Winning at Christmas
Is anyone else starting to feel festive? In the past the Christmas music in shops, and decorations on sale mega early used to drive me nuts but more and more I’ve gotten really into enjoying thinking about Christmas early. Perhaps it’s come with having a family of my own to start new traditions with or my own ‘home’ to decorate.
Our family started what we call the ‘Christmas Money Pot’ system (must think of a better name!) a few years back and it has made for super organised Christmases with no unwanted presents which in my opinion means winning. I love learning anything from others that can help me to be more organised (particularly in the busyness of motherhood) so I’m sharing this in case you are the same.
Now, firstly I must warn you that if you are the kind of person who enjoys last minute Christmas shopping or who wants all your presents to be a surprise then this is not for you. However, this system means that everyone gets a gift they want and love (none of that awkward keeping a gift you don’t like but feel obliged to wear/use/display, putting things on eBay or sending them off to the charity shop!) and it enables everyone to spend what they can afford and not feel guilty. I don’t know about anyone else but it often feels like there are underlying expectations about spending at Christmas and you can spend a lot of time trying to figure out how much someone else might spend on you so you can spend roughly the same. Such a nightmare, particularly when you genuinely don’t have a lot of money to spend.
So, if a solution to those issues sounds appealing, read on…
Basically one person is ‘in charge’ each Christmas. This has rotated between me, my brother and my Mum so far, dependent on who is most keen.
This person gets in touch with everyone and asks them to send through the amount they wish to spend on everyone.
I’d like to spend:
Mum – £20
Dad – £20
Brother – £25
Then, they send out a total to each person (e.g. “you have £90 to spend”) and ask them what they’d like. We’re a big fan of Amazon wish lists so often we just send a link and then the person can just order from the list. It’s been amazing for us because you can pick lots of little things or actually spend all your money together and get a bigger present. For example, I put mine towards a hairdressing course one year.
Then, when the money has been transferred, the person in charge just sorts getting all the presents and they can be wrapped and ready to go in advance! I’ve already bought and wrapped presents for two people this year.
Now, my Granny was always one for having a little something to unwrap on Christmas Day so often we do a little stocking each and just buy each person a small gift. But, this year we’ve each been given another family member to pray for and then we’re going to buy a small gift related to what we feel God is saying for them over the next year.
I so often find that if you create a system for organising the big stuff then you can make so much more room for extra thoughtful stuff.
Has anyone else got any family tips or hints for an organised Christmas?
I’d love to hear them.