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Anyone trying not to go as OTT this year? Trying to stick to a plan?

(30 Posts)
Lovemusic33 Tue 11-Oct-16 13:35:08

So last year was a disaster, spent too much, dc's ( both have ASD ) where overwhelmed and over excited, dc1 has still not touched most of what she got for Christmas.

This year is my first year with DP, he has 2 DC's which we are hoping to have over for Christmas Eve ( they will spend Christmas Day with their mum ) so we are going to have Christmas Day a day early ( this will also help with dc2 not getting too excited Christmas Eve and not sleeping ). So as I will be buying for 4 children their will be a tighter budget. I would like them to all have the same amount to open so I'm trying to stick to a plan of around 5-6 presents.

- something they have asked for.
- something to wear.
- something to read.
- something to make.
- something to eat.

What's the chances of me sticking to this? grin.
Their ages are 12,10,9 and 5, the 5 year old is easy, the other 3 not so easy, they all like Lego so that's the 'something to make' covered.

Anyone else trying to stick to a plan? What's the chance of me twitching?

flapjackfairy Tue 11-Oct-16 13:42:21

I say every yr that i am cutting down and not going mad
.The trouble is i always panic at the last minute and buy more because i dont think it looks enough. So no help here i am afraid.!

mouldycheesefan Tue 11-Oct-16 13:50:01

I stick to a plan.
I have a budget on a spreadsheet for different categories:
-gifts with amount per person
-entertainment e.g pantomime, parties,
-decorations e.g tree
- "fripperies" e.g wrapping paper, cards, flowers, crackers napkins blah blah it's the extras that add up.
-food and drink. Ther will be 12 of us for Xmas and I also do a party for 60. Last time we had 12 for Xmas we went overboard on food it was ridiculous so being more conservative this time.
I save an amount monthly to pay for it, every month all year round.

mouldycheesefan Tue 11-Oct-16 13:51:50

Also don't read the Xmas threads or look in catalogues etc. Buy the items you have listed above and then stop looking.
Have you attached a budget per child? I have always spent 50 on mine each but increasing to 100 this year. That includes everything, stocking, pjs, main present etc.

AndNowItsSeven Tue 11-Oct-16 13:58:48

Download the " manage Christmas " app it's free and really helpful.

SymphonyofShadows Tue 11-Oct-16 14:28:41

I try, helped by my trusty spreadsheet and rule about being finished present buying by end of Nov, but the twitch gets me every year. I always get too much food as well, I'm definitely going to streamline that this year.

IsItGinTimeYet Tue 11-Oct-16 16:13:38

I is easy to go OTT, I am trying to avoid it this year too.
A list has been written, I will stick to it!!! I always complete my shopping by the end of November to enjoy the build up to Christmas without shopping 🏬.

ShesAStar Tue 11-Oct-16 16:26:24

Last year I did the same as you OP and bought too many presents for the DC - they got a bit bored of opening things and wanted to play with their new toys. This year they're getting a main present and four decent presents under the tree. They will get a sack at the end of the bed which will be full of goodies and their grandparents are generous. I'm panicking already that they don't have 'enough'.

Lovemusic33 Tue 11-Oct-16 16:35:33

I haven't bought anything yet, I usually start in September, trying to hold back in hope it will stop me over buying.

Gowgirl Tue 11-Oct-16 16:40:47

Same plan as always, 3presents per child (1 for each wise man) nephews and niece's brought this month. Party food through the day and festive beef wellington after the little two are in bed ds1 stays up for dinner. Anyone is welcome but I'm not going anywhere....

Gowgirl Tue 11-Oct-16 16:43:11

Oh and stockings on bedsgrin, I'm planning on a six foot fir in the bay window....ive waited a long time to have space for a real tree...

usernumber007 Tue 11-Oct-16 18:24:47

£100 budget per child (for EVERYTHING including tree presents, stockings, advent calendars and a visit to the big man).
4 kids plus a step-child.
When you have loads of kids, you could buy just 2 or 3 gifts each and the tree still looks "full"

I've finished 2 of my kids gifts, and almost done on the rest. It's all about resisting the twitch now

alleypalley Tue 11-Oct-16 18:40:29

I so need to stick to a budget this year. I always panic buy the nearer it gets to Christmas thinking that I haven't got enough.

