The Christmas Gift Plan for Children

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Are you tired of seeing unwanted toys in your house? Before you spend any money this Christmas, work through our gift plan for children.

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You wouldn’t do your weekly supermarket shop without a meal plan or a budget – Christmas shopping should be no different. I have really found this plan a useful guide to not only track my spending but to put more thought into the gifts I buy for my children and to make sure they do not end up in a pile in the cupboard and are never opened (believe it or not my eldest has a real issue with this).

1. Something to read – approximate spend £5-£8

I try to limit the cost of the book I am buying to less than £5 – you can get a lot of book for this budget and if you are a savvy shopper there are bargains out there for less than £1.

2. Something to wear – no more than £15-20

Depending on the age of your children this might be some dressing up supplies or some actual clothes which they could leave the house in. Sometimes with my children the ‘something to wear’ is actually the thing they want the most so they might get a few things to wear but other times I try to buy something practical like pyjamas, a dressing gown or wellies. The overall message is buy something you would have bought anyway – don’t spend the money twice if you don’t have to.

3. Middle Size present- no more than £15-£20

I really want to take the opportunity to talk about toy rotation here. You are probably starting to think that there are not many toys on this list! Well you would be right. One of the things I have discovered in 2020 (and finally got the hang of) is toy rotation.

It all started when I was tired of my children tipping everything they owned on the floor whenever they played and then walked away leaving a mess.

Toy rotation is invaluable to you and your children in so many ways:

  • there are less toys available at any one time (less to tidy up)
  • they are not so overwhelmed by the choice (so they play longer)
  • you buy less because you are rotating the toys every 2-3 weeks

Buying more and more Kallax storage from Ikea is not the answer to your toy problems! Toy rotation is.

4. Something from the Santa list – no more than £40

Try and take advantage of getting away with something cheaper here if you can. If you can’t try and manage expectations every time an ad comes on the TV – now is the time to instil a mindset that Santa cannot deliver everything they ask for.

If they have constantly changing lists I would buy something a keep the receipt – you can always change it later. I have been known to shop early and then encourage my children to watch ads with what I have bought, kind of helps with the process.

5. Something they need – approximate spend £10-£20

A bit like ‘something to wear’ this is where you get to be your future money friend and buy something which you are going to probably buy anyway. Don’t spend the money twice if you don’t have to! Think sports kits, art supplies and school supplies.

6. A handmade gift

This is your opportunity to make something yourself or support an independent business. There is a huge variety of independent businesses out there selling handmade clothes, toys, and decorative items. I love handmade gifts which will last; something like a poster with a name on it is perfect.

7. eBay/charity shop bargain

This could be anything. I recently bought my son a scooter in our local charity shop for £4.50 and the twins had a huge box of Sylvanian Families for £15. You wouldn’t have known any of it was pre loved.

8. Christmas stockings – no more than £15

This is yet another area where social media has sent people into over drive at Christmas. Keep it simple and small. A bath toy, a small toy (our kids love torches) and maybe another book. That’s it. Don’t buy anything else.

9. Cash in the bank – as much as you can afford from your budget

Imagine if you put £20 cash in the bank (instead of buying ‘stuff’) every Christmas and Birthday until they turned 18? That would at least £720 (more with interest) that your child will have to start their adult lives.