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Its that time of year again... XMAS

(70 Posts)
misscutandstick Sat 09-Aug-08 13:32:51

I only have 5, and have started the xmas shopping - otherwise we wouldnt have time or money to get it finished in time...

How does everyone else do it? when does everyone else start? Have you changed toy buying habits as the numbers increased? AND most IMPORTANTLY, what sort of budget do you set, and can you stick to it???

When do you start? during summer - but all year if good offers are on.
Stockings? YES - budget £15
MAIN plus extras? Yes
Shared toys? some, but not many.
Total budget per child? about £300-£400 (ish!) but babies dont get anywhere near that as they dont really need it.
Toy buying habits? have had to scale down as A)no room for as much! B)same amount of money has to be shared between more children. I HAVE LEARNED TO BUY WHT THE CHILD MIGHT LIKE AND NOT WHAT I THINK THE CHILD SHOULD HAVE!

misi Sat 09-Aug-08 15:32:37

my sister has five, the eldest is 10 this october. she starts christmas shopping at the after christams sales grin
no idea how she does it, she seems to know exactly what she has and where she has stashed it but often says ''how much have I bought?''
she is quite canny and gets stuff when on offer/on sale

I am in awe!!

mosschops30 Sat 09-Aug-08 15:36:24


now stop depressing me wink

CarGirl Sat 09-Aug-08 15:39:00

£3-400 ish per child!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's quite possibly more than our budget for all gifts inc extended family and each other!

juuule Sat 09-Aug-08 15:44:44

£3-400 per child!!!shock

ImnotOK Sat 09-Aug-08 15:44:53

I have started already plus I have been saving through the year and have 500.00 of shopping vouchers to come in Nov.

I have a notebook and each child has a page (put in under a nickname so if they get hold of it they haven't got a clue wink)

Then there is a page for all the batteries I will need .

A page for relatives.

We don't do cards because it costs a fortune I am also thinking of making some presents for relatives we don't see much of through the year.

Stockings ----- Poundshop tat (funnilly enough tehy always seem to love their stockings)

Budget is about 100-120 each

I have asked my Mum this year to not buy loads for them because she spends about a 100.00 on each of them and it gets too much ,they are thinking about getting them a wii between all 5 of them which I think will be better.

Good websites for xmas shopping

The book people

hawkins bazaar (which has a great sale on atm)

My other tip would be to wrap as you go and double black bag them and hide in loft you can put a yellow post it note on each to remind you whats in what grin

juuule Sat 09-Aug-08 15:49:46

We start around Mid-November. Writing lists.
No point buying before then as the children change their minds about things the nearer to Christmas they get.

No point buying earlier than December as we have nowhere to store anything.

I've found that the sooner I start buying, the more I tend to buy (unless I have a list which is rigidly stuck to).

No way am I even thinking about Christmas in August.

OldGregg Sat 09-Aug-08 16:00:27

Christmas shopping begins in late November/December. If I needed to save for it, I'd rather use a piggy bank/bank account than spend my summer thinking about darkest winter. I'd find it too depressing.

<skips merrily off to the beach with umbrella> smile

Love2bake Sat 09-Aug-08 16:01:40

again shock £3-400 per child!!!!

How do you do that with 5?

I have two and they are getting £100 max this year. They have way too much already.

sarah293 Sat 09-Aug-08 16:05:09

Message withdrawn

narkymum Sat 09-Aug-08 23:28:17

I will be making mine this year, out of card and sticky back plastic. If anyone knows how to make a wii out of a ceral packet I would be grateful to hear grin

ladymariner Sat 09-Aug-08 23:37:34

riven shock sad

stitch Sat 09-Aug-08 23:39:47

my kids get one thing each.

OldGregg Sun 10-Aug-08 11:26:42

riven - but your DD can hear Christmas, so better get her a Slade Compilation CD wink!

narky - paint the box white, stencil Wii on it, use some old trainer laces as wires. Paint an old mobile phone white for the handset. Tell your DCs very firmly not to touch it whilst you get something from the kitchen. When you return shout "who's been fiddling with it, now it's broken, grrr, get upstairs the lot of you". Then chuck your Wii in the bin and pour yourself a nice glass of wine. Ah, the spirit of Christmas! grin

BreeVanderCampLGJ Sun 10-Aug-08 11:32:36

£300 - £400 per child. That is sinful.

You see this on here every year, and then people are posting in January that they have no money. Asking if the book 101 things to cook with fresh air is any good.

Not saying the OP will be pleading poverty in January, but if nothing else it is morally wrong. There are people starving in the world.

lunavix Sun 10-Aug-08 11:34:41

oldgregg - love it grin

unknownrebelbang Sun 10-Aug-08 11:48:39

Don't start thinking seriously about Christmas until after October half-term, although will pick stuff up throughout the year if I see stuff in sales or on offer. This year though, they are having a wii between them, so will need to get it sorted earlier, in case they're not available around Christmas.

