Friday, 7 October 2011

Silly Christmas 'Goose'

I wonder how others will react to what I overhead a couple of years ago with the same degree of flabberglasted-ness that hit me.

'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!

Anyway, I'm sorry to mention the C-word so early.  I know that there are many others who groan both inwardly and outwardly when the shops fill up with advent calendars and decorations just after the August bank holiday. However, I like to shop ahead to get presents for the very few people that we buy for now that gift amnesties have been agreed with the majority.  There's still a few kids to buy for, and you've guessed it, Louis, son of Lovelygrey, has the most spent on him.  I reckon that by bagging stuff on online auctions in advance I can get the best bargains.  Leave it another few weeks and every man and his dog will be bidding on toys and pushing those prices ever up.

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.

Main Presents
  • 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)

  • Stocking Fillers
     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?'

1 comment:

  1. Cutting back to £300, and they are struggling to make ends meet? There's not much hope really. It's good to read about someone else who is buying secondhand for Christmas. I buy for very few people- my mum and mother-in-law, K and her fiance, and KL. Everything bought so far has been secondhand. Some things will be home-baked and crafted. All have been chosen carefully with the recipient in mind.