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* Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas * - It's the 2019 Christmas Chatter Thread

edited 24 December 2018 at 8:34PM in Special Occasions & Other Celebrations
868 replies 120.9K views


  • SpendlessSpendless Forumite
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    Hi, I'm an infrequent poster on here just having a bit of a catch up. I'll struggle more with the younger members for suggestions as the youngest in our family is my 16yo daughter.
    I will share who I need to buy for and budgets maybe people here might have suggestions?

    Mum (52 posh likes high quality unusual things) £20 - Try TX Maxx, really good for one off items and band names
    Mum's BF (49? has a beard, likes beer, computer games & woodwork) £5 -Either the bottles of beer you find in supermarkets, or you might find some surplus stock of Father's day gifts right now in places like poundland, think I saw a beer cooler the other day, or many places to things for beards like in the cheaper chemists such as superdrug or savers or even in the toiletry section of home bargains or b&m
    FIL (82 gardening, books) £15 - Books at the works? Gardening bits from poundland
    MIL (79 housebound, disabled, watches tv all day, perpetual dieter) £15 Book of nom? I'm sure I've seen this on offer in Waterstones and Asda
    Niece (20 at uni) £5-10I've got a Uni student son, if I had to sum up the typical student I'd say 'skint and likes alcohol'. I'd either go with booze or a gift card for the cinema/coffee shop, both will make their loan stretch further.
    Nephew (17 into video games not a lot else) £5-10 eek, I have no idea. 17 is that age when they're too old for certain stuff and too young for others. What else is he doing eg attending college, on an apprenticeship, maybe you can think of something that is practical for his journey to from work/college for example
    Step dad & wife (they say not to buy anything, but buy for my son so like to get something token £5) Box of biscuits, chocolates, bottle of wine
    Dad & step mum (starbucks gift) That's simple enough, either in starbucks itself or Boots and Debenhams do starbucks ranges when they get their Christmas stock out
    Niece ( loves barbies, unicorns, fairies 5 going on 15) £10
    Best friends children 12 Girl, 6 boy, 2 girl £10 max each
    Nan (76 lost grandad recently, alone, loves dogs, tv, chocolate BUT lives 200 miles away and anything has to be posted) £10 incl postage
    Son will be 7, has ASD and other disabilities. will have a budget half of what he normally he has as we are struggling so approx £100 which NEEDS to be 10 presents. One thing I am going to do will be a chocolate box - a shoe box or similar filled with his own little stash. I've spent £19.99 on one PS4 game already. I am trying to convince him to ask for surprises lol he gets very caught up and when he writes a wish list he thinks it's an "i'm going to get list" I've spent a lot of time trying to explain otherwise and also trying to explain value so 1 big thing means nothing else but he simply does not understand - "at christmas i get 10 presents from mummy and daddy" anyone who knows asd kids should understand this one. But I'm not so worried about that figure as i can always wrap a toothbrush or what have you.
    Husband 53 - £15 no hobbies or interests impossible!
    Does your husband shave? I've recomemded this before on here for the hard to buy for male and has the added advantage of making blades last longer so money saving. :money:

    I am stumped for the rest though. :o
  • SpendlessSpendless Forumite
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    Just having a teeny catch up. Think I last posted on here just before last Christmas when we'd been going thru a bad time with daughter and school. Things went from bad to worse and then I'd like to say before getting better, but more accurately I need to say then a plan was put in place which just about 'held things together'. Thankfully she has now finished school and is looking forward to starting college in September.

    My workplace closed down at the end of December and I haven't worked since. I both needed to be at home to support daughter through a tough time and wasn't in a good enough mental health state myself to take on a new job due to what was going on.

    My wages, though fortunate enough to not be needed for the mortgage and bills are used for the 'extras' (such as Chrismas presents!) and without them we've had to dig into savings quite a bit.

    Daughter is very much into brand names, thank heavens for TK Maxx and summer sales. If it was Chrstmas tomorrow I would have enough for her, though she'd be the only one. :rotfl:

    As it is she has coming her way

    a valentino handbag (£35 TK Maxx)

    Guess purse (£10 in sale)

    Emporio Armani leggings (£25 sale in shop on hol)

    Build a bear teddy - £7.50, no extras the cheapest in the shop in a sale

    The latter was bought because she bought a Build a bear from a local carboot for £1, and lived to regret giving it to the dog as a snuggle toy instead of keeping it for herself.

