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

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  • diddly74
    diddly74 Posts: 821 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    My Christmas.

    My youngest is 8 and still believes in Father Christmas, but knows that Mummy has to send the money to him so that he can buy her presents - thats why they are in the shops!

    Present unwrapping - we take turns. Eldest child has the responsibility of reading and dishing out the presents. A bin bag is always near to take any rubbish and Grannie will be round later with her presents, and the same routine will be followed with the exchange of presents.

    Homemade presents. My youngest daughter has made 2 (lopsided) Cookie Christmas trees for her teachers. I made the biscuits and the foil covered cardboard mats for them to stand on and she glued them together with buttercream icing and decorated them with silver balls.

    Grannie ALWAYS make someone something - this year I believe it is me with a scrummy aran jumper (v expensive in the shops!) Last year both girls got hand knitted jumpers too. I have always found that kids (young and old) love stuff you have made specially for them - as they love to give presents they have made themselves for you!

    I have no qualms about giving "recycled" presents, either stuff we have bought for ourselves and never used or found in charity shops. What is one man's rubbish is another man's treasure. This year my MIL has 3 recycled books and 2 peices of decorative glass she loves so much bought from a charity shop.

    Christmas is about being together with my family - not how much money I have spent - tho I have spent a fair whack I will say. Both of my girls have one big present (a tv) and then just small ones. I gave myself a budget and have done my best to stick to it. Gone a bit over but they won't see presents again until their birthdays.

    Merry Christmas :xmastree:
    Donna
    Economy; careful management; providence. Whether you call it thrifty or frugality it all comes down to getting more for your money.
  • flippin36
    flippin36 Posts: 1,980 Forumite
    supa-girl wrote: »
    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

    This is really interesting . We were, and still are, paper ripping freniziests - my kids just dig in like its a race against time :p.

    But my in laws are very much more conservative - I noticed in the early days I was the only one opening presents and was given funny looks. Now we all take our presents home wrapped. I think its an insecurity on their part I guess - I think they worry their gifts aren't good enough and don't want to be comparing them, or perhaps its a modesty thing when they have been able to spend a lot (who knows). I have noticed over the past few years they give presents as we leave and they never open ours whilst we are there ..odd? We do get a little note saying thank you etc.
  • I don't think this site has been mentioned on this thread yet:
    http://www.tickseed.co.uk/home-page-1-0.html

    I really recommend it! Some of its stuff is similar to Hawkins Bazaar, but cheaper & ethically sourced.

    I've also made up craft boxes (Poundland do some really good packs of mixed craft papers, ribbons, beads etc) and chocolate lollipop making kits - moulds & sticks from http://www.sweetcreations121.co.uk/chocolate-moulds-1-c.asp and some big bars of chocolate to melt.
  • flippin36 wrote: »
    I have noticed over the past few years they give presents as we leave and they never open ours whilst we are there ..odd? We do get a little note saying thank you etc.

    That's quite interesting. Personally, I love seeing people's faces when they open gifts I have given them. Especially if I've put a lot of time and effort into choosing and finding it. I suppose it does depend on your upbringing though. Perhaps they're the kind of people who get embarrassed over a fuss? Not in a bad way, just in a coy way.

    My sister's in-laws are quite like that. Never made a fuss and are very rarely affectionate in any kind of way. In fact, my sister's husband found it quite difficult when he spent his first Christmas with her because he wasn't used to such open displays of joy and affection. I think it unnerved him a bit, especially seeing as he usually spent Christmas Day alone watching TV - he didn't see much point visiting his parents because they either usually went abroad or didn't do much except go to church and have a few walks on the day itself. It was never a celebration of sorts - simply the marking of an occasion (which some people may think is actually the whole point of Christmas in the first place, as opposed to the sheer commercialisation of it).

    We're all different and it's brilliant seeing how many ways different families choose to celebrate :) .
  • We have had to reduce the amount we spent this year on our two boys, but they still has a lot of pressies.

    I brought a lot of books from our local charity shop as they both like reading. I got a friend to save the tokens when the mirror was giving away the sets of lego and I also brought a lot of small cars and toy dinosaurs from the charity shop, I wrapped them all up, shredded some paper and made a lucky dip. Then when they were good they got to have a go on the lucky dip and they got a new pressie to open, in all they had about 20 goes each, had loads of fun and it didn't cost a fortune.

    Definately going to do it again next year, but gonna get more of a variety of pressies.
  • Lets keep this thread Alive for 2011. Post your top xmas gifts and tell others what they may be, which ones are low cost or free, and which ones are just awesome!:T
  • fluffy70
    fluffy70 Posts: 226 Forumite
    Thanks to Stumpycat!!! I've just ordered some fab old fashioned stocking fillers and plain calico type bags for my 4 year old and his best friend's xmas stockings this year - marble runs, bit bats, pick up stix and some walnut surprises for the teenager stockings (little sealed walnuts that you crack open to reveal 2 gemstones)

    I'll pass this website on to others I think
    All of my views are my own :o
  • I used to REALLY struggle at Christmas , enough to actually make me miserable in the run up to it as I couldn't afford nice things for my DD's

    When they were younger I used to buy things on credit which I do NOT do anymore ( lesson learnt! lol )

    BUT NOW thanks to MSE what I do is start my Christmas Shopping in January & literally throughout the year grab the little or even big bargains here and there & it REALLY does add up!!! :D

    Last year thanks to MSE my DD's were SHOCKED at how many nice things I had got them ( most very inexpensive or free even ) and this year it is going to be even better :j:j

    Its really a good idea to spread the cost as even if you spend a fiver a week throughout the year it gets you so much especially when they are all bargains and I can truly say that MSE has changed my life as in Christmas is no longer a struggle and am amazed at the bargain presents I have stored for my kids & DGS over the year & yes my 'kids' 26 & 27 yrs old still get stockings too!!! :D
  • jokeyjo
    jokeyjo Posts: 130 Forumite
    my mum still has books i was bought for xmas when i was 10 (now 34 )she also still has our fur coats which im going to find out and hopefully persuade her to let me make 3 teddy bears for me and my sisters , im liking the wrapping paper over door idea xmas eve hamper started will have a pot of gold ,snowman soup,reindeer poop and snowballs in it with new pjs ,xmas dvd , xmas book and other goodies before they leave out a xmas tray with a xmas plate and glass for santa , this year santa will leave the stockings in parents bedroom they will have funny ,daft bits in for the eldest ds (12) hair bits for dd(9) and other funny bits for youngest ds(7)
  • The best thing any parent can give to a child is quality time and real interest and discussion about what they are doing.
    A Chinese consumer tat competition is no substitute.
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