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

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  • 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.

    Jeez this world sucks as it is, at least give em some christmas spirit like it was is the old days, snow xmas and presents and santa clause and warm movies to watch with the family over the festive season.

    sorry but i totally disagree with all you say, and my kids luv xmas time and not just the presents the whole experience inc santa clause :). yeah when they get older they will find out the truth and still be happy but at least they can enjoy the childhood with the thought that there is good places and people on this earth ":)

    im 34 year old dude and i love xmas and my family does too

    OH OH OH MERRY CHRISTMAS ...EACH AND EVERYONE :):T:T:T
    :j
  • 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)

    -- thats fantastic what you said & thats the way christmas should be --

    have a great Christmas and keep that spirit alive :)
    :j
  • supa-girl
    supa-girl Posts: 243 Forumite
    What a great thread!!

    We have got our children's "main" presents this year using clubcard vouchers and I have got a few bits and pieces throughout the year as well but this thread has given me loads of ideas about how to bulk it out a bit to make them go even further.

    We have a xmas eve box from the "elves" which has new PJ's, a xmas dvd, some sweets, sachets of hot chocolate and some glow in the dark reindeer food (porridge oats mixed with glitter) to sprinkle on the lawn. I hadn't thought of a treasure hunt to find it though and think it's an awesome idea - will be using that.

    I also love the idea of a box of blown up balloons and will be doing that for our 2 toddlers - they will love it!!

    Some ideas I can share are home made things. I am making a comforter for the baby from an old fleece pillowcase my Nanna gave me. I will also be making a dolly for my youngest daughter in the same fabric. Other home made things they will receive will be personalised glasses (I have bought extra value tumblers from Tesco and will be writing their names on in glass paints), home made biscuits and a "credit" pot for my oldest who is getting her first mobile phone for xmas - if she does extra jobs and things around the house we will put a few coins in it so she doesn't have to use her pocket money all the time to buy credit for the phone. I am using an old formula tin from the babies milk, wrapped in wrapping paper for that. I also plan to make up some kits - maybe a craft kit for DD with some fabric, wool, a small sewing kit......etc. My Dad has given me some off cuts of wood and things for the kids to share too - I will be packaging those in a big box with a hammer an some nails so they can create their own master pieces! ;)

    I have used charity shops a lot this year. I got an unopened wildlife puzzle for £1 and an orchard puzzle (that was £8 on amazon) for £1.50. I have also got a mint condition kids denim jacket for £3 and a secret spy kit (£5 in Tesco) for 50p so am really happy with those finds.

    I will be keeping an eye on this thread for more ideas and hope some of mine are helpful to somone as well.

    SG
    Sealed pot 3 challenge number 1008
  • You can also name a Star for free too from this site:

    http://www.nameagalaxy.com/

    I printed some of these for my girls last year, they loved them. I used a really pretty card and then laminated them. Something slightly different and totally free (well apart from the printing)

    HTH

    Sugar xxx
    "The journey of 1000 miles commenced with a single step"
  • we get loads of our children's toys from our local charity shops - often look as though never used and ridiculously cheap. they are still young enough not to notice the lack of packaging, and we usually remove the packaging from their new bought toys first anyway, as it's such a faff to take off on xmas day.

    also get stuff from nearly new sales, esp if you go to ones in a 'nice' area, and look out for National Childbirth Trust nearly new sales too - they often have expensive stuff very cheap.

    also register with www.netmums.co.uk (not to be confused with mumsnet - different site). they have local boards with free stuff or items for sale cheaply. (and ideas for cheap/free local days out).

    our children are given loads of pressies at xmas by our many relatives (for which we are obviously very grateful) but then we also end up spending loads too, as i keep seeing things i know they'd love so they end up with too many really - last year it took us 4 days to open my little girl's presents, and she spent the big day itself looking completely overwhelmed and clutching an empty squash bottle, not playing with any of the presents, so i think it is probably a good idea (not just financially) to go for a 'less is more' approach this year!
  • 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.


    what do you mean santa's not real? how could that be? we track him on the NORAD santa tracker site and see video of him flying past famous landmarks! also, my little ones go and see him (not in actual reindeer land obviously - we can't afford that - but at their various toddler groups etc) and they are always delighted to see him, and couldn't care less about the present he gives them - they are just excited to see the magical man himself. my little girl loved sprinkling the reindeer food on the lawn and knowing that santa was going to visit her as she slept.

    as i said in my other post, far from only caring about 'the stuff' she got, my little girl was actually a bit overwhelmed by the whole present thing last year, and benefited more from spending the time with her family.
  • longhotbath
    longhotbath Posts: 708 Forumite
    edited 3 December 2010 at 6:00PM
    we are a Dutch/English family, and have 2 visits from Santa - the usual one ( we track him on norad), who leaves a nut, a chocolate coin, an orange, and a comic and a few small toys to keep them from waking us up. they are not huge stockings, so dont need much filling...

    The Dutch one starts with watching Sinterklaas and his 2 helpers arrive in The Netherlands from Spain. We then put out our clogs out on 5th December with carrots and straw and some jeneiver (gin) and speckulaas ( a spicy bisbuit). In the morning, we all have chocolate letters, marzipan figures and potatoes, little chocolates and pepernoten (hard spicy biscuits)in our clogs.We buy them in the Dutch market in London. Unfortunately, we wont be able to go to the sinterklaas party tomorrow in London, because of the snow, but will celebrate at home with a Dutch neighbour instead.

    Am I lying to my children - no. They are our Christmas traditions - like holly, ivy, our boxing day walk.... There are all sorts of reasons why we do them, but they dont lessen the real meaning of Christmas for us.
  • I would like to share some things that I've learnt over the past few years...
    Mistake #1: Firstly, when we only had 1 child, we went overboard with our enthusiasm and Santa brought her everything in the toy shop I think. :o
    Mistake #2: And we video-ed her waking up on Christmas day and her delight and shock on seeing so many goodies. :o
    Mistake #3: We allowed her to see the video of her receiving tonnes of presents, which is a fabulous indicator of how many presents she believes she is going to receive EVERY year, because that's just how kids think.:eek:
    Mistake #4: We had more children who have also seen that video and also expect that many presents.:eek:
    Mistake #5: Most of the presents were actually tat and were never played with.:mad:

    So...we have gradually whittled the amount of presents down each year, and also improved the quality of them. Now Santa brings useful pressies, like bubble bath, PJ's, Fun toothbrushes, Chocolates, Pens & Colouring things, etc...He's been buying these things through the year so there's no massive hit in December. Our Santa isn't afraid of buying things in charity shops either...:D
  • CazGreg
    CazGreg Posts: 207 Forumite
    Don't forget Primark too, especially good for teenagers who are into their clothes ... plenty of fashionable stuff to be had for £1, including jewellery. You can also get great cushions and throws etc, great for teenage girls.
    The people in my life: Betty Crocker, Mr. T and Gordon (of Gordon's gin) :T
  • alanamyles wrote: »
    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 =]

    Hawkins Bazaar - Use code FP9908 for free postage, no minimum spend :)
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