Well, I don’t know about you lot, but round these parts, it seems that as soon as the pumpkins are binned and the calendar strikes November the conversation takes a sudden festive turn. Actually, when I think about it, with all the toy shops having their big sales in September and October, Christmas chat has been happening for a little while now.

Coincidentally, Ethan’s toy requests started flooding in when Nick Jr decided to start ramping up the advertising slots between shows. (Honestly, one of my most hated things on this planet is the fact that it’s legal to advertise to children). But alas, he is human and much like myself, he seems to be a sucker for a good shiny ad campaign.

The toy request on repeat in our house is The Paw Patrol Sea Patroller. A large, plastic boat that doesn’t seem to do much of anything… And costs £70. I’m pretty damned sickened at paying that money for something that I honestly don’t feel is worth it, so I’ve been scouring internet sales for the last few weeks trying to catch a bargain. After clubbing together with a friend to take advantage of a recent 3 for 2 sale (instead of just buying 3 x £70 products, which was tempting but felt excessive), I managed to get said stupid toy boat for £50! Horrah!

Parenting = Misplaced excitement

My dismay at the cost of this toy also prompted a lot of conversations with friends. How much do you spend on your kids at Christmas? Thankfully, most of my friends are forthcoming oversharers like me, so I gleaned a lot of interesting insights. Full disclosure… Gavin and I have budgeted £150 to very max £200 for Ethan this year. That’s a sum I feel comfortable parting with for a 3-year-old. And he rarely gets toys throughout the year.

To one couple of friends whose budget was £80, they thought we were going over the top. To another couple, they spend £600-£700 per child every year (they have two) and are of the opinion that Christmas is the time for blowouts and excess and that it’s all part of the fun. We have friends who have no budget and just buy within reason and friends who feel that a single gift and some stocking fillers are enough. The conversations have been awesome.

Obviously, everyone is different. Everyone’s budget is different. And how we all celebrate Christmas is different (if we do indeed celebrate it at all!). But I’m super nosey and love to know how other families work behind the scenes.

So do you care to share your Santa budget?
Do you feel like the price of toys is completely ridiculous like me?
And has anyone else noticed this odd trend of people taking pictures of their child’s Christmas/Birthday loot and posting it on Facebook? (perhaps its own topic, but I couldn’t help but throw it in).

xo Santa