In my youth, my Dad used to tell me about Christmas in his day. He’d tell me that all he got was an apple and an orange and if he was lucky a piece of coal to help warm the hearth.
I later checked with my grandparents about this, and they told me my Dad was a blatant liar – but that in their youth they were lucky to get an old carrot in a stocking and that a piece of coal was luxury beyond comprehension!
Despite my Christmas discussion with relatives sounding like something from a Monty Python sketch, it’s very true that Christmas has changed through the years and adults as well as children now expect it to be a time of lavish gifts, expensive food and costly booze.
Christmas budgeting tips from the World Wide Web
So while we’re donning our Xmas jumpers in the office we’re also searching the web for Christmas budgeting tips because we believe you can still have a great Crimbo even if you don’t necessarily have loads of money to spend.
If you want a brilliant Christmas but don’t want to break the bank, read these articles for easy hints and tips on how to enjoy the festive season without having a debt hangover come January 1st.
- MoneySavingExpert.com gives some great advice includes downshifting your turkey as well as 50 festive gift ideas for a fiver!
- Mumsnet offers some great Christmas budgeting tips: They reckon that pound shops are great for stocking fillers.
- Babycentre.co.uk has some nice ideas for parents: “Money is usually tight, so we just get each other one gift and spend the rest of the day playing games. The winner of each game gets a little prize, like a chocolate bar or stickers. It’s so nice to all be able to laugh together.”
- Netmums has some brilliant Christmas food tips, first and foremost of which is that you should set a budget!
- Lovemoney tells you all about how to cash in on loyalty card schemes this Christmas and gifts that children will love.
- The BBC gives some great food advice for Christmas. Our favourite: before you buy anything make sure you check your cupboards first (I’m guilty of this one- I’ve always got three jars of cranberry sauce on the go!)
- Of course our Christmas article from last month is always a winner; it tells you all about what to buy right NOW!
- Our friends at the Money Advice Service are keen on a DIY Christmas and look at the sales in the run up to the big day to keep costs down.
- And finally the Daily Express wants to make sure that we manage children’s expectations so that pester-power doesn’t break the bank this Christmas.
If you’re like my Dad or my late grandparents you might remember Christmas being a little more austere than it is today.
Are things too commercialised now? Has the marketing of Christmas destroyed the true meaning? Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think.