28 October 2019 at 11:08 am #32122
Hi all hope everyone us well. I am just wondering as a single parent who works but struggles as every penny goes out on Bill’s etc, is there any support or help or advice on christmas. Its stressful enough I’m in the process of moving home and I’m really stressing out Thanks28 October 2019 at 11:56 am #32125
I remember watching a video some years ago about young children been asked about Christmas and what they would like santa to bring them. The children said the usual stuff: bikes, dolls, new games and things like that. It was all done in a really child friendly way. The children were then asked what they would like from mum/dad for Christmas. The children said things like: painting together, flying a kite, going to the park, baking biscuits, things like that. It showed very clearly that the children wanted to spend time with their parents. The children were than asked if they could have a present from santa (bikes and stuff) or a present from mum/dad (time spent with them) which one would they want for Christmas? All the children chose the present from their parent over a present from santa.
It shows that we do not have to put ourselves under stress to buy the latest toy, gadget or whatever the TV is throwing at us to make us believe that if we do not get these things for our children we are utter failures as parents, it is total BS. Our children do not need these things, they need/want time with us. So when it comes to Christmas, chill and enjoy your time with your child.
When my son was little we used to go to a rather grand hotel and look at their amazing Christmas tree, it is always super tall with amazing decorations (he is 14 now but I still drag him in when we are passing) Snowball fights are always fun, building a snowman then coming in to have hot chocolate to warm up is a memory maker for young children. I would bet you any money he cannot remember what he got for Christmas when he was younger but he has great memories of spending time messing around. I remember one year he wanted a Darth Vader mask, they were £15 in asda; I didn’t have £15 so we made one out of a balloon and paper mache. He loved it, he had it for years and his friends all wanted me to make one for them.
Christmas does not have to cost the earth xx28 October 2019 at 9:38 pm #32140
Hi Kath, I just wanted to say what a lovely post and you are so right it is all about making memories, I just find the run up to xmas so commercialized, parents trying to outdo one another and can imagine quite a few parents going into debt buying the latest things etc. Paul29 October 2019 at 7:09 am #32152
It’s so true Paul people do get caught in the trap when it comes to Christmas. Yes people do get into debt to buy what they think they should get for their children for Christmas and pay for it all year long and then start again the next year, it’s just a never ending cycle of debt; this is not good for people at all. And then there is the perfect Christmas day with the perfect Christmas dinner image to contend with, my goodness don’t they just love to put more pressure on folk. Don’t get me wrong I do love Christmas time, I just don’t like been manipulated by commercialism to fit in.
My perfect Christmas day would be a whole bunch of single parents getting together with our children and simply enjoying a chilled and pleasant day without pressure, perfect.29 October 2019 at 8:43 am #32156
im going to add my thoughts.
for us Christmas isn’t one day. It realistically starts in Nov beer when we attend various local events supporting their activities and fayres etc.
These don’t cost us on the whole and always take picnics and flasks of hot chocolate with us!
We also spend time with lost of Christmas arts and crafts.
We do one grotto visit – some years this has been in a local church so again not costly.
Presents I buy throughout the year, many via supermarket sales. I rarely buy full price. I also make use of vouchers and gift cards. For example quite often you can get deals where if you buy a gift card on amazon you get so much free – this helps if an item on amazon I want for my little person. Clubcard vouchers also help!
The rest I try to buy for others as much as possible throughout the year. Sometimes via interest free monthly payments. But obviously this requires financial planning to not get into a debt cycle.