This year I'm definitely going to make a list and stick to it, I like the idea of a spreadsheet, not that I'd know where to start with one mind.

We're hosting Christmas this year, I've already started making a meal planner and shopping list that's easily going to top a couple of hundred pounds.

OvO Tue 11-Oct-16 19:07:58

I finally realised just how much and ott the present buying had got when I dragged my 8 years olds Santa sack out from under the bed in July and it was filled with toys!

He'd 'tidied' it away on Boxing Day and forgotten about it.

It did mean he had an extra nice day in the summer holidays! grin

So this year no matter how good a bargain it is I'm not buying anything unless my reaction to it is OMG DS WILL LOVE THAT. No buying because I think they'll like something, it has to be love!

So far it's going well. Not buying bits here and there means when I've seen something they'd love I buy it even if it's expensive - as I've saved so much money by reining myself in previously.

abbsismyhero Tue 11-Oct-16 19:52:53

I'm joining in this year not only am I cutting back but I'm telling everyone else too nanny and grandad compete every year buying loud huge expensive toys that don't get played with at all I've told them anything big is staying at your house that usually works I stuck to that plan with them last year and they were not happy

SymphonyofShadows Tue 11-Oct-16 20:16:17

My spreadsheet has tabs for gifts, food, cards and Black Friday. It's colour coded too: red for need to buy, blue for ordered but not arrived and black for actually in the house. Everyone laughs

giggly Tue 11-Oct-16 21:17:05

I'm embarrassed to say that my dc both said they got too much last year. Just tonight we agreed on 10 presents which all come from santa but that includes Poundshop notebooks new Sharpie pens pj's and books.
I give my older dn £40 × 3 but I put that by in Sept and Oct so I don't notice it gone.
I have only bought things that have been in the sale that I know they need/ would love.
But stopping now until end of November. Otherwise I'll fail.

whirlygirly Tue 11-Oct-16 21:26:59

Lovemusic, I like your list. I think I'll adopt that approach for my two. I always end up with too much. We then drag it all up to relatives and then bring it all back a few days later.

Aiming to spend £75-£100 each on stuff they actually need (got a lovely dressing gown for one of them in the Next sale for £7 smile) They have new bikes, iPads, laptops and a mountain of lego etc so really don't want for anything.

SimplyNigella Tue 11-Oct-16 21:27:50

I read a great suggestion on here about creating a secret Pinterest board for each person you are buying more than one gift for and pinning all of the gifts together to give you a more accurate idea of how much they have.

Just writing things down or using an app or spreadsheet hasn't worked for me in the past as they have just been words rather than real items, but now every time I am tempted to buy more for DS I look at his Pinterest board and realise how much he has to open already.

AmyAmoeba Tue 11-Oct-16 22:12:28

I find it really helps to read threads/blogs that promote a paired back approach and to avoid the other kind. It's so easy to get sucked in by other peoples' values or maybe I'm just really impressionable!

I have found Waldorf/ Steiner blogs quite helpful in creating a quieter vibe (I have one with autism too so I understand the tendency to get overwhelmed), focusing on solid routines and seasonal changes. It's very much a less is more approach taken to extreme, but some interesting ideas. Getting the kids involved in Christmas preparations, collecting pine cones, even setting the table all contribute to the magical memories. It helps to keep me calmer in the build up, take more time with them and not end up with one stressed high pitched day of madness.

Frugal blogs, though mostly American, are good to dip into as well, just to get a break from the competitive gift pile mentality.

Pop into your local charity shop too if you need a reality check: shelf loads of Bayliss & Harding gift sets, soft toys sold by the bunch, designer shirts for a couple of quid....Why throw away so much money on stuff that has no actual value? It's madness to get into debt to buy this rubbish (and in the charity shop it literally is other people's rubbish) Debt is for medical emergencies.

