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



  • shzl400
    shzl400 Posts: 22 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    If you must buy for the little darlings, buy something that they actually desperately want (DS games) or need (clothing) or maybe edible always goes down well (3 x walnut whips in Poundland - ahhh, the nostalgia!)

    The money that is wasted on cr*p gifts, fancily wrapped and boxed, or cheap toys as stocking fillers is horrendous. They'll be in the bin by New Year.

    I've had to restrain 8 y.o. DS from spending all his birthday (3/11) money on items that I already have stashed for Christmas, many of which came off ebay.
  • keigcf
    keigcf Posts: 271 Forumite
    Our kids stockings always have a flannel, toothbrush and paste, shower gel or whatever. Pants and socks and a new pair of pyjama's. They then have 1 presant off father christmas, this usually costs around 20-25 pounds. The three of them might get a family dvd or game off father christmas between them, depends on what year it was.
    They then get 1 present off us, same as we give everyone else, this has never been hugely expensive thou.... and our kids have never suffered. I have a friend who has no money at all, we are talking skint on a monday till her money comes through on a Wednesday, yet her 2 kids both have laptops and tele's in their rooms! and their clothes are half way up their legs :huh: never can understand it!
    Visit beautiful Mid Wales:j
  • The one thing I remember about my childhood Christmases is my brother and I playing keepie uppie with the balloons. So using the advice from this web-site we did the big box full of balloons for my son's second Christmas.
    We wrapped a huge box in shiny wrapping paper. Then we blew up a whole packet of balloons and filled it. He got to rip off the wrapping paper, then had loads of balloons to play with all day and it didn't matter if some burst, because there were so many.
    My 5 year old son, 3 year old daughter, and 1 year old son played with them all day( not with the more expensive things we had bought) lol
  • babyshoes
    babyshoes Posts: 1,771 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    With little kids it really is about quantity over quality. We had pillow cases too, like another poster here, and often got beach balls, balloons or other inflatable toys to make them look 'big'. There was always stationary and other essentials that my folks would have had to buy anyway through the year, as well as our family tradition of a 'once a year' treat - a tin of condensed milk!! It is terribly bad for you, but that naughty Father Christmas always brought one, even though Mom told him not to... It certainly taught my brother and me to share and strategise, as eventually we learned to open one immediately which we shared, and then boil the other for caramel, which is nicer but takes several hours!

    Father Christmas never brought big, expensive stuff, just small things and essentials. :)
    Trust me - I'm NOT a doctor!
  • Middlestitch
    Middlestitch Posts: 1,486 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    Download a free Waitrose Christmas activity pack from and add a small pack of cheap felt tips and safety scissors for a really inexpensive but useful gift.
  • hermoine_2
    hermoine_2 Posts: 240 Forumite
    edited 3 December 2010 at 5:16PM
    I manage a charity shop and we have had loads of stuff donated that is still new and in wrapping. many of these things would be good for Christmas presents, games, puzzles, make up, bath stuff, socks, scarves and gloves, cds and dvds. Have a look in your local charity shop and see what is available. You can pick up puzzles in my shop for £3 and books for £1, bath sets and make up for £3-4 and cds for £4. Good luck.

  • mamamoi
    mamamoi Posts: 368 Forumite
    I always say that I'm going to cut down as my 2 girls get so much off mine & OH's family, but as usual I have bought more than I planned. Not particualry expensive... I always know when the sales are keep an eye out for bargains and am not adverse to buying 2nd hand. As the youngest of 6 kids my Mum would scour the papers for 2nd hand things when we were little and Mum & Dad would fix them up... we never knew anything different.

    In addition to toys etc I also buy essentials, clothes, stationery etc that they will need & use throughout the year which go in their stockings.

    We do a Christmas eve hamper.... new PJs, toothbrushes, Christmas DVD (this year Grinch that stole Christmas £3 at tesco), christmas activity book/colouring book, reindeer dust, snowman soup (plenty of threads on these on the christmas and other festivities forum), pringles, nuts, chocs etc. This is a present from me & DH, as Fr Christmas brings all the gifts on Christmas Day. After sprinkling the reindeer dust and setting out the biscuits/carrotts/whiskey for Santa we all settle in for a movie night in the new PJs and eat the snacks. It doesn't have to cost a lot and like people say the kids appreciate and remember the special times that you share together rather than the expensive gifts.
  • mamamoi
    mamamoi Posts: 368 Forumite
    edited 3 December 2010 at 5:15PM
    This thread reminded me about an idea that I had, which might work well for people looking to cut down on pressies and costs.

    I am planing to do a coupon book for my 2 girls that they can redeem over the Christmas hols, winter weekends and even throughout the year. We normally have a family day every weekend, sometimes for a few hours, sometimes a full day, so these are things that we would usually do together anyway, but I know that my girls will enjoy choosing and redeeming their coupons. We will of course help to guide them on their choices, cos I aint going swimming when we are all full of colds! I have a few ideas so far but you can put what ever suits you, your family and your budget.

    Bowling (using tesco vouchers)
    day at zoo (tesco again)
    movies (95p kids am at vue every weekend)
    day at indoor play area (few quid)
    swimming (few quid)
    dinner at a restaurant (tesco again)
    sledging (free provided you have sledge, snow & a hill)
    trip to farm (we have a free farm nearby)
    family movie night in
    family games night
    trip to museum (often free)
    trip to science centre or other similar place

    Print it all up into a coupon booklet or even hand make it and it could look quite effective. The kids then have things to look forward to after Christmas and can have a say in the things that you do together as a family.

    Hope that helps!
  • Making Kit suggestions:

    Fashion doll - include cut out dolls, scraps o fabric, sequins, wool etc...mine went wild for this last xmas (age 6 and 8)

    design ur own sweets - cooking chocolate, moulds,small cake cases plus add ins eg rice krispies, sprinkles, white choc drops, raisins. Type up instructions on recipe card.

    Makeover - cheap make up, hair stuff, scarves plus one day loan of your camera for a photo shoot. Include album for showing off their pics, print voucher for fashion shoot for 3 friends so they can make a day of it.

    Pizza party kit- include dry ingredients plus invitations

    My kids like these...hope it helps!
  • nuttywoman
    nuttywoman Posts: 2,203 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Also, what about a toy swop with other mums ?
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