Christmas Crisis

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  • dancingfairy
    dancingfairy Posts: 9,069 Forumite
    You could do the whole voucher thing for her ie a morning/s gardening/evening babysitting/ cook a cake when she wants it/ironing etc - won't cost you anything about from your time and she can redeem the vouchers when she needs it?
    df
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  • misspoppy wrote: »
    Hi

    A few years ago we arranged to buy for the kids and do a secret santa for the adults so we got one decent present instead of 6 rubbish ones, its so much better and cheaper. Suggest this to your family and explain to them as you have to us that you don't want to buy rubbish.

    One year my sister spent £20 each on her two kids they were over the moon, ask grandparents to buy some of the more expensive gifts that the kids want that way you dont get stuck with the whole bill, I always try to buy good gifts for my nephews because I know their Mum can afford it. Get the kids to help make jams and chutney's or even truffles which are very easy to make and can be shared amongst several people.



    We are doing the secret santa thing this year with the adults - such a good idea! We have then set a limit of £10 for each child (excluding our own). I have nearly finished shopping for my own children aged 4 and 6,:j and I have done it by looking online for what I think they would like and then finding other sources to buy from such as ebay. For example, I have bought my daughter a vtech laptop, which retails at £80 in toys r us, from ebay for £20. It works fine, is in good condition but the box is damaged. I'm going to a buy a cheap laptop bag for £5 to put it in and I know my DD will be over ther moon :beer: .

    Another money saving tip I learnt from my parents is to fill up the stockings with things that you would of had to buy in the new year anyway, e.g. new toothbrush, toothpaste, flannel, soap, bubble bath, underwear, socks, pencil case .......:rotfl:I always try and buy nicer, but still reasonably priced, ones at christmas as all year we only buy own brand soap etc.
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  • Some really great suggestions, thank you, you have given me inspiration! I am going to try and pin my kids down to a list of things they really want. I can then pick one thing off the list that I can afford and pass some of the other ideas on to grandparents and other family members. That way they get things they want without me buying them all. I am also going to start trawling ebay for things like second hand DS games.

    I have a feeling my family wont be keen on the secret santa idea sadly. I am inspired by the idea of doing mini hampers though and I need to start looking in the pound shops/charity shops for more ideas.

    I am also going to start buying a few extra non-perishable food items every week and squirrelling them away, lots of christmas goodies are on offer at the moment.

    I think I just needed people to tell me it was possible to still have a proper christmas without blowing the budget or using the credit cards.
  • pir
    pir Posts: 152 Forumite
    It's possible. I think more people should do Christmas on a budget.

    I saw a few DS games in toys r us for £5. No idea what they are like but you can get some games really cheap.

    Check out the freebie boards as well. Maybe consider spending an hour or two a week entering competitions. Fair enough it's essentially a lottery (free to enter) and the prizes probably wouldn't be drawn until next year but it would give you a start for birthdays and christmas next year.
  • misspoppy
    misspoppy Posts: 1,009 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Hi

    we always buy christmas food in with our normal shop as soon as we see it in the shops, I already have the biscuits and after eights. The other thing is I won't buy pringles or monster size tins of chocolate as they are just so bad for you, no one needs to eat that much rubbish. My BF's mum buys all that nonsense and what ever the magazines suggest I don't get it, one year she produced the list of recomeneded wines and asked me which to buy and I asked what was wrong the the rose we all like? It's one day, an extra special sunday dinner if you really break it down, I don't want to ruin the day feeling bloated and rubbish I buy what we like and enough for us to eat at the table I don't want to eat reheated sprouts for a week, the left over turkey will go into a pie but I won't buy to excess because I don't want to eat to excess.
  • Red_Fraggle_3
    Red_Fraggle_3 Posts: 369 Forumite
    edited 1 October 2009 at 1:09PM
    I do a spreadsheet - writing down everyones names / present ideas and estimated costs plus actual costs - so I can see if I'm up or down
    seems very sad but helps me focus
    I never used to spend as much on presents as my friends when I had my LBM moment they were all still spending nw they are all tighting their belts :-)
    As it's being said get the kids to help - we did homemade biscuits for mothers day - only ex mum - in law commented it was a cheap present everyone else was chuffed xx We got a roll of cellopahne and ribbon of ebay and now DD wraps most things this way
    Do you have a Home Bargains or B+M near by B+M seem sgreat for most stuff
    good luck get organised and don't worry about other peopel or your kids - a couple of board games between them mean you get to spend qualitry time and a few laughs
  • QueenBeruthiel
    QueenBeruthiel Posts: 234 Forumite
    edited 1 October 2009 at 1:24PM
    At the risk of sounding like Scrooge... Christmas is a con. The big retailers make a huge slice of their annual sales/profits at Christmas and spend heavily on advertising to practically force people to buy. People feel that they "have to" buy because relatives like the OP's sister have already set a benchmark. It just gets mad.

    It's possible to have an enjoyable Christmas without blowing £££££ on just one day and then being in debt for months afterwards.
  • DarkConvict
    DarkConvict Posts: 6,338 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    At the risk of sounding like Scrooge... Christmas is a con. The big retailers make a huge slice of their annual sales/profits at Christmas and spend heavily on advertising to practically force people to buy. People feel that they "have to" buy because relatives like the OP's sister have already set a benchmark. It just gets mad.

    It's possible to have an enjoyable Christmas without blowing £££££ on just one day and then being in debt for months afterwards.

    I do agree with this. Christmas is about been together but it has been profited on for years by the retail industry, using extensive advertising to get kids to nag parents for expensive presents. To kids is a magical moment but is a money nightmare for everyone else.
    I don't buy Christmas card anymore, and i am careful on who i buy presents for.
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  • SmlSave
    SmlSave Posts: 4,911 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Ahhh, I love Christmas :) My favorite's part's the stockings and the cheese and biscuits in the evening :)

    We're going to agree a budget with the family this year (Dad's out of a job so they're up for it)

    I'm searching the shops at the mo (mis-season sales) for anything that might catch my eye.

    Its definitely possible to have a great Xmas on a budget Yorkshire lass :) I give everyone fruitcakes to bulk out what little thing I get them.
    Currently studying for a Diploma - wish me luck :)

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  • YORKSHIRELASS
    YORKSHIRELASS Posts: 6,293 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    edited 1 October 2009 at 2:40PM
    Last couple of posts have got me thinking now. Why on earth am I even considering throwing away the hard work I have put in over the last few months trying to turn my financial situation around, just to buy presents that no-one needs or probably even wants? I have just been in my sons cupboard to put something away and there is an expensive lego set someone bought him last Christmas that has hardly been touched. (Maybe I should ebay it).

    In fact I bet if you asked my kids what they got for Christmas last year they wouldnt be able to remember.

    Maybe I should start a DFW campaign - lets make Christmas what it really should be, time spent with the people we love and forget the expensive presents.

    So there, thats my rant of the day, if people think I am a skinflint then thats tough, 2009 will be my first Christmas as an adult where I dont overspend.
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