• Danielle James

Christmas Prep Week 1

Updated: Dec 4, 2018

As I had written in my previous blog post, November is our month of thanks giving and our month for Christmas preparation. As you know from previous post, my children have already written their gift wish list. (For a free Gift Wish List printable please click here). So the first week after half term I am busy researching the gift list items to find the best prices. This is what I do;


Christmas Prep, week 1

The Budget

This is really important, going into debt for Christmas is not what it is about. We save throughout the year, so we have funds aside ready for the gifts. We want to buy gifts for our children. We want to buy gifts for our family members, so in order to do this we must save.


Who we buy for

We have 2 parents each, total of 6 niece/nephews, total of 3 sisters and partner/husbands plus our 4 children. We also have a sponsored compassion child whom we like to bless at this time too. On top of this, we have adhoc presents for friends, teachers and any secret Santa presents, we may do from work/groups we attend. We also buy gifts for each other (husband and wife).


How we do it

We add up how much we would like to spend on each person, total that amount up and then divide it by 12 months. If that is too much, then we would have to adjust the amount we spend per gift so the total fits into our monthly budget. As previously said, don't get into debt for Christmas - that's not the point of gift giving. No one wants to receive a gift that has gotten you into debt. The people you buy for are usually the people that care and love you, who want the best for you and debt is not the best for you. We start saving in January and this makes the total we want to spend do-able.


Week 1 Christmas Prep

The biggest portion of our Christmas gift budget goes on our children so this is what I start on first. My husband does have a look over the gift list and unless there is something he really doesn't want them to have, it generally is left to me to source and purchase the gifts.


Our extended family like to buy our children gifts that they want, within their budget too. I look through the list and select the item that falls within their budget range. Sometimes the item is just over or just under the budget, in this case I take it off/add it on their overall budget so the same amount is spent overall on that child, rather than them missing out on an item they really want for the sake of a few pounds. My family are happy for me to get the gifts and they give me the money for them. They then wrap the present etc. I promise I'm not a control freak, this is our family's choice and it ensures the children get the gifts they really want at the budget people can afford. When it comes to buying niece/nephew presents, we give the money and they source the gift.


To get the best price, I look at the items wished for and google them. Some items are worth waiting for Black Friday or 2 for 3 promotions that run throughout the month. Other items need to be bought straight away, as only a limited amount will be available. Some items will not be released yet, so I need to make a note when they come out and make sure I pick them up then.


With our children; 1/4 - 1/3 of the budget will go on stocking presents/fillers, these tend to be sweets and small gifts; 1/10 (at least) will go on books and the rest on need/wants/main gifts. I tend to buy them each a clothing gift (my boys are not into clothing but I will get them a new top etc for winter, which comes out of our clothing budget and gives an extra item to unwrap).


This does all take up time, so this week I succeeded in buying all the family presents for our children. I'm now waiting on them to arrive (so I can distribute them) and then for the payment. I use a spreadsheet to keep track of everything coming in and out. This may seem like lots of extra work but for us we just want to make the best of the money given.


I have also decided what gifts, we will be buying our children from the lists, most of the stocking and book gifts. I am hoping to have all the children's presents purchased by end of next week or at least made a note of what to get/when the promotions come around.


It may seem a rather clinical way to gift buying but I prefer to take an organised approach. There are lots to get so i'm just being practical. The adult gifts, unless someone has something specific that they want, we get to think about what we think they would like and purchase them this way.


How are you doing with your Christmas Prep?


Christmas Prep Series:


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