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A frugal Christmas

(63 Posts)
Bumblequeen Thu 01-Nov-12 10:31:36

We will not be overspending at all over Christmas. We have a little put down to tide us over and for any unexpected payments.

We usually top up our normal shopping of £200 to £250 pm. Not much as it all adds up.

Only buying dd one/two gifts this year- nothing for any family members or each other.

I stupidly looked at a thread on the Christmas forum titled " what have you bought your dc so far?".

Parents have gift lists as long as my arm! Now feeling crap at what dd will receive. Glad she is only 4 so not yet at the stage of counting her gifts or discussing them with friends at pre school sad.

Dd does not go without, has enough clothes and toys but I cannot indulge her as much as I would like. she can only ever receive one or two gifts at birthdays/Christmas.

homeaway Fri 16-Nov-12 16:08:00

Do you know that some of the best presents are things that dont cost much? Now the kids are older they talk about the traditions that we had when they were younger.

Helenagrace Sat 17-Nov-12 10:03:23

OP you're having a sensible, normal Christmas and good for you! There are some very rich and some very silly people on Mumsnet. They may buy the entire Toys R Us store but their children won't be better for it.

Not long ago we had one of DS's friends over to play. He walked in and this was the conversation:

Friend "where's your playstation?"
Me "we don't have one"
Friend "so where's the Xbox then?"
Me "we don't have one of those either"
Friend "so do you have a wii then?"
Me "no"
Friend "so what do you DO then?"
Me "climb tress, go to the park, ride bikes, collect conkers, make cakes, skim stones on the sea, that sort of stuff"
Friend "woah can do some of that stuff today?"

He had every single gadget going. He came to ours with an iPod and a 3DS! But deep down he wanted to do stuff. To have experiences. He climbed a tree and talked about it for weeks - his mum told me in the playground several weeks later that he was still talking about it.

I'm no saint, I don't have endless time and I'm sure my children do sometimes wish they had an iPad/ wii/ Xbox etc but they do stuff.

Most children would prefer one game that an adult spent time playing with them rather than hundreds of pounds worth of toys.

Have a fun Christmas doing free and cheap stuff that will live on in your children's memories way beyond the demise of a £100 piece of plastic that makes a noise. Look forward to hearing them telling your grandchildren "but we have to make xxx biscuits on Christmas Eve because I did it with my mum" and "you have to have a new boardgame at Christmas - it's tradition!"

Oh and yy to whoever reminded us that those with the long lists of expensive gifts for each child will be weeping in here over their CC bills in January.

Helenagrace Sat 17-Nov-12 10:06:58

mum2fergus was that the bar shaped cake? I looked at that the other day because it felt squashy and moist and I like a good squashy fruit cake. I usually make my own and drown it in alcohol but we're moving 300 miles on December 4th so I just don't have time this year. I don't care what the label says as long as it's nice and moist!

pumpkinsweetie Sat 17-Nov-12 10:17:40

I wouldn't worry op, i really wouldn't.
Children don't need bucket loads of money spent on them to be happysmile
I normally buy mine a main present each, a few smaller gifts and a stocking full of chocolatey treats, art stuff and bits n bobs from poundland.
They love what they recieve, i normally spend £200 on each dc but this year i'm only spending just over £100 on each dc as that is all i can afford.
Family members are also recieving less this year.

Buy one main and then maximise your money to go further on the smaller gifts, kids love all the small bits n bobs.

Mrsrobertduvallsaysboo Sat 17-Nov-12 10:31:01

Sounds as if you'll have a lovely xmas OP.

I am not a big Xmas person..only buy for dcs and dh. We have a quiet day, seeing friends for lunchtime drinks then back for something like a lasagne or lamb. Dh and ds are off to Oz on Xmas Day in the evening, so it's a very strange day this year!

We are lucky in that if I wanted to spend £1000 on each child I could. Comfortably. Not feel any pain. But I never would .
I had a very frugal upbringing but remember happy Xmases with home made sledges and dolls houses, Sindy dolls and books.

Dcs (teenagers) love their stockings more than anything.

