Christmas Crisis

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  • i find that you buy expensive presents for the kids and they end up playing with colouring books crayons etc.
  • I love Christmas for what it is, a time to spend with loved ones and to celebrate life (no religion involved).
    Until resently my boyfriend and I used to buy for Mum's, Dad's, step parents, sibblings, nieces and nephews blah blah blah... Now we buy for our nieces and nephews only and then only until their 18th birthday. We stick to about £15-20 each as they'll be getting things from their Mum and Dad plus any granparents. We don't have children ourselves so can't help you there.
    If you what to give anyone else a gift then make something, may be a homemade hamper with a jam, honeycombe and bisuits, or little fruit cakes, the possibilities are endless. It doesn't matter how much they spend on you, they'll never match the time, thought and love that comes with your gift to them and if they're not impressed then that says so much about the people they are!
    Have a good Christmas, a bit early but hey!
  • heatherks
    heatherks Posts: 854 Forumite
    i find that you buy expensive presents for the kids and they end up playing with colouring books crayons etc.

    so true ....my daughter bought a doll from her own birthday money and has played with it once ..cost £30 ... lying in a shelf now
  • One of the best presents I've had recently was from my sister when we had arranged children only presents because we were watching our money. She didn't want to miss us out completely but made up a little box for me and my other half with a £25 cinema voucher, chocolates, popcorn and a baby-sitting voucher. We weren't getting out much due to both money and lack of child-minders. I thought this was a fab present and hubby and I had a great night out. Just what the doctor ordered. Friends have also invited me over for a girls night in, where we've done face masks, manicures, candle-lit baths and next morning, breakfast in bed. Again, as a cheap alternative to a night out and giving me a break from the children. I just love these types of things, its good fun, cheap, and the memories of great quality time with people you love will last forever. Much longer than any normal gift could.
  • There are some great ideas on this thread. Last year we made a CD each for our children's stockings - they couldn't believe that FC knew what their favourite songs were and we listen to them in the car all the time. Very cheap and fun to do. Their other favourite present was old-fashioned pop guns - they were £2 each and they are still playing with them!

    Totally agree that it is time that they remember most - we always go for a night time drive at some point to look at lights and to the zoo first thing on boxing day - we have annual membership and there is usually no-one else there for the first hour!
    HSBC Credit Card £6400 now £5587.43 now 5229.9 now £0!!!
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  • The one thing that has stopped me buying so much for my daughter now is when I've been giving her room a big tidy up. Going through her things I've realised how much has been spent on her, not just by me and OH, but family members too and how much is really used/played with. I have felt gutted at the waste of money, giving toys to charity shops that have never really been played with, books never read etc. Better to spend less on things that mean more.
    Every day is a new life to a wise man.
    Sufficient for the day are it's own worries.:cool::cool:
  • huxley
    huxley Posts: 296 Forumite
    Hi, today we have sorted out the family christmas meal, each year we book a meal somewhere for the week before the big day, I know it doesnt sound very mse but we save all year (normally about £23 per person) there will be 20 of us aged between 7months to 83yrs and we do a secret santa with a set limit of £10. We have a great evening then all take our prezzie home and phone each other christmas day to try and guess who was who's santa.
    Traditions, memories and thought thats what christmas should be about, when my kids were little christmas eve we would bundle them up and take them for a drive through some woods near us that have deer (only small ones, but to a child it doesnt matter) they would try and spot deer sometimes imaginery ones:D and think they were eating so they would have all the energy needed for their long night pulling that sleigh. Well the kids may have grown up but they know christmas eve their mum still drags dad out deer spotting:D
    If you are doing hampers I did one for a friend and her family the other year we called 5mins peace, it had a family dvd, movie snacks for the kids and a small bottle of red/white wine for mum and dad it was a great success.
  • Some really great ideas here. We're very near a deer park and also have annual membership to the zoo where there are reindeer. I think a bit of deer spotting is an excellent plan!!

    My DH is one of 8 children :eek: - so for several years we've done the only buying for the kids until they were 18 (and we had no kids at the time and asked people not to buy for us). Now all their kids have left home, we tend to do really cheap and cheerful stuff - usually a bottle of wine and some chocs/biscuits (which we always get from Costco). Everyone in the family does the same thing - but it means that actually you don't buy so many bits in for Christmas as you always know you'll get something ...

    We try not to spend masses on the kids - as lots have said, they rarely remember it all and have more fun with the boxes. When I was growing up, there was one year my parents were very hard up (so they tell me now) - for my birthday I got 2 dresses as I really needed some and it was the only way they could afford to get them for me easily. I remember that birthday so well as I so loved those dresses - in fact, in my life, I can probably only remember that present and a couple of others (and I have had 40 birthdays :D) - so what they were worried about getting me as being a 'cheating' present was one of the best I had. I try to remember that for my own kids, but it is difficult.

    I get quite grumpy at Christmas - and my DH gets cross with me - but my grumpiness is entirely centred on the 'you must spend heaps of money to have a really good Christmas' and it really annoys me! All I want to do is spend time with my family (my Mum and Dad and me take it in turns to host Christmas) and enjoy a couple of days of reminiscing, eating and watching the children be happy.

    I hope everyone has a good Christmas which is stress-free.
  • bexbot
    bexbot Posts: 7 Forumite
    It's definitely possible to have a great christmas on a budget.
    My 3 kids love their stockings and there's usually just little things in them, like satsumas! a couple of little chocolates, toothpaste. We also give them things like socks, pants and vests (usually from primark) as presents, things you need to buy at some point anyway but an extra few things to open!
    I try to buy a couple of things a week from now and it builds up pretty quickly without noticing the little bit extra you spend!
    For example my dd10, has already got a set of patterened shoe laces and a scarf both from poundland, but i know she'll love them!!
  • ring up the billers and ask to pay on a plan after january so u might pay £10 a week then there money for chrismas and they shut up
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