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Anyone else have less money for Christmas?

(35 Posts)
reviera Sat 31-Oct-20 14:48:26

I have a lot less money this year for Christmas (due to the pandemic) and I would love ideas how to save money. Also, will a 3.5 year old notice a lot less stuff than last year? I feel like I'm letting everyone down but I just don't have a lot of money this year and normally go all out. Is anyone else in the same situation?

OP’s posts: |
ShowOfHands Sat 31-Oct-20 14:52:49


We are just keeping everything to the bare minimum.

Your 3.5yo will be fine!

OnlyFoolsnMothers Sat 31-Oct-20 14:53:21

Honestly a 3.5 yr old is not going to notice or care- I did less than half the amount of presents to last for my dds 3rd bday this yr- it was still “amazing”. Buy things they need too- socks, knickers, something for their room. Also thanks to Covid no Santa visits, panto- perfect yr to be spending less!

ShatnersBaboon Sat 31-Oct-20 14:54:10

I don't necessarily have less money, but I certainly intend to spend less than usual.

A 3.5 year old will have no idea of what to expect, so any present will be happily received. Have a look at second hand toys and books to get more for your money.

reviera Sat 31-Oct-20 14:54:39

Last years stocking was more toys, if I just fill it with chocolate/edibles and put in some pants, that'll be okay won't it?

OP’s posts: |
GreenClock Sat 31-Oct-20 14:56:07

Don’t worry OP. Lots of people in your shoes.

Lovemusic33 Sat 31-Oct-20 15:04:18

I’m sure a lot of us are in the same situation. A 3 year old won’t really notice. Edibles are fine, a box full of balloons, craft supplies etc..

My dc are older so old enough to know there won’t be loads of presents. Dd2 needs a ipad to do school work on, it’s out of my budget so she will be getting 2nd hand, she won’t be getting much else other than a stocking full of little things and edibles.

ShatnersBaboon Sat 31-Oct-20 15:16:17


Last years stocking was more toys, if I just fill it with chocolate/edibles and put in some pants, that'll be okay won't it?

Of course, a stocking full of anything is exciting when you're 3. A satsuma wrapped in colourful foil was always a highlight of my Christmas stocking!

MaudHatter Sat 31-Oct-20 15:17:01

I’ve never spent too much on Christmas so ours won’t be any different. Your child will enjoy Christmas just by being with you and getting a few well thought out presents . Please don’t stress too much . It’s just one day and not worth worrying about . I’m sure lots of people are in the same position . It’s only ‘stuff ‘ .
Buy fewer good quality toys which will last and coukd perhaps be sold on when your child outgrows then .
I had one doll and two Sindys growing up and I see bundles of 10/15 our generation dolls for sale on Facebook and I’m 😱. Children don’t need so much stuff .
Depending on what your child likes I’d be tempted to buy something like a Wooden Train set / Sylvianian Families house ? and add to it over the years for birthdays and Christmases .

MaudHatter Sat 31-Oct-20 15:20:09

For the stocking , some new socks and pants , toothbrush , hairbrush , chocolate coins , a kinder egg, a small wallet or purse , a new facecloth , a bath toy , couple of tubs of play dough .

InDreamland Sat 31-Oct-20 15:21:44

Yep, on maternity leave so massive drop in income this year.

A 3.5 year old really won't notice and won't remember.

If you haven't already then join the Christmas bargains thread it's saved me a huge amount of ££££. I've pretty much done my Christmas presents shopping for this year for a fraction of what I normally spend. No-one will notice my drop in income this year because of that thread.

CloudyVanilla Sat 31-Oct-20 15:26:16

I would look of marketplaces online too like Facebook etc, lots of mums including me are having pre Christmas clear outs of perfectly good stuff smile

ApplePlumPie Sat 31-Oct-20 15:30:18

Don’t worry OP I’m in the same boat, I think there are lots of us ! I lost my job in March, I’m incredibly lucky in the that my job paid for extras and treats, and we can manage of DHs salary, but i had gotten used to being able to spend without thinking about it, which led me to run up 3k of credit card debt over lockdown!

We are chipping away at that as much as we can, (got some good tips on money saving expert) and it’s Christmas on a budget for us, I’ve already got a few bits from eBay and Amazon (start looking now if you can ).

I promise you that at your DDs age she will be happy with whatever you get her, you just have to manage her expectations.

KitKatastrophe Sat 31-Oct-20 15:37:42

My daughter is the same age.

A 3.5 year old won't remember last year in enough detail to compare number of presents. At that age they are pretty much unaware of how much stuff is worth. So you can get things from Facebook marketplace second hand really cheap they wouldnt question why it's not brand new.

Manage her expectations by not asking her what she would like for Christmas, but gently suggesting what she might like. They're very suggestible at that age. So if you get a scooter second hand then start pointing out kids on scooters and say "do you think you would like one of those?" Or "wouldnt it be cool if father christmas brought you a scooter" then that's what she will put on her list.

KitKatastrophe Sat 31-Oct-20 15:55:00


Last years stocking was more toys, if I just fill it with chocolate/edibles and put in some pants, that'll be okay won't it?

Yes absolutely fine! Pants and socks are a great stocking filler. Sainsburys do ones which are frozen, hey duggee, peppa pig etc.