I don't have a house full of crap food which I normally wouldn't touch.....or tons of booze over the festive period. I find it quite obscene what some people spend/eat at Xmas.

Chottie Sat 17-Nov-12 12:39:23

A 6 year old school friend of my DD who had everything (DD is now grown up) came round for the day. She loved being taken to the park and jumping in puddles, which she had never done before..... Children remember the simple pleasures and rituals of Christmas. Having time spent with them, reading stories, baking Christmas biscuits, etc. I truly believe quality time together is the most important thing. I have always strived to have a relaxed Christmas.....

oohlaalaa Mon 19-Nov-12 14:32:11

My mum never used to spend much on our Xmas gifts, unless it was a big item such as new bike. We were always loved and happy. We never went short, but mum didn't want to accumulate tat. I'm only spending £10 on my 6 month old DD1. She'll be none the wiser.

cozietoesie Mon 19-Nov-12 16:22:02

Actually, your DD1 would probably be entirely happy just looking at lights and playing with some Xmas paper (if she's up to the latter!)


MrsAceRimmer Mon 19-Nov-12 16:31:26

Xmas is for family and food IMO. We are really skint this year, and so have cut back. DD is getting the Cosy coupe car (charity shop find £10!!) and DS is getting a few easy board games (also charity shop) and a joke kit. We will do wee stockings for them and probably a big tin of sweets from Santa. My DC are only 4 & 1 and we have a big generous family. smile
We try to make it about doing fun stuff rather than the presents. Although I do wrap stuff for their stocking, and will wrap things they need anyway, socks, underwear etc.
Have a lovely Christmas your way smile

Mathsdidi Mon 19-Nov-12 16:37:57

My dds will have whatever I can get within the budget I have set. This year we're feeling a bit better off than previous years so we have a budget of £100 each in total before we're skint again next year as dp is about to be made redundant. Dd1 will get stocking fillers and vouchers (because she's a teen who doesn't need anything), dd2 is getting tons of stuff because she's 2.5 and won't realise that it's all come from ebay.

We're very lucky that both sets of gps are quite generous too.

My kids have never felt like they have missed out, even though they have never had the latest gadgets or loads of money spent on them. The one year we bought a wii it was dd1's main present from us AND my parents AND it was her birthday present for that year as well. She was grateful for it and loved it, despite the fact that one or two of her friends got a Wii and a laptop just for Christmas. She knows that Christmas isn't about how much gets spent on you.

Paintyourbox Mon 19-Nov-12 18:23:50

It's DDs first Christmas this year (she will be 6 months old) and we have decided on two presents:

Some wooden bookends which she will be able to keep forever.
A fisher price jumperoo (second hand from eBay)

I am resurrecting my sewing skills (haven't done any since school!) and I am determined to make her a Christmas stocking that she will be able to think "my mum made that just for me" when she is a little older.

A few mums have been horrified with what we are buying as they think its not enough but she is going to be totally spoiled by her gps/aunt and at the end of the day she will have no recollection of the day! The best thing we bought for her lately was a £1.99 survival blanket which she loves to crinkle up and roll about, we have had hours of fun watching her with it!

We are getting together with our neighbours on the day to share the cooking and we'll all sit around on an assortment of chairs and eat and chat. I love the memory of lots of people sitting round sharing a meal and having fun. It was a tradition to always watch Its a Wonderful Life!

NorksAreMessy Mon 19-Nov-12 18:47:20

I am another one who has seen Christmas spiral completely out of control in the last few years. The memories my children most value are not to do with presents, but are about playing silly games on Christmas day, decorating the tree, walking the dogs on Christmas morning, when local barmpots have decorated the dog park trees with tinsel, singing carols by candlelight...precious special memories.

My sister and her family came for Christmas last year, and we all felt a little bit ill at the complete excess of presents they exchanged. We like simple, home made, thoughtful and small gifts.

bumble I have PMmed you

Chottie Mon 19-Nov-12 22:04:55

It's lovely to read these threads and think of all you parents making special Christmas memories for your children. A Christmas hug to you one and all smile

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