Five Dollar Christmas Gift Tradition

One of my favorite parts of each Christmas season is our Five Dollar Christmas Gift Tradition. Each of the children gets $5.00 to spend on the other family members. This tradition of shopping has become the most fun way to think about how to surprise each of our family members. Not only do the kids learn the importance of giving, but we also experience so much more!  

In 2021, we upped the $5.00 limit to $10.00 for each person. The kids are now teens and adults so it just makes sense to grow a bit with the budget. But the tradition continues and we’re excited to see the presents, ideas, and secrets continuing for another year!

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Five Dollar Christmas Gift Tradition

Several years ago, we heard of another family who had this tradition and we decided to incorporate into our holiday plans. The kids have $5.00 to spend on each family member. They can use coupons, shop online or find the item in the store, but $5.00 is the limit. Since there are 5 of us in the family, each child has a $20 budget to find 4 gifts.

One year,  I spent 2 hours with my 6-year-old picking out the perfect gift! He was determined to find the perfect Christmas present for his big brother. Now, a plunger may not have seemed like the perfect gift for you or me, but my 6-year-old knew what his big brother would laugh about. I will never forget the experience of Luke checking out every single plunger in multiple stores to make sure it was the perfect gift!

Through the years we have had some odd gifts wrapped under the tree.  Sometimes the gifts are homemade and sometimes we find them on clearance.  Other times, we order on ebay or find them on Amazon.com.  Some years, the kids have found the gifts early in the fall while other times they are found the week before Christmas.

Each year, we start brainstorming with the kids to find ideas that fit the $5.00 budget. In all honesty, sometimes it’s tough to find something that fits each person in that budget, but that becomes the fun challenge.  

By setting the budget at $5.00, we have teachable moments to talk about how the price is not what makes a gift special. It’s the thought and time spent in making sure the other person will love it!

What Kids Learn from Shopping

Our kids learn valuable lessons each year when they go shopping for other family members.

  1. They learn how expensive some items can be. This helps them appreciate the value of money.
  2. They learn to listen to the other members of the family throughout the year so they can find the perfect gift at Christmas.
  3. They learn to keep a secret!

Do your kids ever shop for others?  What do you think of this idea of giving each member $5.00 per person to go shopping? I’d love to hear how you are teaching your kids to think of others at Christmas.


What are some other ways to make Christmas memories and create family traditions?  I’d love to hear?

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