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Is anyone else planning to cut down?

(47 Posts)
Mallowmarshmallow Fri 01-Jun-18 21:32:00

Last year, with stockings and presents I'd accumulated along the way, my two ended up with much too much stuff. Too much food too. We are very much an out and about family so the house is full of toys that rarely get played with.

So I'm really hoping to cut down this year. For his birthday (in October) my DS(4) has already mentioned he'd like the Playmobil police stuff so my initial thoughts are that we buy the police station and when people ask what he wants we ask for connected accessories. I know he'll play with them too. I'm hoping something similar might crop up for Christmas....

I really want to focus on the experiences so panto, FC visit, days out in the lead up rather than loads and loads of presents.

SideOrderofSprouts Fri 01-Jun-18 21:38:08

I am
Cutting back somewhat this year. Mainly due to mine getting older.

Dd1 will be almost 12 and is al about make up and clothes and stationary

Dd2 is 7 this month and losing interest in toy 😭

And babysprouts just doesn’t need much and tbh only loved three of his presents really

NoWordForFluffy Fri 01-Jun-18 21:47:38

Yes, definitely. I got the DC way too much last year. And got too much food. Again.

So, concerted effort to trim back this year.

Annwithnoe Sat 02-Jun-18 10:29:25

I’ve always spread the cost and tried to get organized as much as possible before December.

But last year:
- I ended up with mountains of sweet treats as I bought some, DH got lavish amounts through work, guests brought tins, and I ended up not baking with the dc so I missed a nice experience m. By 1st Jan everyone was on a diet. Total waste.

- I picked up gifts for dc at bargain prices but then DS asked for a massive LEGO set and I had to talk him down a bit. He liked the stuff he got but he could have had the bigger set and I could have had less clutter hmm

I’m not going to stress about cooking from scratch this year. If I get stuff cooked ahead and frozen, great. If not, I’ll buy it. No big deal. I’d rather enjoy time with the dc than cry in the kitchen this year.

Knittedfairies Sat 02-Jun-18 11:19:54

Just do it. I’m several years beyond the ‘shall we cut it down?’ dilemma. We buy very few Christmas presents; my family were in agreement once I’d broached the subject. No dramas over shopping or cooking... We have very relaxed Christmas and New Year now!

snowmanshoes Sat 02-Jun-18 11:41:24

Yes! My side of the family only buy for the children just need DH's side to play ball......... Anyway, I'm not buying as much. Can't afford it really and would rather have some days out etc. I'll obviously get them both a decent haul but not buying 'filler' presents for the sake of it.
I made my list of who I need to buy for the other day (madness or organised? can't decide) I'll be sticking to what I can afford and not fall into the trap of things 'not looking enough' this year!
Yes to having quality family time, baking, playing games, days out and no to excessive tat!!!

TheWoollybacksWife Sat 02-Jun-18 14:17:58

I've got older DC (2 adult DDs and a just into senior school DS) and I did the whole cutting down thing years ago. It's very liberating grin

We do a family cinema trip with dinner out or a takeaway once everyone finishes school/work and that marks the start of the Christmas festivities.

Everyone gets a stocking and a few presents. For the last few years the DDs have had theatre/concert/gig tickets as a main present so no clutter there.

My nieces and nephews get cinema tickets which seem to be appreciated both by them and my SILs who don't have to find a home for a toy.

We also have a family party with a visit from Santa in between Christmas and New Year. This is great fun and also solves the problem of schlepping from house to house seeing relatives.

NC4Now Sat 02-Jun-18 14:23:39

I’m not planning anything because IT’S ONLY JUNE!

If you want to cut down, leave it till at least November.

NoWordForFluffy Sat 02-Jun-18 14:54:50

@NC4NOW, you might want to avoid invading the Christmas board if you don't want to see mention of Christmas.

ScattyCharly Sat 02-Jun-18 15:25:30

I cut it down more and more each year. I give money mainly.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 03-Jun-18 01:01:50

My DC are 18(DS) and nearly 16 (DD)

DS likes money to save (he would give Ebaneezer a run for his money fgrin ) , he buys the occasion XBox game, so last year he got money, Games voucher, some smellies .

