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A Cracker of A (Credit Free) Christmas!

A Cracker of A (Credit Free) Christmas!

As much as we love indulging in rich food, exchanging gifts, glittering decorations and all the festive socials…. let’s face it Christmas can be stressful - not least because when More…

As much as we love indulging in rich food, exchanging gifts, glittering decorations and all the festive socials…. let’s face it Christmas can be stressful - not least because when you add it all up, it's a super expensive time of year.

With that said, it doesn't always have to be. There are ways to enjoy a magical memorable Christmas without allowing costs to ‘snowball’ out of control - here are our top suggestions.

1.Set a Limit on spending
If you're watching your budget, set price limits, shop around, use your loyalty cards and supermarket vouchers.  Don't be afraid to suggest a Secret Santa to friends and family – chances are they’ll all be relieved!  Agree to buy presents from charity shops, or why not create a pound shop lucky dip –  then each family member gets a surprise and an opportunity to have a bit of fun with the chance to swap their gift! 

2. Ban Unnecessary Christmas presents
Make a ‘no unnecessary present pact’ with the adults. Why not agree to just buy for the children? For a bit of fun you could offer gifts of service depending on your skills or expertise e.g. gardening, cleaning the car, making the beds, doing the ironing, breakfast in bed, a back massage!

3. Get Crafty!
Don't underestimate the value of a homemade gift – if you can bake, sew or knit put your skills to good use and save a bit of cash whilst you're at it. Fill up jam jars with sweets or make candles or soap. Homemade Christmas decorations can be really special – and it keeps the kids occupied too! Make your own tree decorations, garlands, Christmas cards and labels. Visit the FID for seasonal craft activities taking place at your local library.

4.Trade Materialism for Memories
Christmas treats like a visit to Santa or a trip to the panto are magical for children, but there are often cheaper alternatives. Look out for local community events that are often a fraction of the price or free. Visit Santa at school fairs or in The Dolphin Centre, enjoy carol services, join in with the Poole Lantern Parade, check out the Christmas lights in town or take an evening drive around the neighbourhood to enjoy the spectacular lights on other people’s houses!   Check out our What’s On column and search the FID for Christmas Activities which includes many free Christmas events.

5. Share the Cost of Christmas Lunch
On Christmas Day delegate each visitor and family member with a job and get them all to bring a dish. Work out who’s in charge of the starter, the veg, main course, pud, cheeseboard, Christmas crackers, laying the table etc. This way, not only the cost is shared, but also the responsibility. And don’t overbuy food! Christmas is only one day, there’s a limit to what most people can fit in their fridge, and the shops will reopen again! If you are considering the cost of food this Christmas the following review may be helpful to you: Supermarket Christmas Shopping Basket 2017 comparison 

6. Don’t Forget Christmas Traditions
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without all the traditions that you do every year. It could be a special stocking gift, midnight service, a favourite family game, an annual after dinner walk or a play acted out by the children. Some families all sit down together for the Queen’s Speech or bond over a favourite movie. And on Christmas Eve don’t forget the carrot for Rudolph, mince pie for Santa and a sprinkling of magic dust outside (try oats and glitter) to guide Santa’s reindeer!

Have a Merry and (Money Worry Free) Christmas!

For information on managing your money, including state benefits visit the FID.

Look out for Universal Credits Update in the January issue of Families.

29 November 2017

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'Elf' & Wellbeing this Christmas

'Elf' and Wellbeing this Christmas
Christmas is a jolly time with festive fun and family get-togethers, but it can have its pressures too. With seemingly endless tasks - cards to write, presents to buy and wrap, food shopping to be done, decorations to go up, and then being trapped in the… Read full article

How Safe Are Your Child's Toys?

How safe are your child's toys?
Most children’s toys in the UK are actually very safe, but accidents can and do happen. There is some great advice on the Child Accident Prevention Trust website that parents and carers may find useful when buying toys this Christmas, such as understanding the safety marks, choosing… Read full article

What's On This Christmas!

What's On This Christmas!
Poole Family Information Directory is packed full of fun, family events and activities to get everyone in the festive mood! And best of all, many are completely FREE! Why not kick off Christmas and join the Poole Lantern Parade with local school children in Falkland Square… Read full article
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