Or things like bubble bath, playdoh or a chocolate santa which are quite big and will fill up the stocking, but cheap

maxineputyourredshoeson Sat 31-Oct-20 16:01:17

When our DD’s were that age I used to get really upset that they didn’t have huge amounts for Christmas. We were on the bones of our arse for years, we had both gone from working to me being disabled and my DH being my carer.

DD1 is 11 at Christmas - so we also had her birthday to contend with as well and DD2 is now 8 and we’re in a better position financially but all they can remember from Christmases when they were that small is having lots of presents - I can assure you they didn’t 3/4 and a stocking each -lots of fun and how magical it was.

We’ve never been able to afford the pantos etc and they’ve never missed them. We have always gone on drives looking at Christmas lights - they love it and even now are saying they can’t wait. We always put pants, chocolate, toothpaste, toothbrush etc in their stockings, my DD’s were always excited to get them.

I’m sure you will have a lovely Christmas flowers

Mrsfussypants1 Sat 31-Oct-20 16:06:16

I wouldn't stress yourself over it. Everyone is having a paired back Christmas this year for lots of reasons, money, waste and the effect on the environment by our over consumerism. I would ignore boastful posts on social media, they aren't real. 3 1/2 is the perfect age to show that less can be more, just choose your gifts wisely like a pp said, something they can add on to, or say a wooden dolls house that will last years and can be picked up from the likes of lidl/aldi/asda for under £40 and are lovely. Our grandughter has the asda wooden castle we got for £15 and its so well made and will be played with for years, currently home to syvanian families and schleich unicorns and a dinosaur or two. With less toys kids really use their imagination and dont get overwhelmed or ignored gathering dust. Our grandaughter (4) really wants a torch, thats her list! Try not to stress, and don't worry about buying gifts for other people if you can't afford it, nows the time to start planting the seed on that one aswell.

pinkksugarmouse Sat 31-Oct-20 16:44:40

I am lucky in that our finances haven't changed and I don't have many people to buy for.
But I can say that no your 3.5 Yr old won't notice the difference. They will just be happy to open things up and play.
I would recommend going for quality over quantity even at this age and avoid wasting any money on "padding out"

Roseshavethorns Sat 31-Oct-20 18:48:22

At that age children are excited by the atmosphere. They don't judge how much you spend. A £1 toy causes as much excitement as an expensive one. If there is one thing that they love you can get some things around that. Don't buy things just for the sake of having a pile of presents.
I used to put everything in different size boxes (mostly to stop them guessing what the presents were and it was much easier to wrap) but it made it look like there were lots of massive presents and it made the unwrapping part of the present. We also had fun with the boxes too. I was that parent whose kids ignored the toy and played with the box 😂

pinkksugarmouse Sat 31-Oct-20 19:22:05

Having worked in nurseries I would say one thing small children almost without exception love is dressing up. Get a box of fun exciting dressing up items from charity shops. Odd hats, things with textures and bright colours and accessories. Friends and family might be happy to add to the box too. Join in a do a bit of a family catwalk down the hall.

user1493494961 Sat 31-Oct-20 22:01:07

Have a look in the charity shops, there are always bargains. (People may have another sort-out over this lockdown).

CoffeeAndCake3 Sat 31-Oct-20 22:16:28

Hi OP, I also have a 3 year old. Zero concept of value, or quantity. He's just had his bday this month, totally overwhelmed and we didn't spend anywhere near what we did last year. I also live off the bargain christmas thread which has saved me a fortune.
My DS stocking contains.
Choc coins
Magnifying glass for 50p (I suspect this will be his favourite toy if the entire day 😂)
Superhero Cape and mask set from pound land
Baby shark bath bomb 59p from home bargains
Mini Whoopie cushion
A kaleidoscope £1

He will love it.

Don't feel bad, it's a tough year, everyone is being cautious or cutting back. And kids just love the wow of Christmas, it's not all about the money spent.

PinkJam Sat 31-Oct-20 22:23:18

You aren’t letting anyone down. My DD is 4 and she can’t remember which toys she got last Christmas.

I think a lot of young children get overwhelmed if they have lots of stuff as they can’t decide which toy to play with. You can get lovely sets of play-doh or kinetic sand for £15 or less. We get DD 3/4 presents and then a bit of choc, a magazine, socks etc. for her stocking.

Ohdoleavemealone Sat 31-Oct-20 22:28:54

She definitely won't notice! I have done fewer presents as time has gone on and I realise they have time to play with the toys due to being in school 5 days a week.

Stocking wise at that age I would do stickers, crayons, surprise bags, chocolates.

Presents - think about what will be used and what will be a 5 minute wonder. Be picky. Get one or two biggish presents and Bulk up with things like play doh, colouring book, new shoes if they are needed. I live near a sketchers outlet and can get some of those flashing sketchers for £20 which DD always loved!

CurlsandCurves Sat 31-Oct-20 22:40:01

I’ve been fortunate enough to be be able to continue saving for Christmas as normal. It’s not a huge amount anyway as we only buy for our children, nieces and nephews.

Again, as usual, some of our kids gifts will be practical. For example they both need new duvet sets and pyjamas. Not massively exciting but it’s something more to open on the day.

At 3.5 I really wouldn’t be worrying at all. Christmas will be magical for them regardless. Films, hot chocolate, all the talk of Santa. There’s no end of ways you can big it up x

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