In my previous post here I talked about how I was going to fund Christmas this year. In this post I wanted to talk more about what I plan to spend the money on – and a couple of issues I’m struggling with.
Who am I buying for?
Over the past few years we have gradually reduced the number of people whom we buy presents for. The shopping list now consists of:
nephews and niece,
and a couple of aunts, uncles and cousins.
We decided a while ago not to buy presents for our siblings (and vice versa). Depending on what money is left in the budget, my husband and I tend to buy just a small item for each other – or put the money towards a shared item.
I am struggling with buying presents for aunts, uncles and cousins (6 in total) whom I haven’t seen for years. So, this year, I’m going to send a card instead, stating that we don’t need presents and a donation to charity would be wonderful instead.
I’m also putting a call out to a couple of close friends/children’s godparents to suggest we only buy birthday presents and forego the gift giving at Christmas. My children don’t really need that many presents anyway. Speaking of which, we have asked one set of grandparents to buy an experience for the girls this year. These grandparents, generous though they are, do buy a lot of throwaway plastic for the kids. But paying for the amazing day out (which I daren’t share with you yet!) will be far more memorable.
The other issue I am struggling with is Teacher’s Thankyou presents. I have written here and here on my past experiences. It is really nice to thank teaching staff for all that they do for my daughters but the shopping list can really grow. I’m thinking of getting the girls to make something simple this year, but still need to budget for materials.
Where am I getting the presents from?
This is a hard one…I mentioned in my previous post I have collected points from the Quidco/cashback site. While it is not as much as I previously thought the amount I will have for Christmas will be £73.82, which will help to buy a few presents.I can claim this as cash, Paypal credit or… gain a 5% increase by transferring to Amazon gift vouchers.
Last year I didn’t use Amazon at all for Christmas presents but I’m not sure that I can afford to do that this year. I suspect I will give in to the higher financial reward of taking my Quidco vouchers as Amazon credit instead 😦
However I am also determined to spend some of my money locally and, as always, shop second-hand for some of the Christmas gifts. I met a lovely lady a couple of months ago who said she was determined to only buy presents from local sellers and second-hand sources.
I’ve already started by buying one small decoration from a great local craft fair that happens every month. I also picked up a couple of Christmas cards from an exhibition held in our village by resident artists.
Food and Drink
Now this category can really mount up. While I have a strict budget for presents I tend to lose it a bit when it comes to food and drink. This year we are eating at my parents so that should reduce some of the food bill. We do tend to meal plan over the Christmas season. However it’s the sneaky extras that always get us. This year I’m going to stick to:
my usual online supermarket delivery (so that I can’t be tempted by the whole supermarket experience),
order an organic veg box
Pick up a couple of pieces of meat from the local butcher.
I’ve also got a few vouchers that I can buy our Christmas wine with as well.
I’ll keep you updated on what I actually spend and I will also write another post on how we plan to enjoy Christmas as a family – without spending too much!
How is your Christmas planning going? Do you try to shop local or, like me this year, end up using Amazon?