'Yes, we're setting a budget on what we spend on presents for [four year old's name mentioned] this Christmas. Last year got ridiculous. So we've decided...this time we're only spending £300.'
Only £300! That's about the amount that the Lovelygrey family spend on the festive season altogether and that's if it's our turn to play host and feed the five thousand. What's even more shocking is the person who uttered these words has to work extra shifts on top of full time employment and just about keeps the wolf away from the door!
Now I've been pootling around the net to try and find out how much, on average, parents spend per child at Christmas and have come up with varying numbers. £137 is a figure that has been mentioned a couple of times and I did find somewhere that said that 1 in 10 parents spend £250 on each of their offspring. Perhaps as he is an only child and therefore 'spoilt' Louis should have a little more than average spent on him? Absolutely not! Last year I blew my budget of £100 by a small amount. This time I've finished shopping for main presents and stocking fillers, and kept to it exactly including postage costs! Not a pound more or less and all from Ebay unless marked. Here's what my one-er bought and I'm hoping that my list might provide inspiration for others who may have eight year old boys to buy for.
- Lego Creator 3 in 1 £27.95. This model is not available anymore but an equivalent current set that is remote controlled costs around the fifty quid mark. The kit is unused but the box is a bit battered but aren't they all within five minutes of being unwrapped!
- Heng Ling R/C Sherman Tank £25.00. Chosen to complement in size and subject matter one of Louis' most played with toys, his 'army men' Gee! I do struggle with these war toys but as all mothers of boys know, they're acquired or improvised away so there's also...
- ...a really noisy, crappy machine gun that the boy has been hankering after for ages so I've caved in. £11 (Amazon)
- Five used Dandy and Dennis the Menace annuals £9.
- A Klutz Balloon Modelling Book £6 (Amazon)
- A lovely kid's fossil kit for my budding geologist (and one for his little mate Josh too) £8
- A tiny hex bug robot £4.
- A set of used 'glow in the dark' Simpsons Top Trump Cards £3. Bart and his family are favourite viewing at the moment. To follow on the theme...
- ....a 'preloved' Simpson's T-Shirt £4.
- A tacky light stick thing £2.
The £21 left my budget only allowed me to buy four items leaving me stocking space to fill with imaginative no cost items.
- There you have it. A few more pressie ideas popped into my head whilst going on my online spending spree but enough's enough! What's more, stopping shopping before I drop leaves me with a few suggestions for when I'm asked the inevitable question, 'What can we buy Louis for Christmas?'