DD loves the whole Christmas planning, shopping, the food , the presents .She doesn't do cutting down, but I give her some presents and some gift vouchers (TopShop, VSPink

I give them Dec 1st Boxes instead of Christmas Eve, so they can use their PJs longer, new underwear, jar of sweets, books., selection box

I did a Beauty Advent for DD (little gifts in a clear bag, things that she'd use like bathbombs, face masks, make up) , took some planning though.

This year - no cake, we dont eat it.
No Christmas pudding (didn't make one last year, I bought two mini ones, there is still one on the pantry)

If we have visitors then I'll do the whole big meal. If its just the 4 of us then it'll be Christmas Dinner but no pudding.

MrsDilligaf Sun 03-Jun-18 09:39:42

Oh my goodness yes!! I am cutting down. My list of gift recipients is considerably shorter - I've been brutal and culled a few people. I was buying presents out of habit and perhaps a little bit of obligation so I've decided that the money I spent would be better spent elsewhere.

I'm also cutting back on how much food I buy...there were way too many leftovers last year!

PurpleTigerLove Sun 03-Jun-18 20:17:18

I cut down the people I buy presents for years ago . I’ve never gone overboard with the kids presents anyway .
Sometimes my husband and I buy each other , sometimes we don’t so apart from my children I buy my parents ( husband buys his ) , my sister and one friend . That’s it apart from gifts for cub leaders and my youngest’s teacher .

PurpleTigerLove Sun 03-Jun-18 20:20:12

My friend and sisters presents have already been bought so it’s just my parents and my children to buy for . I frequent these threads because I love a bargain and I often share my bargain finds with my friends .
Also I keep a stocked present cupboard for birthday presents ( I do buy these for my nieces and nephews and school friends ) so I’m always ok he look out for some bargains to stash away

Bellabutterfly2016 Sun 03-Jun-18 20:46:57

Yes definately looking to cut down a bit; Far too much "stuff" to deal with and not much storage plus I've another baby on the way and so money will be tight and front room cluttered with Moses baskets and all the other stuff!!!!!!

My best friends family always hire a cottage and literally just take stockings - her kids are 9 and 13 and her brothers a bit older but I think that's a nice thing to do.

It might only be June but never to early to start planning x

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 03-Jun-18 21:16:07

DD birthday on the 25th (how handy, I have exactly 6 months between her Birthday/Christmas)
DD doesn't do cutting down but as she's got older , her presents get smaller, more ££ and fewer (but she doesn't agree with the 'fewer' bit fgrin

TeacupTattoo Mon 04-Jun-18 11:01:02

I try and do a build up with arts and crafts throughout December for younger kids - my 10 year old boy still enjoys making Hama bead decorations and my 13 year old daughter loves anything arty. We do baking and have a good cheeseboard but definitely don't go overboard. I'm the Auntie that always gives books so that's easy, and husband and I give each other books too. I want to make everybody I love happy but it's not stuff that does that, not really.

backinthatdress Thu 07-Jun-18 12:42:54

yes yes yes! i said this last year and still went mad!

I plan to stick to it this year.

Less stocking fillers to make piles bigger. My DD has already asked for a electric scooter and a nintendo switch with games so they will be her 2 main presents and il find some other little bits to go with it.

nocutsnobuttsnococonuts Fri 08-Jun-18 21:38:44

I definitely need to cut down the clutter in our house is ridiculous. I'm not buying cheap stuff this year just because it's a bargain and I'm not buying much until closer to the time. However I have way over spent for dd2 birthday next week as I've been picking up bits for the last 3 months... I'm just a shopaholic and I know she will love everything I've got her 😂

PersisFord Mon 11-Jun-18 09:52:56

I want to really cut back on the food. DH and I have decided no turkey this year - none of us really like it, it’s expensive, hangs around forever, doesn’t fit in the fridge, takes ages to cook. No no no. This year it will be roast beef, roast potatoes, roast veg, Yorkshire puddings. I am campaigning for ice cream for pudding as I hate Christmas pudding but am meeting resistance! I’m not going to buy mince pies (will make some with the kids but only as many as we are going to eat - I always feel I should have some in for visitors but we could have nice biscuits instead). No Christmas cake - never gets eaten. I’m not going to buy any big tins of chocs - we will almost certainly get given some.

