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.
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.
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?