Mama OWL Blog: All I want for Christmas

All I want for Christmas

Thursday, 17 October 2013

The kids have written their lists (and are adding to them every week... although H appears to be copying ideas from my Christmas list...) and never have I been so glad that I start saving for Christmas in November the year before - as the children get older, the items on their lists seem to get smaller but more expensive!

I've been very lucky to be a runner-up in the BritMums & Barny #littleadventures competition with a prize of a £200 Argos voucher, which certainly helps towards the Christmas budget.
The teenagers are all about computer games, DVDs, money & vouchers while the younger ones are happily scouring magazines & catalogues for this year's "must haves".

We don't go mad at Christmas, I think you can easily overwhelm children with too many things, and I want them to get enjoyment from their gifts which I don't think they can do if they have a mountain of things.
There are so many kids around the world that have nothing, it seems wrong - to me - to spend lots of money on things that end up little used or ignored because they simply got too much & can't play with it all.
Feel free to disagree with me of course, but this is how we do things.

We concentrate more on the time we spend together and our Christmas family traditions. After all, they won't necessarily remember the toys they got at Christmas when they grow up, but they will remember the time we spent as a family.
We make gingerbread houses and decorations, we cook & bake, we watch movies and enjoy each other's company. So they write their lists and we stick to our budget, and we always have a really lovely Christmas.
L, H & E have very clear ideas about what they want this year. E (3) has dreams of My Little Pony, Disney Princesses, Sylvanian Families, Barbies, Doc McStuffins and anything to do with baby dolls. H (7) wants Pig Goes Pop, Playmobil and Deadly 60s as well as a slushy cup that he is desperate for, while both he and L want Skylanders Swap Force and Disney Infinity characters, and L (10) is also keen on a Kurio 4S Touch & TMNT goodies.

A & J are a bit trickier to buy for, buying Christmas presents for teenagers is no easy task and I can really struggle to find things that aren't DVDs or computer games. They might be asking for the latest game or the newest boxset but I don't necessarily want to just buy them those things.
Girls are one thing - if they're like my daughter then you can at least go for something like jewellery, perfume or make-up, but as a friend of mine said - buying for boys is even more difficult because you don't even have that back up. Well you might, I'm not here to judge.
It can be so difficult to make choices about what to get, trying to figure out from their lists what is going to be used & loved the most, and then trying to find the best deal for those things.
If you're lucky, their top toy isn't one that every other kid in the country wants... I remember one Christmas I spent weeks tracking down a Jagget doll for A. It's always worth checking out smaller independent retailers if a toy is popular, if it's sold out at the big stores you might just find it hiding away in that little local toy shop, that's where I found the doll in the end.

In a couple of weeks when my Christmas savings vouchers arrive, I'll begin my festive shopping in earnest. I have a stash of things in my wardrobe already, I made a start in January...

When do you start Christmas shopping? What do your kids have on their lists this year?


  1. I started shopping for Christmas a few weeks ago...My girls have made about 17 lists so far..Each one different so I have lots of ideas but it's mostly Disney Princess stuff for my youngest and One Direction stuff for my eldest...Easy but expensive x

  2. I haven't started my Christmas shopping yet.. I have started getting a few bits food wise but no presents... EEK! My kids Christmas lists is quite short this year actually, which I'm glad about LOL. H will be 10 and he just wants xbox goodies, DVDs and football stuff. I think as they get older the lists get shorter but way more expensive lol.

    WTG on the £200 argos vouchers :D xx

  3. Am starting shopping next week. I love reading the kids Christmas lists :-)

  4. im with you on not buying too many gift. i love buying presents for my boy but i much prefer buying several good quality items than lots of poor quality stuff. we've just celebrated eid and i was buying lil bits as i saw them for a few weeks beforehand.

  5. You are so true about memories being the lasting presents at Christmas. I can remember very few presents I received at Christmas as a child, a pram for tiny tears, my first bra. What I remember most vididly are the crowded tables full of people, stir up Sundays and playing board games.

    You have inspired me to start thinking of our own new family Christmas traditions as a family of three.

    Jumped over from the Weekend Blog Hop.

  6. Well done on being a runner-up. I entered too.
    Weekend blog hop

  7. Well done on the runner up :)

    Aww I have 4 children I like to start shopping now, but saving some more money first, whoo brought some chocolates though :)

    Thanks for sharing at the weekend blog hop..

  8. Congratulations on the win!

    I really need to start my Christmas Shopping soon. I am always behind lol!

    x x x

  9. It is funny how they like to be so organised isn't it! My son wrote his list a couple of weeks ago and over the weekend we pretty much finished off our shopping. We are like you though - we don't go mad on presents preferring to concentrate on family time and making special memories. Have a great one!


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