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I start my Christmas budget as early as June. And I do my shopping early too. Six months of allocated budget for the festive season works well for me because I have a big, extended family. I keep around 50-100$ a month for the occasion or if there's an emergency. Otherwise, it's intended to be shared come Christmas.
Our lists of family, friends, godparents and godchildren to give gifts to are quite long. I am sure it will make a dent in the savings but hey, Christmas is the time to share. And when we have extra to give around, we're happy to buy gifts to the people we love. This Christmas, we have already spent over the intended budget because we're coming home for the holidays. We don't see our family every occasion so we want to give them the best.
How about you? Do you have a Christmas budget? Do you stick to that?