This year I have decided to do a different kind of Christmas for a few reasons but mainly because when I sit here and look at the amount of ‘stuff’ Kimaarah has vs how much she actually plays with and how much I have spent over the past years I feel a sense of dread at what the money could have actually been spent on. I probably could have taken her back to Disneyland Paris and stayed at the Disneyland Hotel, which is my dream for the next time we go. Or maybe even gone somewhere more further afield! 

I also hate the amount of adverts which are on the kids TV nowadays because every time something new comes in it’s always ‘I want that’ .. ‘mummy can I have that’ etc etc as Kimaarah is one of those children who gets sucked in by all the adverts! And I’m sure it’s not only my child, I feel like Christmas can turn into the time of year where you buy a load of presents that your child ‘wants’ only for them to play with it for all of 10 minutes and then chuck it in the toy box where it will stay for the next year. Also in previous years I have found myself buying presents just for the sake of it so she will have enough to open on the day, when actually she gets bored halfway through opening them and they start to lose their meaning. I am also majorly running out of space in this small flat and can’t keep on buying lots of big toys!

I know for a fact that other mums feel the pressure to post the perfect Christmas tree picture on Instagram with loads of presents underneath, but why are we doing this? It’s none of anyone else’s business how much you buy for your child. The pressures of being a mum on social media are getting a little out of hand so this year I wanted to simplify things for myself but also to give people an idea of how they could do things differently if they wanted to.

I want Christmas to be meaningful and special, I want Kimaarah to appreciate what she has and to know that Christmas is not just about what’s under the tree but who’s around it. Especially being a single mum we don’t do a big family Christmas. It’s just me, her, my mum and my Nan and it’s one of the only times of the year when all 4 of us are together. As I grow older I see that Christmas should be the time of year where you look back on the year and think about what you have achieved, and what you want to achieve the following year. I want us to have more experiences together, not just holidays but little days out and I’m hoping by doing this challenge we can focus more on being together not just making it all about presents. It’s hopefully going to take some of the stress out of present buying and help me focus more on enjoying the spirit and magic of the Christmas season! Which can only be a good thing!

Ok, so the ‘challenge’ is nothing new and I haven’t made it up personally but I saw some people doing it last year and it did make me think at the time that it was interesting. Instead of buying loads of presents this year Kimaarah will have just 4 main things to open. These are:

🎅🏻Something she wants – this will most likely be a big LOL toy like the ‘2 in 1 Glamper’ but I will let her choose a bit nearer to the time as just like any 4 year old she is always changing her mind!

🎅🏻Something she needs – this will be something educational and I have already purchased this!

🎅🏻Something to wear – not a Christmas Day outfit but a nice dress or outfit that she can get some wear out of. Rather than spending £80 on a themed Christmas dress which she will wear once!

🎅🏻Something to read – at the moment I’m thinking about getting her some books to help her with her reading and support her with her school learning.

As well as this she will have her Christmas Eve box as this has become a tradition which brings the magic to Christmas, for example I always put new pyjamas in there which I’ll be getting for her again, magic dust to sprinkle outside to guide Santa to our house, a Christmas DVD which I’ve already brought – Olaf’s Frozen Adventure I found it on eBay for £2.99 brand new! And some other treats to go in the box like chocolates and a Lush bath bomb.

She will also have her stocking and I will put things like chocolate coins, LOL Doll, other little bits and pieces – if anyone wanted to share what they put in their children’s stockings I would love to hear any of your suggestions!

Another thing I have already ordered is Disney On Ice tickets, I purchased these back in May on the Feld Priority scheme through Ticketmaster, as I wanted to be sure we had good seats and I know she’s going to be so excited to go back after we attended last year. I’m really excited myself! We have this booked for a few days after Christmas and on Christmas Day I plan on presenting her with a special voucher which I’m going to have made, to let her know she is off to Disney On Ice again!

Any other presents she wants will need to be purchased by family or by them giving her money / vouchers where we can go on a little shopping trip to have a spend up! By doing this she will also learn more about the value of money and how she can’t always get everything – which some people may think is a bit tough to start teaching at 4 years old but I have such a terrible relationship (if you can call it that) with money and want to make sure Kimaarah learns from a young age. So that when she’s older she won’t be the same as me, I am trying at the moment to be better at saving and to not spend money just because I have it! I’m hoping I can help Kimaarah to eventually know the value of a £ as she grows older and to not make the same mistakes I have.

I look forward to sharing with everyone how the challenge goes for me this year. This is not a challenge I’m putting out publically for everyone to join me, by all means do Christmas however it works for you and your family! But if anyone thinks it’s a really good idea and is going to do the same thing then feel free to message me and let me know! Maybe this is something you already do and it works well for you, let me know!

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