I shop early ( nearly finished now) which gives me time to work on crafts and general ponciness in November, and in December we'll make some homemade goodies to give as presents: only sweets and cookies but it helps to take the edge off the twitch, and makes for far nicer memories than dragging the kids through the shops.

Wayfarersonbaby Wed 12-Oct-16 00:45:52

I'm trying to resist the twitch at the moment - have got several nice things for DD already and only have a couple more to add - including the main Santa present though. (I'm waiting until a bit later to finally buy that, as last year DD changed her mind about what she wanted really late, and I had to go out running round the shops looking for Duplo sets like a mad thing at the last minute!) But I keep seeing/thinking of more things....

I've almost got everything, really - I leave DH until last (and we may buy each other joint stuff for the house this year, just with an extra box of chocs or similar). I find the actual shopping quite stressful, and like to have everything done by December so that I can enjoy the run-up. I do find myself twitching though, so I'm really trying not to...but despite us having more Christmas decs than you could imagine, I've still seen some ones already I just must have.... wink

It's a good idea to look at some frugal blogs: I think I might do a trawl of my favourite minimalist blogs just to strengthen my resolve. And maybe get some of the Christmas boxes out and look through them - then I tend to get embarrassed at all the stuff that we already have and it holds off the twitch a bit! blush

Freezingwinter Wed 12-Oct-16 09:31:03

I try really hard not to go overboard for Ds but usually panic that he doesn't have enough and end up making last minute panic buys!

Radyward Wed 12-Oct-16 09:39:15

Last year I bought way too much. I started too early as well. Yesterday I spotted a gorgeous afternoon tea set complete with wooden cake stand, sandwiches, macaroons tge lot. Nearly bought it for dd 7 until dh talked me out if it. Said it was a bit young for her incidentally I hadn't told him the price which was nearly 45 pounds !!!!!!
So gladi didnt buyit as her spend would have been crazy.
I just don't want to go over board. Will be following this thread as to ways to rein me in 😃

SecretSaffron Wed 12-Oct-16 12:41:04

yes, count me in. Have been working hard since May to be more sensible with spending overall, thanks to that I have a set amount saved for Christmas. But now I need to stick to that and not keep twitching and buying more.
I have 6dc to buy for. My worst problem is that I start to think dc4 has more than then buy more for dc3, but then worry that dc1 hasnt got as much so buy more for dc1...then spot something I know dc 5 would love, but then dc5 has more than dc4 so I buy more for dc4...and so on...indefinitely.....usually until last online order date has passed!!(which is pretty late as I have amazon prime!!!)
NOT this year though.
I also have a colour coded spread sheet, with lists for each dc , one for stockings, one for Christmas eve bags, and one for little elf bits and peiceds (usually craft type things or chocolates!) Love the idea of pinterest boards to set those up now grin

oobedobe Thu 13-Oct-16 19:42:05

Yes I say this every year and I have improved a bit but still get too much. My tip is too really look at all the stuff they already have; do they play with it etc.

So think before buying; think are they going to really love this or within 2 weeks of Christmas will it be forgotten/pieces lost/novelty worn off - will you be annoyed at the money you wasted on cluttering your home?

Take the kids round Toys r Us or wherever now to gage what catches their interest, after that keep them away from the shops and toy catalogues if possible.

Explain to DC that if they want something very $$$ then they will be getting that and not much else, so you don't feel tempted to bulk it out.

Try to buy boardgames second hand (if you can find them in good nick), I do this for all the crap games they ask for and then don't really play eg buckaroo, hungry hippos, mouse trap, guess who. This leaves more money to buy some of the more expensive boardgames.

Don't spend too much on stocking fillers, I spent years buying 'nice' puzzles and craft kits, really they just want candy and some silly toys to mess around with and maybe a blind bag or two.

Keep everything with its receipt and in its bag so you can return or exchange easily if you buy something else/better or change your mind.

Finally (don't start too early!!) or you will always twitch!

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