might be in order. I asked the children’s mother if it could be my present to them since they already have so much stuff that buying toys seems more out of obligation than genuine sentiment. Mom agreed. I have a friend who owns a paint store, so the supplies are cheap enough. I expect to spend less than an additional $100 on bric-a-brac. Total cost: $200 plus a day’s labor. In all honesty, the day’s labor really shouldn’t be a factor because I still receive salary whenever the girls are away, so in essence, what I’m actually out of pocket is a day off. I personally don’t consider this too much in light of how well the family provides for me above and beyond what is expected. I might also add that I have considerable experience in building and design. Painting 4 walls and a ceiling is a walk in the park.
Do you have limits on how much to spend on your charge’s Christmas presents?
at 10:30 AM