Planning for Christmas
Date last updated: 19 November 2018
Planning for Christmas
During the holiday season, there can be extra pressures for many parents. Budgeting, making arrangements with your child’s other parent, and perhaps coping with being apart from your children over the holiday period can all be a challenge.
However you spend the holiday period, this time of year can bring lots of fun for you and your family.
For more ideas on having fun, establishing new traditions and saving money at Christmas, check out our single parents’ single parents’ ideas for a happy Christmas. If you are about to experience your first Christmas as a single parent, see our six tips from other single mums and dads to help you.
- Our factsheet ‘Making ends meet’ has lots of advice on budgeting, as well as ideas from other single parents on how to save money.
- The Money Advice Service have a free online Christmas Money Planner that can help you budget for the festive season.
- For a guide to managing finances and debt, read our factsheet on Dealing with debt.
Coping with money problems
If you run into serious problems with money at Christmas, help is available for food and children’s gifts.
It is worth contacting your local Salvation Army centre, as some of them can donate gifts to families in difficult circumstances at Christmas. Similarly many community groups, local newspapers and radio stations run Christmas toy appeals.
To find further information:
- look in your local newspaper
- listen for adverts on your local radio station
- ask at local churches
- contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
Your local area might have a foodbank which provides free food and support to local families. The service is provided to support the local community, so don’t be afraid to ask for a little extra help if you need it. You can contact the Trussell Trust to find your nearest foodbank.
For more information on foodbanks and local support, contact:
Read our information page on ‘Money in an emergency’ for advice about how to access local welfare funds and other emergency financial assistance.
Planning contact arrangements for your children
If your child has contact with their other parent, you might want to plan ahead if your child will spend time with them over Christmas. If your children are old enough, you could include them in the planning to help them feel more secure about how things will work out.
We have lots of extra advice and information that might help you organise arrangements over the Christmas period, including our frequently asked questions about contact arrangements and our frequently asked questions about holidays.
Times when your children are away
Connecting with other single parents locally
Consider getting in touch with other single parents who will be happy to share the ups and downs of Christmas.
Help Over Christmas
The Gingerbread helpline is closed from 4pm Friday 21st December to 10am Wednesday 2nd January. If you need advice or support there are many organisations that are open over the Christmas period. See our page on getting help over Christmas.Help Over Christmas