Planning A Successful Christmas – BUDGETING FOR PRESENTS
No one wants to start the New Year with a load of debt. Yet the pressure to please everyone, especially the children, can be enormous – even more so as the lists get longer and the value of presents gets greater. It is so easy to get caught up in the need to spend loads of money, but you have a choice not to end up with Debt. I share some tips on how to avoid this incredibly costly millstone around your neck.
Making It About The Present, Not About The Presents!
Children will pressurise you into thinking that they will not survive unless they have the latest craze, but the interesting thing I found in my 20 years of running a school was that for all the hype about presents, by the time the children returned from the holidays many of their gifts were consigned to the back of the cupboard, never to be used again.
The things children spoke about most were not the presents, but the time they spent doing things with the family, things that have much more potential to make children happy than a piece of plastic.
- Helping dress the tree
- Making things
- Visiting the pantomime
- Going for a muddy walk
- Playing games
As well as making sure you take time to do these things that really impact on happiness levels at Christmas, in the run up it is helpful to manage the expectations around presents.
Give token presents or make something – It can be a great way of showing people you care without costing a fortune.
Tell children gently but firmly early on that presents have to come within a certain budget - Let them look in catalogues to give you (or Father Christmas) a list of things they’d like within the budget you set.
You can read about some alternative gift giving ideas in the next blog Dreading Christmas? Part 4.