In fact, I started it in October which is unheard of for me and in complete contrast to last year when I left nearly everything to the last minute.
How little I got for my money...
This morning I did a quick recce of my purchases so far and felt a bit smugly satisfied when I pulled the Amazon, Boots and Argos bags and boxes out of their hiding places. I was however amazed to see how little I'd got for my money!
It looked like such a lot when I was ordering it, not to mention how much it all came to, but when it's wrapped up and put under the tree it will look pitiful!
I know it's the thought that counts, kids can expect too much these days and they mustn't miss the point of Christmas, I agree with all of that, but even so, Christmas is a very special time for kids, it's one day and very quickly over, so four presents under the tree just won't cut the mustard for me. So I've been thinking of how to bulk up their gift list without breaking the bank.
I have lovely happy memories of my brother and I barrelling into my parents' bedroom at 5am on Christmas morning to find our Santa sacks and sometimes an extra pillow case crammed full of presents, and I'll never forget the ridiculous feeling of excitement when tearing the paper off, no matter what I found inside!
Of course money did go further back then, but there are still tried and tested ways of filling those sacks and stockings without resorting to the old 'tangerine in a sock' scenario.
Chunky board games or puzzles, colouring pens, paints and art and craft stuff are all good, fairly cheap options and fun bath toys, little boxes of Lego, sweets and chocolates should soon have those festive goody bags brimming over without losing the point of Christmas and blowing the budget, and of course online shopping is a brilliant way of grabbing a last minute bargain.
Happy Christmas shopping!
Jayne, Working Mum and Freelance Editor