Christmas is a busy time in our house and it could easily spiral into being financially crippling, but we decided last year to make the change. A change that worked out very well indeed.
Instead of each person buying everyone a present we decided to cut the amount of presents down by getting the kids to draw a name out of a suitably festive hat and they would only buy a present for that person. Simple right? Yeah, can't believe we didn't do it before to be honest.
Now this meant we were keeping the cost down, yes, but it also meant that they could spend slightly more on the person they were sorting to get a gift that they really wanted and this really opened things up. People were thinking of Boxsets for their older brothers (realistically only an upgrade in price of about five or ten pounds but a really difference maker), hats, boots and fluffy cats that walked for the girls. Personalised Lego kits! It was quite exciting.
I jump forward to Christmas morning after months of sneaking, hanging out on Amazon, wrapping presents, printing personal wrapping paper on the kitchen table and finding the perfect gifts. Each person knew they were getting at least two gifts and you'd think that would be a downer but instead there was excitement. Everyone had put real thought in and so were all excited to be GIVING the gifts more than getting.
With the presents being of a better, less random quality and slightly more expensive they were certainly more pleasing and with gifts from mum and dad out of the way the magic happened. With fewer things they actually played with everything they they got rather than leaving a heap of sad looking cool toys in the corner.
It was a move that paid of really well. We had a fabulous Christmas with gifts that were really appreciated. Its the way we are going this year too.
Names were drawn from the hat the other day and plans are already forming. I simply can't wait.