Christmas Crisis



  • Hi YORKSHIRELASS- we have no children but recently Christmases have become a bit of a struggle for us, mainly because we have large families. We had always felt obliged to buy for various family members, and the other half often had to take out credit to cope. However, when we would look at what we had received from others, it really didn't seem like very much (like a lot of people, I'm trying not to view Christmas as a soul-less take, take, take time of the year, but the difference between what we gave and what we got was becoming more and more marginal). Now we are realistic, and we don't give where we don't get. That has saved us a big chunk of cash. Did we feel awkward about it? Sure, but we got over it. I know this won't apply to your kids, but it may help you to save in other areas. It's also nice to know what people want isn't it? There's nothing worse than getting someone something they never quite get round to using.
  • Here Here!!

    Me and OH struggle as we have nieces and nephews but no children ourself, and we buy for everyone! so this year we told the parents there not having anything but we will buy for the kids! prob will get a tin of chocs per couple or maybe make an hamper or something! X
    :j6 debts cleared since joining MSE:j
    :eek: Remaining debts... Very / Halifax Loan/ A&L / Virgin cc / Lloyds / Sister :eek:
    :smileyheaGetting Married 04.12.10 - The MSE way :smileyhea
    :dance: Making this house a home :dance:
    YORKSHIRELASS Posts: 6,296 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Ooooh, Moneytroubles, thats a great idea. A family hamper, where you put in lots of little bits and pieces. Guess you would have to be careful so siblings dont end up fighting over things but its a great idea. We always get load of tins of chocs, in fact one year we got so many we ended up giving them away but I like your thinking, its definitely the thought that counts.
  • I know a couple of years ago we got so many tins of chocs and biscuits i took some to and old peoples home!

    I'm gonna buy the kids a present as normal, i'm thinking more along the lines of a hamper for my sis and her partner, and one for my bro and his, as usually i would spend between 25-30 per person and I just can't afford that this year, (well ive never been able to afford it but thats why im here now).

    Im thinking £10 per hamper, including a bottle of bucks fizz, couple of beers, chocs, just thinking of what else. Also found a thread for a book lovers hamper which I also really liked and thinking of doing for OH's sister xx
    :j6 debts cleared since joining MSE:j
    :eek: Remaining debts... Very / Halifax Loan/ A&L / Virgin cc / Lloyds / Sister :eek:
    :smileyheaGetting Married 04.12.10 - The MSE way :smileyhea
    :dance: Making this house a home :dance:
  • cavework
    cavework Posts: 1,992 Forumite
    What a great thread..
    Last Xmas we were absolutely skint. OH had been made redundant for a second time in 18 months and had just started his own business. So no income for the first 3 months, just mine to live on.
    We told everyone there would be no presents and no cards , even my 2 lads who luckily were 16 and 22. Our friends and family were fantastic and even admitted that it was a relief for them as well to not have to worry about buying us presents.
    I put up the decorations .. the 6ft artificial tree which I bought 3 years ago the day after Boxing day at the reduced price of £40 really felt like a bargain that day.
    A mate phoned me and told me a local Supermarket were selling fresh Turkeys at 50% off .. Grabbed one
    Next door neighbour got all my veg and fruit for £5 as he is in the trade..
    To top it all on Xmas morning my two lads appeared with presents for me and OH !
    Neighbours came round bringing their own drinks.
    It was the best Xmas we have ever had and I think the most we spent extra was about £20.
  • What a brill story X
    :j6 debts cleared since joining MSE:j
    :eek: Remaining debts... Very / Halifax Loan/ A&L / Virgin cc / Lloyds / Sister :eek:
    :smileyheaGetting Married 04.12.10 - The MSE way :smileyhea
    :dance: Making this house a home :dance:
  • I suppose it depends on what you've told your kids about Father Christmas, but I say to mine that I have to give him the money to get the presents. Last year I told them to think of something up to the value of £30 each to put in the letter to him and they were very good about that. I got them what they wanted and a couple of little extras. Not much though - they get enough from everyone else!

    For me it's about creating memories though. Mine love the idea of tracking him on Norad which we've done every year and my son said last year the best thing about Christmas was bringing his stocking in to our bed in the morning to open. Just our little way of doing it, but it's become tradition for him. He's only 9, but he gets all nostalgic already!!
    2010 Cost of Living Challenge - £901/£5300 * Grocery challenge - £117.91/£120 *
    Total Debt- [STRIKE]£6388.74[/STRIKE] £5995.66 :eek:
    Debt Free Reward Pot £11 * Overdraft vs 100 days £363.76/£800 *
    Feb NSD's 8/12
  • tori.k
    tori.k Posts: 3,592 Forumite
    dont beat yourself up about it, i can promise you the kids wont even notice a good few years ago i decided no more debt in Jan for christmas and bulked out the kids christmas gifts with clothes i had to buy them anyway (just cheap supermarket stuff) i never even noticed they had half what they usually got.
  • Swinstie73
    Swinstie73 Posts: 2,897 Forumite
    What a great thread! I love Christmas, but it is very over-hyped. I don't have kids but last year my sister, mum and myself bought my neice and nephew a Wii, I nearly fainted when I realised the accessories you have to buy! I have cut my budget my £50 this year and it'll be getting cut by that next year too. The hampers are a great idea, as is old photos in frames, I've done that before.

    I knew someone whose daughter (aged 23) and her boyf spent 100's of pounds on each other (showing off in my opinion), they had split up by the following Feb, makes you wonder!
  • cavework
    cavework Posts: 1,992 Forumite
    Thanks Moneytroubles..xx
    Bit better off this year (not a lot) but no way will I ever spend the money I used to at Xmas, the lads will be getting a present each this year tho.
    hampers is a great idea .. my friend makes home made jam and chutneys!
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors


  • All Categories
  • 343.2K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.1K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.7K Spending & Discounts
  • 235.3K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 608K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173.1K Life & Family
  • 247.9K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards