Great 'Xmas gifts for the kids if you're skint' Hunt

Former_MSE_Lee Posts: 343 Forumite
edited 7 December 2010 at 3:19PM in Shop but don't drop

Great 'What Xmas gifts for the kids if you're skint?' Hunt Result

The pressure on parents at Christmas can be horrendous – we’ve seen inflationary giving over recent years with ever more expected. So we asked MoneySavers for ideas, tips help and strategies for parents who are skint this Christmas.

The results were fantastic – some of our favourites include:

Gift ideas:

Strategies to manage Great Expectations:
  • Streamlined Santa: Tell the kids Santa has to deliver presents to a lot of kids, so can't carry huge parcels ...

  • MoneyMaking Santa: Let children know that although Santa brings the prezzies, parents pay for them.

  • Honest Santa: Tell them the truth, and let them know you're doing your very best for them.

  • What I wish I'd known: Share and learn from your mistakes.

Just scroll down the forum thread to read them all, or click 'reply' to add your own.
View past Great Hunts

Thanks to all the MoneySavers who suggested the ideas above

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  • MSE_Martin
    MSE_Martin Posts: 8,273
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Money Saving Expert
    Before the discussion starts, its worth remembering young kids aren't retail snobs - its not about how much you spend its about whether they like it.

    Worth a thought...

    Filming with GMTV (as was) last year in November for a Christmas film. We had a 6 and an 8 year old with us, and a christmas tree and empty presents. I was very careful to explain to the children that these were empty boxes so not to set up false hope.

    They didnt care they just wanted to open them. When we finished filming, with excitement in their eyes we let them. They opened up to find cardboard boxes, shrieked with delight and started playing trains with them.

    What about older children

    And older children are capable of understanding the financial realities of home, they may not be happy they can't have an Ipad when their friends do - but sitting them down and talking to them is a good start.

    All in all the message needs to be don't let your childrens urges drive you to spend what you can't afford. The most important thing you can provide financially is stability and a roof over their heads - presents - even Christmas presents are secondary.

    Now on to the discussion...
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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  • What about a gift of quality family time? You could organise a day out with hand-picked activities you know your kids will love and treat them like VIPs for the day. Best of all it doesn't have to cost a thing - we get loads of ideas from the Woodland Trust's website for families They've got hundreds of free activity sheets you can print out to take with you. Just pack a picnic, choose a free place to explore and pick your activities!
    You could even make a gift certificate for the kids to open on Christmas Day :)
  • What about making them thier own 'kits'! you can get shed loads of cheap crafty stuff in places like £ shops and home bargains. Wrap a shoebox and fill it. Maybe surf for some printable suggestions or instructions and pics of thier fav characters etc. Or home made baking kits, weigh out all the ingriedients into little food bags and write them a recipe. You could make musical instruments or science experiments or pretty much anything.

    Also to make thier presents last longer plan a treasure hunt where they must unwrap the present to get the next clue. This can be done even for small ones with the use of pics.

    Hope i helped someone, im a nursery nurse so full of these crafty ideas!

    Merry chrimbly everyone! (i can say it now as its december tomorrow!!!):j
  • Love the idea of the home baking kits. Might not use as presents for my kids, but certainly for a couple of others that I need to buy for.
  • Middlestitch
    Middlestitch Posts: 1,486
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    edited 30 November 2010 at 11:42PM
    How about that old perennial favourite, the Christmas stocking? Forget the 'stocking fillers for under £25' nonsense and go traditional. If you can operate a basic sewing machine you can make your own stocking, or just buy a cheap one from Poundland or other discount store. Poundland have masses of things which would suit children or either sex and pretty much all ages from 3-teenage (amazing what teenagers like when it can be found in a Christmas stocking!). Wilkinson have loads of stationery items at 30p a go, eg:

    pencils with little wooden animals on top, balanced on a spring
    a double pack of portable telephone (eraser) and landline (pencil sharpener)
    packs of mini felt-tips
    pack of three football erasers - two boots and one ball
    pack of three pirate erasers
    pack of four heart erasers
    fold up pen with belt clip

    They also have masses of great Christmas craft items for less than £1.

    Add some comics, a colouring book, puzzle books and sweets, and you can fill a giant stocking for well under £20 (and indeed for under a tenner or even a fiver). Wrap each item individually in cheap paper and you've got something which will keep the recipient quiet for some time!

    Take a photo of the finished item and the child then has something to show to friends when saying that he/she got a massive Christmas stocking FULL of stuff....

    May be a bit late unless you order quickly, but there are some good items which are free apart from p&p on The p&p isn't that cheap but still excellent value in many cases.
  • Your time!
    From my position as a Brownie Leader, I can see how putting together "badge kits" could fit the bill. (Equally for Cubs, Scouts and guides). Look at the badge book, and have materials ready for things like Toymaker, Cook, Writer, Discoverer.......... I would love to be awarding badges in January, for projects that haven't just been printed off Wikipaedia, and where time has been spent on acquiring skills and in-depth knowledge!

    I was taught to knit and sew in Primary School, and I amused myself making clothes for my sister's doll, making soft toys and knitting small items.
  • Buy a pack of cheep balloons and find a big cardboard box, blow up the balloons and put them in the box then gift wrap, an exciting huge present which creates fun
    Best wins in 2013 £200 and Mini iPad. 2014 no wins. 2015 2 nights 5* hotel with £300 vouchers plus £1150 Harrods gift card
    Rehome an unwanted prize or gift with a seriously ill child through
  • sined1uk
    sined1uk Posts: 8 Forumite
    edited 1 December 2010 at 9:07AM
    my kids write their list. santa will get them one of the gifts on the list (as he has lots of children to buy for) this way they dont expect too much, freecycle is fantastic this time of year with people clearing out toys they no longer use. so if you are lucky you may find something on their list on the site
  • Just opened the first 'day' of the electronic advent calendar on Jacquie Lawson's website. Cost a couple of pounds (goes down to £1.20 each if you order 5 or more) and there's one of her great little animations, with music, every day until 24 December. Great present - no postage costs, completely 'green' and great fun! See:
  • Morning all, I'm new to this but I just thought I'd pass on something we've always done in our family to ease the cost of Christmas. Right from the start my children have always been told that Santa can only put small stuff in stockings, because he has to carry gifts for every child in the world and the sleigh isn't that big. Corny I know, but it means they don't expect huge presents from us and again from Santa.
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