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



  • today i went into the steam trading kitchen shop and bought a packet of rectangular Gold doillies £2.39 i think and about 6" x 8 " . i dont have them to hand but i think there are 10/12 doillies in each packet

    i also bought a large galaxy bars for each of my children as they have slip off covers .

    i am using one doilly per galaxy bar to make my own Wonka Golden Tickets and then folding the doilly in half and sliding it underneath the cover on the galaxy bar ( not unwrapping the foil)

    i just thought this is a good way of jazzing up a £1 bar of chocolate , i googled a description of the message on the golden tickets and found enough information easily to write the message in black ink.

    I alos looked on Ebay to see if people sold golden tickets and they are charging £ 2 or £ 3 upwards per ticket, mine will cost pennies and i can also copy what the ebay sellers have on their replica tickets . I just thought this was a fun idea, you could also wrap this bar of chocolate up with the dvd if anyone has the movie bought for xmas or is planning to buy it, we already own the dvd but i thought my kids would like this anyway and they are 19 , 15 and 13 ! , youre never too old for a wonka golden ticket in my opinion lol
  • I unexpectedly ended up as a single parent very close to Christmas when my kids were small with no money in the kitty for christmas and no gifts already.

    I bought a scrap of white material and some cheap acrylic paints. I 'painted on' a road, train track, a few green bits for fields and hills. I made alsorts of hide-a-ways, mountains and tunnels out of paper mache. Together with a few plastic soldiers, toy cars and other bits and bobs from local charity shops, my son had a great christmas gift and still has it now 15 years later! the whole thing cost me under a fiver!

    I did a similar thing for my daughter. I made the same sort of sheet but bought farm and zoo animals. I also made up dolls clothes and blankets from oddments of wool and material. They both loved it and never complained once.

    We spent years playing with them together and they were great to take away on visits to the relatives.

    I never spend more than £50 each on my children at Christmas, call me tight, but I don't think its necessary. We sit around on christmas night and have good QT playing board games and generally chatting. We have the BEST time ever!!! :j
    Its all hype these days, and I feel quite sorry for those children who are given lots of expensive presents to compensate for lack of attention from their parents. There is far too much competition these days of who's had the biggest most expensive presents.
  • ailuro2
    ailuro2 Posts: 7,535 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    make your own sock monkey kits, along with a "birth" certificate can work out very cheap - it costs the price of a pair of socks, a bit of time on the swing machine to make the "parts" for them, and you'll need an old pillow to pull the stuffing out of.

    If you've lots of older kids to buy for make them a sock monkey kit each, make sure they get it the day they come off school for Christmas and are allowed to open it - then they have something new to occupy them while Mum and Dad get on with the last minute rush before the big day.

    If you're having a large family gathering invite all the new sock monkeys along too...:D That way everyone has the same toy and won't ask for a shot of someone else's new toy.;)
    Member of the first Mortgage Free in 3 challenge, no.19
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  • one year i cadged a plastic white tray from a local bakers , the tray they deliver bread upon, it was repurposed as a farm base, the sides of the basket already looked like fencing and it had built in handles to transport it from room to room.
    i cut a sturdy piece of square cardboard from a box , glued on a square piece of green felt from a fabric shop , and added a mirror for a lake, put the whole thing inside as a base , then added plastic animals.

    i also made one or two sheds from other kitchen packaging. but they were optional extras, my kids loved this farm and it was far superior to any farm base ive since come across
  • JWF1958
    JWF1958 Posts: 19 Forumite
    Regardless of how little or how much you spend on stuff, what makes Christmas special and memorable are the little traditions. I always read my daughters 'the night before Christmas' on Christmas Eve. They always have the same 'stockings' - the size of a small pillow case, home made, holly fabric, filled with half a dozen cheap items like choc selection box, magazine, primark patterned tights, novelty stationery (Wilkos is good), etc. The boxing day walk to counteract the overeating from the day before. This is what they'll remember.
    And they've always known Santa was just a story. When we had lots of money last year, they had lots of presents. Now I'm not working, they understand they'll still have pressies, just not so many. They want to give, as well as receive, even the one old enough to have an overdraft herself!
  • This year i have decided to something different on xmas morning

    ( i am fed up of my kids guessing which are there "special presents" and then not bothering with anything else )

    i am going to number all the presents with the "special" as the last number then make up a treasure hunt leading to a random number
    but making sure it is something they can play together then the winner will get to start the next hunt until all presents have been opened and played/ build or looked at before they get to the main presents.

    Hopefully this as well as eating all the xmas grub should take up most of the day without any sulking.

    Please reply if you think this may be a good idea
    Or am i a big meanie
  • C-C_3
    C-C_3 Posts: 37 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I agree it is the traditions that make Christmas - and they dont have to cost much if anything

    I do hot chocolate with marshmallows and a candy cane to stir for the kids on xmas eve

    Their stockings always have an orange and apple and a penny(or chocolate coins) plus a few little bits and pieces - maybe a wind up toy, bubble bath, hair bobbles - I can usually do it all for under a fiver (thank goodness for poundland!)

    There is one pressie left out for the morning to keep them occupied and give us a chance to all get organised before the kids get to see what is under the tree

    Then they open the pressies from all the relatives before we go out for a walk and when we come back they get the pressies from us-started this when they were little to stop it being so overwhelming and now they ask for it

    And we spend the day playing games, have dinner, then more games :D
  • Just a quick idea for Christmas day present opening. When our girls were young, the rule was: "You have to play for an hour with whatever you open first...preferably back in own bed,so parents could sleep a little longer!" Certainly made the presents last longer and each was appreciated more, as there wasn't the urge to keep ripping parcels open. We also saved the Christmas wrapping paper and rosettes -so kids had to open their gifts carefully as well-taught some respect for the time spent wrapping the gift. They are in their 20s now and still ask if the "1 hour rule" applies!!!!!!!
  • My brother has 5 kids and I was skint one Xmas and wracking my brains when I came up with the idea of a dressing up box. Got a cardboard box from the supermarket, decorated the outside and filled it with quirky old clothes (the more outrageous the better), from jumble sales, charity shops and friend's cast offs. They loved it, probably played with it more than all the other toys I've given them put together. Over the years they added to it and it was rifled for school productions, halloween costumes etc. It out-lasted many other gifts as well but cost less than I normally spent on just one of them.
    if i had known then what i know now
  • Hi

    I just used the site - FANTASTIC for my nephews. Now I'll just get a small telescope or some stickers of spacemen and I'm done!!!

    Just a note, there is some useful info on the pages before the certificate but you can't return to them. Print them out!!!

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