“It’s the most magical time of the year” chimes that famous song that celebrates a season that has the potential to create more magic than any other time of the year.
On the other hand, Christmas can be a nightmare for parents with little ones working on a limited budget and feeling pressured into spending big.
In this series of blogs in the build-up to Christmas 2015, we will seek to help parents who are excited about spending their first Christmas with their little one but unsure how to approach Christmas with a tiny human in tow!
Presents can be a real nightmare issue. Pressure to spend too much money as soon as the Christmas adverts hit the telly in October, and trying to think of a gift that might make sense for your little one despite the fact that you are likely to be buying in advance and they could like something completely different by the time Christmas comes around are just two of the problems you need to think about!
Here are our top tips regarding how to cope with baby Christmas gift buying:
- Decide on a budget and stick to it! This sounds easy but it is easier said than done. It is essential, though, to avoid the ‘Littlewoods’ trap. Yes, you could overspend and play catch up throughout the rest of the year, but wouldn’t you rather spread the joy and make sure you can do things all year round rather than lamenting the fact that this year’s budget has all been spent in one sitting?!
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help! When you are looking at presents and you know you are buying without knowing how your little one will develop, try to get advice from friends or people in the know who might be able to assist you in getting a gift that will be relevant to your little one! We all know that ‘from 6 months’ gifts are not always going to work there and then but if you feel brave and speak to people in the know, you might find a gift that works out perfectly!
- If your baby needs something now, buy it now! Of course it is wonderful to open awesome presents on Christmas day but if you know that your baby needs something now, buy it! Presents are great but your baby’s development is far more important, so if your baby starts teething in mid-December, don’t wait until Christmas day to purchase Sophie the giraffe!
- Have some ideas up your sleeve for other people! This doesn’t mean writing letters out to family and friends demanding gifts that you want in a wedding list style but conversely it’s not necessarily about saying that you don’t care about what they get your baby, anything’s fine! If there are things you need, relatives who want to spoil your little one will probably genuinely want to know about them!
- Don’t be intimidated by other parents! Sure, Jimmy’s mum has spent £300 on their little one this year but that doesn’t mean you have to! If your budget means that you are shopping from a charity shop and your neighbour is buying from Harrod’s then so be it. This is your little one and you, not anyone else, will be enjoying Christmas with him or her. It really is the thought that counts – not the pennies spent!
- Finally, remember at the end of the day your present is likely to play second fiddle to the box it came in!