    I've also picked up extras for stockings as and when I've seen them such as Garnier hair mask was on offer recently in Boots, Ted Baker bodywash when Boots reduced to clear as the range was being re-branded. An Aussie dry shampoo in a fragrance we don't see here was bought on hol. There was Aussie winter shampoo and conditioner in Home Bargains recently, it's only £2 a bottle, probably because it's summer but by the time I'm giving it, it's name will be appropriate.

    My family is top heavy with elderly people. Daughter at 16 is the youngest in it. We stopped buying for S-I-L and B-I-L last year at their request. We stopped buying for my sister some years ago. My son was 19 earlier this year and sis stopped buying for him at that point. This means this Christmas is the last time I buy for my twin 18yo Neice and Nephew. Neice is working f-time and earning more than I was! Nephew is a diff matter as he's only just finished A levels and hasn't got into University for September, so not sure what he'll be doing by Christmastime. Though we are still buying for adult Neice on husband's side, this is something I'd like to stop but family dynamics mean it will be better off doing in a couple of years when she and my 2 all hit significant milestone birthdays in the same year.
  • mrsinvisiblemrsinvisible Forumite
    1.3K Posts
    hello returners and newbies, always good to see you on here. Sorry you DD had a poor last year in school Spendless, but good that you were able to be 'there for' her, (even if it meant spending savings).
    DGS has now left school officially, and guess how he chose to celebrate it? no? He got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend. Seriously, 16 years old and 3 years of college ahead of them both!!!.
    Have been busy jam and chutney making with lovely gifted gooseberries and rhubarb, chillies and spring onions.
    They, well, one of each, will be festively presented to my SIL and her lovely husband, along with sloe gin and damson vodka, and maybe a small Christmas cake if l get time.
    Sad news is that my faveCos had to have their dog put to sleep, after he had a catastrophic accident just playing ball.
    Garden is looking good with all the flowers in the sun, but l need to clean the patio paving and weed between the cracks. Thank goodness for long handled tools. Hope the sun is shining for us all this weekend.xx
  • nic2075nic2075 Forumite
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    Hi, nice to see so many famialiar names back posting and welcome to any new posters. :wave::wave:

    I got back on Monday from our trip to Normandy. We had an absolute blast. Our accommodation was right next to the pool/water park, so the kids just went back and forwards. The town was beautiful, very old and quaint. Right on some beautiful sandy beaches.
    We did one WW2 day and visited Pegasus bridge and Juno beach.
    We are hooked and now looking at another Eurocamp for next year. Thinking Lake Garda in Italy.
    But my daughter has also been asked by her dance teacher to go to Canada next July for a big dance competition. It’s on every year and DD has always wanted to go. But funds don’t allow it. But her teacher thinks she should experience it at least once and has offered to take her. We will do lots of fundraising to help, but I’m still worried about saving and the costs. I really struggled to save for the holiday just gone.
    DD will be 14 by then, so is limited in how much she can earn and contribute. anyway, that’s something to give me stress and anxiety for the next year :o
  • PeppapigPeppapig Forumite
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    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Xmas Saver!
    Good to see you back SPENDLESS. I remember your poor DD was having a very difficult time and it’s disappointing to say the least that it wasn’t put right. A clean start at college will hopefully signal the start of a much happier time for her. I’m a great believer in fate so maybe your old job had to end to allow you the room to give DD the support she needed and this will be the start of a new work life for you too.

    NIC glad the holiday was all you hoped and more. That will be so exciting for DD if you can send her to the competition in Canada. I’m rubbish at fundraising ideas but I bet there will be plenty of help on here if you need inspiration.

    Crumbs MRSINVIS 16 is certainly very young. Hopefully it’ll be a very long engagement so they’ve got time either to work on a proper adult relationship before they commit themselves further or realise it’s not what they really want. I’m assuming she said yes of course. That’s very sad news for fave cous, I hope she’s ok.

