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

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  • sisbod
    sisbod Posts: 166 Forumite
    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

    I did a hide and seek for pressies in the final year of all my children being at home and my son 14 at the time still asks to do it again! He now has a child of his own and is trying to persuade the partner to do it!
    so no I dont think you are being mean I think it will be amazing! We were not so well planned as you. We just told each person that a pressie of theirs was in x room and they had to find and check that it was their pressie before returning to the living room to open! that way each room was 'raided' one at a time! Only prob was that we forgot we had put 2 in a couple of rooms and only found them weeks later! We hide very well :rotfl:
  • My children are grown - up now but still get a stocking, and I really enjoy putting it together. I introduced my daughter to Gentleman's Relish and chai, so that's two items for hers. I like to get her little bottles of shower gel, trial sizes of different products.
    This year my grandchildren (9 and 8) got their main Christmas presents early; they needed new winter coats. I bought them from Mountain Warehouse - far more for my money here.
    Erma Bombeck, American writer: "If I had my life to live over again... I would have burned the pink candle, sculptured like a rose, that melted in storage." Don't keep things 'for best' - that day never comes. Use them and enjoy them now.
  • savykate
    savykate Posts: 583 Forumite
    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.

    As a Christian (and a church children and youth worker at that, so used to kids talking about Santa) this post interested me.
    I was talking to my parents about it recently and they said that they never actively encouraged Santa, they never told us about it, just let us hear it from other people and then figure it out for ourselves. To be fair, I could never sleep on Christmas eve so regularly spyed my folks sneaking my stocking into my room.


    With respect to money saving ideas, something sticks out from being a kid that I remember with love even now. I had a favourite soft toy (a seal that I pretended liked carrots), so my parents bought a tiny stocking (probably from charity craft fair) and put carrots in it and a hand knitted soft toy to be a friend for the seal. Would recommend something on that kind of level. It makes me smile 15 years later :D
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  • "They are in their 20s now and still ask if the "1 hour rule" applies!!!!!!!"

    This is an excellent rule which I imposed on our three, give or take the length of "an hour". My parents also had a tradition of calm, appreciative present opening, and taking proper notes on who gave what to whom.

    Mine are in their 40s and married, joining families with ripping-off-the-paper-all-at-once habits, and dislike it. They firmly impose something like the one hour rule on their own little and medium children, and explain this restraint as best they can to their in-laws.

    What we do is have a present opening session every now and then throughout the day when the children distribute one present to each person present, and then open one of their own and no more. There can be some pleading between sessions, but they generally accept, in spite of their excitement, that present opening last all day, and there even might be some left over for Boxing Day. It prevents the hysteria and grabbiness that can get so unpleasant.

    Even more importantly, if the presents come from outside the immediate family group spending the day together, it gives us a chance to note it down and thank them properly later.
  • Mmm - not sure about the one hour control freakery thing. Spent a miserable time with a family where the strict present opening slots made the children cry and the (non one hour) adults stressed at the ensuing tension. Excitement and ripping off paper doesn't mean that people are ungrateful or don't say thank you properly.
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  • I think the opening depends a lot on your uprbringing. I came from a family where we didn't have an hour rule or anything but we would watch each person open a presnt, so only one person was opening at a time if that makes sense. I still really like to see what other people have as well as my own presents and I LOVE this idea.

    I once had an ex though whose family were of the "ripping open variety". We turned up there on xmas day and everyone (includin the adults) had a big pile of presnts and there was this frenzied ripping open, all at the same time which TOTALLY shocked me :eek: I had never seen anything like it! There I was, taking my time and saving the paper (also a tradition in my family) and wasn't even halfway through when they were done. I then had this huge pressure to "hurry up", totally against my pysche :( and I have no idea what anyone else got that year........we are not together anymore and I am back to the one person opens at a time rule :)

    There's no right or wrong but if your partner was raised differently from you it can be a huge shock :eek: ;)

    SG
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  • Gingerjar wrote: »
    Mmm - not sure about the one hour control freakery thing. Spent a miserable time with a family where the strict present opening slots made the children cry and the (non one hour) adults stressed at the ensuing tension. Excitement and ripping off paper doesn't mean that people are ungrateful or don't say thank you properly.


    I remember i had the ''one hour'' rule and NO TV on Christmas day!!!!!!!!!!!
    Hated it..:(.and now with my 3 children...it's one after the other until no more!!!!
  • There are loads of different things I can think of to give as presents. Some have been mentioned here such as filling cheap stockings with pens, pencils, felt-tips, chocolate coins, paints, brushes, hair clips, little toy cars, balls, special Christmas chocolates and cookies, little vouchers to say you'll take them on a day trip to the cinema, or for a picnic (kids love the promise of your undivided attention). Also, many cinemas do gift vouchers for as little as £5. I for one loved having book tokens as a child because I loved the very important job of choosing my very own book!

    I also find that girls accessories such as clips, nail varnish, brushes, costume jewellery, hairbands, pretty socks and tights etc also go down well with girls aged 5-10. A girlie makeover stocking will be gratefully received (and low-cost make up/lipgloss/eyeshadow will do). For boys you can't go wrong with balls, water pistols, cars and basically anything with wheels that will fit in a stocking.

    For adults I find that keeping an eye out for special tins of biscuits, chocolates, bottles of wine (many supermarkets are currently having a half price war on these items) is always worth doing. If you feel a bit tight just giving one then just mix and match them and give two. Shouldn't cost you more than around £7 or £8 per person.

    Good luck with the bargain hunt everyone!
  • Just looked at some of the posts regarding 'one hour rules' and I think that it's a case of each to their own. Many people were brought up with different traditions (none of them wrong) and I love hearing about other people's Christmases. I know people whose parents only give a stocking and that's it. I also know of people who, as children, only opened their presents in their bedrooms without their parents being there!

    Personally, my own childhood Christmases were of the 'ripping-the-wrapping' variety - however, I always thanked my mum after each gift was opened and I very much relished dishing out presents from under the tree to our various visiting relatives. My brother, sister and myself would spend all of Christmas Day showing each other our gifts and playing together. In my house our presents were laid out over the sofa and armchairs and relatives gifts would be under the tree, and this is a tradition I have carried on with my own children. I do encourage them to slow down a little when opening their presents but this request usually falls on deaf ears after one attempt. I do love seeing them all excited though.

    Keep sharing your stories - it's great to hear how everyone celebrates the big day, no matter how different it may seem :)
  • I loved home made presents as a kid. Of course, I didn't know that my parents made them back then, but I loved to picture Santas elves putting them together in their workshop.

    I got a home made doll's house with little homemade furniture and even little cushions and curtains, made from old curtains! I also got a homemade sledge once and when I was little I got hand knitted jumpers with animals on them, I still remember the blue one I had with a panda and I must have been about 2!! Home made, thought out gifts are really the best. I'm inclined to learn knitting/ embroidery so that I can give my (future) children some of the kinds of gifts I got and loved 20 years ago, but I don't know how kids these days would react to those kinds of presents when there are so many ads etc making everything about buy buy buying all the latest gadgets etc :(
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