Children will remember experiences but as parents we all want to see their faces lit up with a present they hopes for under the tree. Some years I have literally wrapped the parts of a present individually to give that illusion of lots and you know that’s ok to do.29 October 2019 at 1:24 pm #32170
Hi LW, I have a son (11) and the things that have surprised over the years have been;
When he was 8 he genuinely didn’t care if he went to a grotto or not. That he didn’t want a shop Xmas cake, he wanted a home made chocolate log (that had me up until 2am one year), and that the only time he has got upset is when Father Christmas had brought him more presents than FC had brought me. So the following year I made sure FC brought us equal amounts of presents (he didn’t know that my new swimming cosie was from Tesco sale & my running gloves were 2.99 😊 )
Home made decorations are better than shop ones. Try a mix of cooking & making things together, and little surprises, and you’ll have a great time. It’ll be perfect29 October 2019 at 3:27 pm #32177
It’s true that kids don’t always want what we think they should have. Yes the latest bike / pram but not the other thousands of pounds worth of toys that go with it. If you can afford the one big thing, great. If not, could you chip in with family members who want to buy them something so you all buy it between you? If not, charity shops are amazing!
My advice is don’t go to the shops often and you won’t get as wrapped up in the hype. Last year I did a bag of popcorn, a tin of hotdogs, a plastic cup with a straw and a £5 DVD for one of his gifts. All wrapped individually but it was for a film night for us.
Can we all remember the hundreds of presents we’ve had over the years? Nope, just the ones that created the best memories. Good luck x29 October 2019 at 9:27 pm #32192
SingleT sharing the cost of a big pressie is a great idea. My 2 older sons did just that with my younger son the other year and bought him a new laptop (and I love your film night pressie idea.)
All this talk of Christmas made me do something I have never ever done in Oct, I bought my first Christmas pressies today!30 October 2019 at 1:42 pm #32210
Your stories are inspiring. I didn’t know what to do because of lack of money. Now I understand what to do to make the upcoming holiday better.30 October 2019 at 3:58 pm #32234
i love that you’ve bought some Christmas pressies!
I’ve also done the penny challenge before. So on day 1 (1st Jan) you save 1p. 2nd jan you save 2p. And so on. It does get quite expensive so on day 300 you save £3 but if you do it all year it’s over £650!
i did it backwards and only until end of October as I like to start spending then! I did it backwards as I’m always skint in January anyway and I don’t have any birthdays etc so think I saved £3.03 on 1st jan, £3.02 2nd jan etc until end of October. Think from memory I saved over £500!
im going to do this again next year.3 November 2019 at 2:18 pm #32396
Hello. As a single mum to my son also money is very tight after the bills but early on in the year I started saving with park for vouchers it was only a small amount i purchased but its helped out alot. I have started already for next year, its good when money is tight.
We as parents will always try our best I’m still lucky my boy is only small and doesn’t understand Santa yet.6 November 2019 at 5:20 pm #32624
Hi all! I’m new to the forum but I love Christmas so it was the first thing I searched. 🙂 I just wanted to share what I do to keep costs down.
I trawl Facebook marketplace, eBay, charity shops etc for presents for my boys. This year I started in September but I think even earlier or throughout the year is better. I pick most things up for £1-£2.
If they see something they want (DS1) or play really nicely with something when we’re out or at a friend’s house (DS2 – he’s only 2 so too little to ask) then I save it on an online list maker. I’m using Things To Get Me. I either save a link or just write a description in. I then search for the item on second hand sites as described.6 November 2019 at 5:24 pm #32625
Sorry the reply thingy went all weird so I had to submit it before I finished.
Activities wise I love garden centres this time of year! They have loads to look at and you don’t have to spend a penny. Also our local library has brilliant resources.
This is the list maker I’ve used this year:
I hope this was helpful!7 November 2019 at 1:24 pm #32674
I’m with most of you here – making memories and doing things together really make Christmas. Making your own traditions – from memory one of my favourite Christmas traditions as a kid was just putting up fairy lights round the stairs with my dad! Nothing fancy.
I’m also a fan of trawling eBay throughout the year for presents – in fact January & February is a great time to get bargains when everyone lists their unwanted Christmas presents that are often like new. I think prepping as far ahead as you can is really the key to making sure you feel your child has an awesome Christmas while not stressing out over costs.
Happy Prepping! 🙂