They also get:

Book(s); an outfit, pjs and a stocking. Usually buy a family game too.

I think calling it sinful is a bit strong tbh. I wouldn't spent as much as the OP, although there will come a time when I might(cost of cello? adult-sized bicycle? laptop/PC?).

I do agree though that getting into debt for Christmas is not worth it - again not suggesting the OP will be.

sarah293 Sun 10-Aug-08 12:20:54

Message withdrawn

misscutandstick Sun 10-Aug-08 13:48:43

i dont get into debt at xmas - i shop all year round.

how would you purchase a PSP for xmas if your budget is only £100? If thats the thing they desperately want???

My eldest is 15, and had a cheapish laptop last year - which has been well worth every penny, between school work, games and YOUTUBE grin. That too could not have been purchased without a slighly higher budget... but all the same VERY MUCH worth every penny.

The baby (then 18mths) probably got about £150 spent on him - but i feel that he certainly didnt go without but has enjoyed the things he got all thru the year. (if a child was bought a £5 toy/magazine each week, that would total £260. £350 divided over the year is £6.73, whilst i agree that most parents probably dont spent that every week as treats for children, its not beyond the realms of possibility that it could be done and there wouldnt be much to be seen of it a year later. Whilst my children have the majority of it -save for breakages and losses- and recycle it if no longer used.)

Other main presents consisted of: a digital camera, a psp, and a bonanza of Thomas.

The previous year was a WII between, but games for each, as main presents. Communal presents have also been: action man, playmobile, PS2, XBOX, etc.

I must at this point, point out that my children dont get anything thru the year, a budget of UPTO £50 for birthdays and a treat on the day (bowling or similar, never done parties). Neither me nor DH smoke or drink and we certainly dont really get out to socialise (maybe cinema 4 times a year). So a blowout at xmas, is lovely - and certainly lasts throughout the year. I feel very fortunate that i can do this for my children. Its also a bit selfish - i LURRRRRVEEE xmas! i love deciding and buying presents, love wrapping them, love seeing them being opened, love the shreiks of delight! ahhhh with the jingly bells, ropey music, flashy lights, tacky decor, the tree that falls over anytime someone passes, crappy movies, I LOVE IT! Perhaps my whole perception of it is somewhat different to other peoples...

Im sorry that i seem to have offended so many people, i only wanted to know what other people did at christmas - kinda share the 'cheer' sad get tips from others (thanks ImnotOK! smile ) and enjoy the 'pre-xmas' run up.

misscutandstick Sun 10-Aug-08 13:55:56

slade!!! ooh that wreaks of xmas!!!

along with the "walking in the air", some childrens choir no-ones ever heard of, manky kids singing made up carols on cheap tapes grin, "mistletoe and wine" belting out, "do they know its xmas?" NOOOOO they dont - they are not christians! and who can fail to feel xmassy when hearing "well i wish it could be xmas everyday..." and "last xmas"...

hmm I can hear the murmurs of "bah humbug" as i type...

MarsLady Sun 10-Aug-08 13:56:42

misscut.. what laptop did you get? My DS1 could do with one for his GCSE work (thereby freeing this one up for me and my MNing work!)

Imnot... good ideas there. Thanks. Will be handy with my 5.

I tend to shop through the year. I keep an eye out for those buy one get one deals or three for two. I buy as I spot them. I have various hiding places (normally in plain sight... which works well) but I can't say what in case they suddenly realise that there's a lot to learn on MN. grin

BreeVanderCampLGJ Sun 10-Aug-08 14:01:46

We shall just have to agree to disagree, I too love Christmas but would never in a million years spend that on our DS at Christmas. And we would be in position to do so. He also gets little or nothing by way of gifts during the year. He got a DS for his birthday, but only because he saved and received birthday money and then we made up the balance.

Rest assured I will be on here on the Christmas threads swapping food ideas and decoration ideas etc., For instance I can tell you that John Lewis, have not opened their own line Christmas shop yet. blush

As for the snowman, that is our Christmas Eve tradition, we all settle down to watch that a drink of our choice and then DS goes to bed to await Father Christmas.

MarsLady Sun 10-Aug-08 14:05:23

<<mental note to shop for my poor deprived boy wink>>

BreeVanderCampLGJ Sun 10-Aug-08 14:09:07

Ah yes, I want a word with you.

<<hard stare>>

The only way he would get into our bed for cuddles this morning, was with his DS and the game you bought him. <<<further glare>>


MarsLady Sun 10-Aug-08 14:09:54

<<begins to search out new Christmas game>> grin

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