There’s absolutely nothing that can be left to chance when it comes to your family Christmas, and preparation really is key. There’s no just rocking up at your parents house like in days of yore, before children. No, now you have to plan things with military precision and woe betide you if you get it wrong! We start planning for Christmas around October, thinking first about where we are going to spend our day – at home on our own, at my parents or at my in laws. Now the children are a bit older, we usually opt to start the day at home, so they can open their toys in their own home and we don’t have to lug loads of things about. It’s easier for us, and means less mess for the grandparents. When you’ve organised that part, remember to ask the people you’ll be spending the day with as to who is contributing what. Usually if we spend the day at my parents, we pay for the turkey and bring some wine, it’s important to chip in otherwise the cost can become overwhelming, and this can cause resentment.
The next thing to think about is Advent calendars, our children like Lego ones, which aren’t cheap as you can imagine, so we actually try and pick them up in the January sales and hold onto them until the following Christmas. Since they are usally £25 full price, this saves us quite a lot of money, and is worth thinking about. In terms of toys, usually October and early November are a good time to pick up bargains, with Sainsburys doing half price toys in October and loads of other offers on too. We usually budget for £100 per child – we have a lot of keen Aunties and Uncles who are happy to buy pressies so it helps to spread the load a bit. Thankfully.
For my husband and I, we have a £50 limit for each other and we usually say – a book, a CD and something else like a jumper or beauty products – though I must admit my husband usually goes over his limit. We try and save our spending for the after Christmas sales as you get so much more for your money.
In the run up to Christmas we keep our eyes out for local events that won’t cost too much – like the local German market, Christmas fayres, children’s local parties and that sort of thing. It just helps add to the excitement and is a good thing for your local community too.
Plan in advance, and you’ll save loads of money and stress. Last year, I didn’t actually step foot in a shop and bought everything on line using voucher codes and special offers. Result!
Written by our regular contributor Heather.
All views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Room To Grow.