I know that my children won’t love me more whether I spend £100 on them or £1000. I also know that what kids want isn’t necessarily what they need or what they’ll get. The truth is, I can’t afford to spend like crazy this Christmas, and I’m not sure that it would be a morally responsible thing to do anyway. The children will have great presents, but I’ve been making carefully considered purchases throughout the year and that alone has enabled me to save an enormous amount of money on what I otherwise would have spent.
I know some people laugh at bargain savvy people like me who start their Christmas shopping early, but if I see a gift for £40 in January that will cost £100 the following December, which one of us is the fool?
On Amazon.co.uk I’ve saved up to 60% on goods, at Argos (a UK retailing giant) I ‘ve bought half price gifts that sold in the store next door at their full price. There’s absolutely no way my children could have what they’ve had if I had to pay full price for their Christmas gifts. I’m almost proud to say that I’ve not paid the full price for a single thing, and yet my kid’s will have good quality gifts at a fraction of the price they should have been.
I know parents who spend £500-£1000 pounds on each child, and it isn’t all ‘ready money’ that they’re spending, they’re putting it on credit. Now I know all about debt cos I’m in it and I’ve become a wisened shopper, precisely to avoid the Christmas overspending that I know I would regret in the New Year.
I know that we parents find it hard to do, but just what is wrong with saying ‘no’ to our children? What are we teaching them if we go to enormous lengths to purchase presents we’ll be paying off for the next few years?
When I asked my son if he had any preferences for Christmas presents, he mentioned an item that costs nearly £400. I hated to see that look on his face when I said ‘sorry son, but….’, but we both learned something that day. I learned that my son is big enough to accept it (though not happily, understandably)….and my son learned that he isn’t always going to get what he wants from me…..although having said that, in recent weeks his Dad has told us that he will find a way of getting the ‘toy’ if our son will give some of his monetary Christmas gifts (this means adding up the £5’s and £10’s from aunties and uncles, etc and giving it to his Dad to help pay for it).
Even if the big gift for Wonderboy, wasn’t going to work out, I know there would still be two very happy children in my family on Christmas day, and I’ll be happy too, because I know that their happiness doesn’t come with a whopping price tag!