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

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  • cocoloco
    cocoloco Posts: 589 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    How about a ball of yarn and a knitting needle or crochet hook to make up as a 'kit' and take time over the festivities to teach your child to knit / crochet a scarf?
    You can get a ball of yarn for £1 and the needles for £1- £2...
    'Cost of present... £3.00 ... time spent with your child teaching her / him new skills... timeless.'
    :p "NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD AS FREE FOOD" :p
    'They can have my money but not my life!'
    :eek: Debt & mortgage free in 18 years :eek:
    *
  • I don't remember many presents I got when I was a child, but I do remember the hand knitted clothes for my doll which my Mum sat up half the night on Christmas Eve finishing off one year, and the lovely sets of coloured pens and pencils I used to get - the best ever were the ones printed with my name.

    I know things are different nowadays, but it might be interesting to think back to the presents that you most remember yourself, to give you ideas about what to get your kids - if you remember presents that were not the most expensive ones, it will help you to feel better about not buying everything that is advertised on TV. I know that when I was a single parent I used to be in agonies over not being able to afford everything my son wanted, but I don't think he was ever disappointed.
  • luxor4t
    luxor4t Posts: 11,125 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    .....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.


    I sew, and I'm always on the look out for fabric, so when the children were small my no-cash present was always doll's clothes or bedding for little girls, nightdress cases or bags for slightly older girls. Small boys got a drawstring bag-of-bags, made in plain bright fabric with cartoon print pockets & smaller bags.

    I buy through the year, but if caught out I try to buy a 'family' present eg a board game or even a jigsaw, rather than individual gifts which might not suit everybody.
    I can cook and sew, make flowers grow.
  • nannon
    nannon Posts: 96 Forumite
    Oooh and from my perspective, I managed to sort my DS and 2 un-step children with stockings for £20 in total.
    I went onto mummymartinstoybox (cant post links - just search the name on google) which is very cheap and very good. Independent business run by a stay at home mum. The website isnt flash but its fab and also P&P is very reasonable.

    I havent bought stockings, instead we using pillow cases that the kids will leave at the end of their beds.. well that's what my mum made us do and I didn't suffer from not having a stocking !
  • Am I the only one who thinks that when the Santa stories have to get more and more elaborate - 'mum and dad give him the money', 'he can't carry big things' etc - it might be time to ditch the whole thing? It's lies, and in my experience as a mother of 3 the lies are more for the adults' benefit than the children's, ie adults like the idea of starry-eyed tots gazing at the frosty sky to listen for reindeer and to hear them lisping about Santa and Rudolf and all the rest of it. Children are only interested in the stuff they get. I am not saying the stuff has to be expensive or that parents have to be blackmailed into spending money they haven't got - in fact what I am saying is that I would far rather be upfront with my kids and tell them that We Cannot Afford It but we will do the very best we can for them, than to have to tie myself up in more and more lies and equivocation. My eldest knew the truth by the time she was 5, and told her younger brother when he was 4, and it doesn't seem to have scarred them. I just think honesty is a far better policy than lying in principle AND in practice.

    And I'm not a Christian, but i understand many Christians feel this way too, on the grounds that 'if the kids find out Santa's a lie, they might think Jesus is too'. I'm not commenting on that because I don't want to offend anyone, but it's certainly something I've heard people say.
  • Hartleypooly
    Hartleypooly Posts: 3 Newbie
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 1 December 2010 at 2:51PM
    You'll be telling us the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny aren't real next.:p

    Christmas is a magical time for my young children who try their hardest all year round to be good so as Santa might just visit them. The look on their faces on Xmas morning when they see pressies under the tree is priceless.
    They are already growing up far too quickly and to shatter the myth over Santa would only enhance that process.

    A nice cheap Xmas eve treat I give for them is to set out a treasure hunt around the house and pretend it was one of Santa's elves who has written the clues. I leave a few sweets with each clue and they find the treasure, usually a pair of pj's, at the end. A great way to build up the excitement for the following day but also a cunning trick to get them to bed early (because the Elf or Santa has told them they must in the clues)
  • nannon wrote: »
    Hi All

    One of my good friends has done for her daughter a scrapbook of memories. She's created some digital photo pages and added clip art and then printed off the pages. Shes added some blank A4 pages to it as well and stuck "proper" photographs on and added bits of ribbon, stickers and glitter. The front and back of the book are from pieces of carboard boxes cut to size, wrapped in wadding and spare fabric she found. She bound the books by using a punchole and lacing ribbon through.
    Looks amazing and also is priceless in value because of its meaning.

    I did something similar a few years ago, me and the kids made a family tree book for mum using an old photo album and any thing around the house we could find to decorate it. We looked up the meanings of names, found our family "coat of arms" online and printed it off. It was a massive hit, she was almost in tears when she opened it.

    On a massive moneysaving thrift this year (will be the least I've ever had to spend on Xmas, but so far looking to be the cheapest yet).

    Got a bike for DD for £15 on eBay, managed to get a brand new phone for my son for less than £1 with tesco vouchers. Loads from charity shops, freebies in newspapers/from HotUKDeals/Vouchers for Comet/Debenhams...

    My next stop is Hawkins Bazaar for stocking fillers - they have a wonderful selection starting from only 25p and delivery is only £1!!! I've allocated £10 to make up stockings for my DD and DS which I know I can easily fill with bits I find on here. Sewing machine via Freecycle to make the stockings...

    We don't have a tree yet, but found a 4ft one on Wilkinsons site for less than £3, and we're making all our own decorations.

    All in all, very proud of myself. Looking to have the best christmas yet =]
  • lynzpower
    lynzpower Posts: 25,311 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Uschi wrote: »
    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.

    incdentally POUNDLAND has winnie the pooh cookie cutters if this is any good to you, they are proper ones, disney branded.
    :beer: Well aint funny how its the little things in life that mean the most? Not where you live, the car you drive or the price tag on your clothes.
    Theres no dollar sign on piece of mind
    This Ive come to know...
    So if you agree have a drink with me, raise your glasses for a toast :beer:
  • lynzpower
    lynzpower Posts: 25,311 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    lutzi1 wrote: »
    I've told my husband and daughter that, instead of some of the items on their Xmas lists, eg DVDs, they'll be getting a voucher from me saying they'll be getting it immediately after Xmas. They'll still have plenty of stuff to open, ( including some MSE bargains picked up during the year), but I can't see the point in paying full whack for things that will be heavily reduced straight after Xmas, especially when they won't have time to watch them in the interim.

    Dont forget the post Xmass vat increase
    :beer: Well aint funny how its the little things in life that mean the most? Not where you live, the car you drive or the price tag on your clothes.
    Theres no dollar sign on piece of mind
    This Ive come to know...
    So if you agree have a drink with me, raise your glasses for a toast :beer:
  • sharronej
    sharronej Posts: 578 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Y

    A nice cheap Xmas eve treat I give for them is to set out a treasure hunt around the house and pretend it was one of Santa's elves who has written the clues. I leave a few sweets with each clue and they find the treasure, usually a pair of pj's, at the end. A great way to build up the excitement for the following day but also a cunning trick to get them to bed early (because the Elf or Santa has told them they must in the clues)

    How lovely, my children are all grown up now but luckily I'm a childminder so still get to enjoy the wonder and excitement of the season.
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