Well, we’re nearing the end of November. All of your friends seem to have Christmas completely wrapped up. Literally. Whilst they sit smuggly with a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine (which you don’t even like anyway) you’re not sure whether to congratulate yourself for being at the “having a vague idea what everyone wants for Christmas” stage or panic buy and quickly wrap your stash up too.
Then the money worries hit you, can you even afford Christmas presents this year? Every year you plan to save but only remember in the last few weeks running up to Christmas. Calm down and don’t panic. You can still do this!
Five Steps to Organising your Children’s Christmas Presents
1. Sit down and write down Christmas list ideas with your children. Apps like the Argos Christmas Wishlist can help as can looking through toy catalogues. (A lot of your children’s ideas will also come from TV adverts, comics and word of mouth in the playground.)
2. Choose the “Santa” present, which of these toys is going to be the one that they ask Santa for? You need to know this, one for the letter, two to make sure Santa knows to get or make this present for your child and three so there’s no awkward moment when you visit Santa’s Grotto and said child asks for something completely unexpected and unattainable.
They also get very excited when they realise that Santa already knows what they are hoping for in their free personalised video message from Santa himself (we do this every year- it’s great!)
3. Have a lovely Christmas afternoon writing letters to Santa. If you send the letters to the Royal Mail by 6th December and enclose a stamped addressed envelope you will get a reply. He’s a good ‘un that Santa.
4. Shop around. Use a tool, such as The Christmas Toy Monitor, by My Voucher Codes to find the cheapest price for the toy you require, it is designed to save you money! Bear in mind the prices change quite a lot in the run up to Christmas so try to buy when the toys they want are at the lowest price and still in stock.
5. Get your priorities right: I prioritise making sure Santa is able to deliver his presents as this is always the one the kids look forward to the most. Next I choose a good present for us parents to give them off the list. Then, when family members ask me for present ideas, I give them suggestions within the budget. Only when I have got the most important presents do I start buying “stocking fillers”. Over the years, we have ended up with far too many presents, it has taken me all year to sort them out and find room for them, so I definitely believe “less is more” nowadays.
Every Christmas the one thing I find that we are “poor” of is time. The kids have too many presents and games, it’s difficult to find the time to play with them.
So, my biggest tip for Christmas is to plan to be extra generous with your time this year and make sure you all get lots of quality family play time together.
Christmas Day night, it will finally be my turn to sit and relax with a glass of bubbly and some chocolates or nuts from my stocking (if I’ve been good, of course!).
What tips do you have to share for organising children’s christmas wishlists on a budget?