    Good news here, latest (and hopefully final) grandchild has arrived! DD2 was taken in to be induced on Tuesday morning as baby was big and she was carrying too much fluid. After various interventions she finally gave birth in the early hours of Friday morning and our gorgeous new DGS arrived weighing a hefty 9lb 10ozs. His big sister is very excited (there’s nine years between them) as is DD1 who can’t wait to meet him and is very envious that I’ve already had cuddles.
    It's the most wonderful timeof the year :
  • SpendlessSpendless Forumite
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    mrsinvisible - I don't know whether to react :eek::heart2:or :rotfl: to your Grandson's news. What did their parents say? I swear kids when one problem is over (like school) they find another one to stress their family over. At one point last year when daughter seemed settled she then acquired ans unsuitable boyfriend (18, she was 15, he wasn't working or in college, stank of weed). He ended up dumping her for another girl, who is now pregnant to him, think we dodged a bullet there! Poor dog, how sad.

    nic - At 14 unfortunately there are not many jobs that your daughter can do. There are so many employment regulations surrounding them, right up until they stop being what's called CSA (compulsory school age) which is until the last Friday in June when they're in yr11. She's pretty much restricted to a paper round, unless there are any odd jobs she can do for neighbours etc. Daughter has a 'holiday' job feeding a neighbour's cat when they're away. He pays her well for it (£50 for a fortnight once!) but it's infrequent work. Are the dance school going to do fund-raising to reduce the cost? Could all or part of it be Xmas/birthday present from you/other family members? Does it run every year, is it something she could do another time giving longer to save? Daughter does drama, it's what she's going to study at college, but on the times we've dipped our toes (pardon the pun!) into the dance world the prices are incredibly extortionate. (character shoes for a production of Chicago recently for example, she was in the chorus at the very back, I'm just glad I didn't pay for heels that were a further £20 and I'm glad we already owned the leotard!)

    Peppa - Thank you, yes releived it's all over. You could offer me all the money in the world and if the stipulation was I had to live these last 12 months again, I wouldn't take it.

    I love this thread that you can dip in and out over months and years and you're welcomed back as though you've never been gone
  • SpendlessSpendless Forumite
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    I forgot to say Mr S spent yesterday at Silverstone - work connected freebie.

    As he was a corporate guest of Ferrari, he got a goody bag at the end. In the bag was a cap, his second one as they'd sent one with his ticket the day before, but the ultimate freebie was a pair of rayban sunglasses. :eek: They were no good for Mr S who needs prescription glasses, so insisted on giving them to my Dad, who does love holidays and the sun.

    I would have liked to have saved them and given them as a Christmas present to Dad instead, but I couldn't persuade DH to do so. I sort of see his point, Dad was oblivious to the brand until it was shown to him that they retail upto £200, so we could hardly have given him a pressie, announced how much it cost and then tell him how we'd got it, but if I had found a way I would have liked to and then I could have put all their budget into Mum's present and got her a branded handbag (probably from TK Maxx) - hey, ho
  • CazD2008CazD2008 Forumite
    146 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Photogenic Combo Breaker
    Hi All,

    It’s been a while so thought I’d check in and say Hi!

    PEPPAPIG - Congratulations on your new DGS!

    I’ve had a rollercoaster 12-18m tbh! I had a miscarriage in May 2018 then my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer in June 2018. Thankfully he has been through his radiotherapy and hormone treatment and we are just waiting to see how his PSA levels balance out.

    We put an offer in on our dream house (in dream village) in Aug 2018 then it took until March 2019 to finally go though. It was a bit touch and go at the time as the lady we were purchasing from split up from her partner, so needed to downsize and find somewhere else...argh! But we are all in now and things are finally settling down, so I can look forward to Christmas in our new home this year! Along with focusing on trying to conceive again (I have polycystic ovarian syndrome which causes me no end of problems!)

    How are you all?

  • edited 15 July 2019 at 10:12AM
    RedredrobinRedredrobin Forumite
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    edited 15 July 2019 at 10:12AM
    Hi ,

    I not actually a new member just an old one with a new username ! Looking forward to joining in with all the Christmas chatter again .

  • PeppapigPeppapig Forumite
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    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Xmas Saver!
    Thanks CAZ and welcome back.

    REDREDROBIN welcome back - are you going to keep us guessing your true identity? Will there be clues?:D
    It's the most wonderful timeof the year :
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