Bang for my buck - or making small stockings seem HUGE

(60 Posts)

Dd1 will be 3. Dd2 will be nearly 12mths. For various unforeseen circs we won't have much money for a big overflowing stocking of dreams. That said dds are so young they don't know the picture books.

I'm relatively crafty, an able cook. I have ZERO fecking ideas of how to make the few actual presents seem more..... I feel guilty and ridiculous and sad and annoyed at my own self for caring when Xmas is about so much more in reality.

What can I do to add ooomph to things? Where to start?
I need a plan and I have to start NOW.

So I'm asking for your creativity, what can I plan that gives magic back? For adults not just kids....? Ie inc mum n dad!

trixymalixy Sun 06-Oct-13 09:17:54

Yy to selection box.

I have got done great sticking fillers in the reduced section of tk maxx. I got a cut the rope apptivity toy, a monsuno core, a moshi monsters card game and a thing like a bakugan but for girls all for a pound.

If you have tk maxx near you it's well worth trawling their reduced toy section on a regular basis as they sometimes reduce stuff to silly prices just to get rid of them.

Catmint Sun 06-Oct-13 09:25:08

We did reindeer food last year. Mix up a handful of porridge oats with a bit of glitter. Sprinkle outside near your home so the reindeer can snack whilst Father Christmas is doing his thing.

Our local National Trust place was doing this and making gift bags decorated out of old cards as a free activity.

One of my DS's favourite ever stocking fillers was a jar of gingerbread mix I made (google it - loads of cookie mix in a jar recipes out there to choose from) which I labelled Mrs Claus' Special Gingerbread Mix. It took a few minutes and I thought he might think it was a bit lame but he adored it. It definitely helped to keep the magic alive because he had been teetering on the edge of Santa unbelief until then but became a true blue believer again in the face of such concrete evidence grin

BiddyPop Mon 07-Oct-13 08:59:37

Free printable seasonal pictures from the net and a pack of cheap colours takes up space too.

Will have a think about other ideas.

BiddyPop Mon 07-Oct-13 09:16:49

I forgot to give you "the poem" my parents used for stockings, and which we still do....

Something you want
Something you need
Something to eat, and
Something to read

Ea was always a load of fruit each (red apple, green apple, kiwi, banana, orang, satsuma) and a half pound box of sweets. We loved it and used eat fruit all morning with some sweets, but eke those out over the hols. Normally, fruit in our house was boxes of golden delicious apples and not else, so a Granny Smiths AND a red one! as well as other fruit! was great.

Read...always had a book. In fact, anyone on my parents house on Christmas Eve still has to put out stockings for fruit, sweets and a book. Youngest is 29!!!
At that age, you could get the night before Christmas, to read every Christmas Eve afterwards, or there's lots of lovely mr men Christmas books that would be cheap.

Need...things like knickers (character ones are fun as mum wouldn't normally buy those in our house so it must be Santa), hair clips and bobbins, socks, maybe a brush for themselves (always helpful when getting into school etc to reduce passing any nits infestations through whole house by having own brushes), toothbrush, toothpaste, warm vests....all sorts of small but useful things. I think, when dd was that age, I got her a metal kid sized cutlery set in lidl which was very useful and she still uses (small hands). Smaller doc can have sippy cups, bins suited to larger baby feeding herself, also vests etc if need a few extra, first toothbrush.....

And hen, your wants space is drastically reduced to fill out with small things to make it all fun. I love the balloons idea, crayons or pencils always go down well, if you do any crafts or baking or anything together, things for that are nice, either materials/ingredients, or aprons or coveralls.

Keep an eye here and on money saving expert boards for free ideas and free offers, samples sizes etc can be handy.

An m I have posted a list before of lots of ideas for advent calendar things to do, I can,t post it from here now but it was over 60 and lots are free or very cheap. So for a few things to do before Christmas, you might find a few ideas there. Including go for a walk in a woods one day and look at natur sleeping but also collect pine cones, and nanother not so nice day, decorate those with glitter and paint for the tree or grandparent presents. Borrow DVDs from library or Christmassy stories, ton enjoy together on rainy days.

fatmumjane Mon 07-Oct-13 19:22:11

I read on fb today that a friend was making bath bombs... Maybe for grown ups pressies grin

BiddyPop Mon 07-Oct-13 22:25:49

Ickle baby bot from lush is lovely for littlest, and they have a few seasonal ones too for kids. Dd loves those, I give one Xmas Eve every year to help relaxing Eve bedtime and wind down excitement levels.

howcomes Tue 08-Oct-13 00:46:30

How about a helium filled balloon each? Packed in a box ready to float out when opened? Ds is 3 and lobes walking around the house bouncing it off the ceiling. He only gets them on Xmas and Bday but it provides a good 2 weeks before it is too bedraggled. Good value for £2

hazchem Tue 08-Oct-13 00:57:44

I made DS a set of toy stuffy filled cubes for his first Christmas. I made 5 and one side of each had a letter of his name. The other sides all had different fabric. Nice and bulky made from scraps mostly.

MadeOfStarDust Tue 08-Oct-13 09:01:05

Also.... yours are young enough to "start as you mean to go on"..... always found the mounds of presents thing to be "tacky" - ours get 2 or 3 well chosen things that they want and a small stocking with sweets and bits and bobs (now they are older... hair bands/makeup/nail polish) collected over the year.

Christmas does not have to be all about the presents... but some people build in that expectation right from the start by giving tons of "stuff".....

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