TheWoollybacksWife Mon 11-Jun-18 10:23:34

I'm with you on the ice cream Persis. Only DH eats Christmas pudding so I either make his a couple of little ones when I make my mum her Christmas cake or I buy the individual ones. The supermarkets will all have special ice creams in the run up to Christmas - one year I bought ice cream bombes from Iceland and they were lovely. I've also made a chocolate chestnut torte that was so good DH abandoned the Christmas pud and tucked into the torte.

We do have turkey though, but only a crown so it's generally gone by about the 27th. For the cost of a turkey you could get a decent sized piece of beef - even beef fillet.

PersisFord Mon 11-Jun-18 10:40:00

Little puds is a good idea! And yyy to the delicious seasonal flavours of ice cream, and it’s so perfect after a big meal!

I love roast beef so much, and as you say we could have a lovely piece for the price of a turkey and really enjoy it! I have to put loads of gravy on my turkey to force it down, what a waste!

NoWordForFluffy Mon 11-Jun-18 17:59:06

I did a lovely Christmas pudding cheesecake last year which was amazing! I also did Nigella's white chocolate cheesecake which was fantastic too.

I wouldn't do a 'proper' pudding anyway, but those two things were just right anyway.

MouseRatFan Tue 12-Jun-18 15:25:46

Yes! I will have 8 nieces and nephews this year. It is just too expensive to keep on spending £40+ on each of them. That is before I have even started on our own dc.

BiddyPop Wed 13-Jun-18 11:35:53

We've been cutting back for a few years.

I haven't reduced the amount I spend on wine for dinner, but I now buy only 2 bottles of a nice wine to match our meal rather than a bunch of cheaper wine that we might or might not enjoy but would probably just drink much quicker. We might not even open the 2nd one, but it's nice to have the option if we do actually get home in time to utterly relax (mass, family visits etc) and savour it (and not get nearly so squiffy!).

We also don't tend to buy much by way of sweet treats - we don't buy any boxes of sweets or tins of biscuits (we do get given some). I will spend €10 on a large bag of Leonidas orangettes, as our sweet treat for the family, and we spread that out over the week or so. And I will get a load of packets of biscuits that we enjoy, so that if we have visitors, I will have a choice to offer, but I won't have loads left that we feel we "must" eat, as most are still sealed and we can open a single packet as we want later at our leisure and normal pace of eating biscuits.

We no longer buy 2l bottles of fizzy drinks. But we will buy cans of fizzy drinks instead - a choice is available then for visitors (and ourselves) but there is no pressure to use them up before they go flat. And the cans can last a long time after Christmas as well if they are not used. (We do the same for tonic, normally only buying cans, but we will actually buy a bottle for Christmas as we drink more and we will have visitors who drink it, so it's not wasted then). And we often only buy the small "mixer" sized cans of coke etc, rather than 330ml cans, for drinking during the year as that is enough for DD (the usual drinker of those).

We also buy the individual portion packs of crackers (for the cheese) - we get a few different types for variety but there's no point in buying a tin which includes up to half of things we don't like and will go soft quickly. And what we don't open, we can open another time when we have some cheese on a more normal night.

I will buy more of some things - that we use a lot of anyway and there are special offers at Christmas. Like the 50% extra free large jars of Hellmans - which last until well into the summer and we will use up, so I will take advantage of those savings. Or jars of curry sauces (for turkey leftovers) that we use for easy dinners some nights when school and work is manic.

For presents, my Siblings and I do a Secret Santa and stockings - reduce/reuse/recycle/homemade or spend €5 or less on each stocking item (1 for everyone), and each person gets 1 large present in the secret santa (max €50). So everyone only buys 1 large one (and perhaps some smaller stocking items - there is also one item that seems to go around every year and land in someone's stocking as the "gag" gift!), and everyone gets both one larger present and a decently filled stocking. That works well.

I want to try to simplify things a little more though, now that DD is getting a bit older.

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