For my children, every Christmas Day comes mixed with a little trepidation and excitement. Only last year, my eldest wouldn’t enter the living room because, “…Santa is still in there”! The sense of innocence is a wondrous thing. Sadly, as they get older and the truth about Father Christmas dawns on them, those innocent comment become memories. They will be treasured forever but you’re still unlikely to hear them from your kids when they’re 25 years old!
As they get older their demands on that strangely familiar Santa increase. Knowing that their friends received an iPod for their birthday or a new games console last Christmas leads to that often heard exclamation, “But my friend got one from Santa!” We want to keep our children happy. We want them have as much fun as possible but we also want to maintain the mystique around Father Christmas but when they’re younger. So, does it really matter what you buy them?
Of course it does. That’s why this Christmas my children will be getting a massive cardboard box! Original? Maybe. Tight fisted? Possibly. What the kids want? Definitely!
Last year I put a new bicycle under the Christmas tree. After putting it together it was used for about an hour. The cardboard box it came in was used on a daily basis for over six weeks. In fact, there were more tears over the ultimate demise of the box than there were over the scratch on the bicycle frame!
Big Box Economics
It might seem like a new take on the old joke of placing an engagement ring in a massive box but, for kids, it works. The thought that there’s a massive present inside will have their little hearts racing as the wrapping is torn away.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not suggesting you buy the cheapest present possible to put in the box. What I do question is the ‘need’ to pay top whack for something that will be used a few time before the next ‘must have’ toy is advertised in the playground. This is why the list to Santa plays such an important part of the plan.
For anyone that has young children, the Christmas wish list is an important part of the run up to the big day. Whether you post the letter to the North Pole or simply pin it to the wall, you need to take note of what they want. It’s inevitable that the list will be filled with an outrageously expensive gift so ignore that and carrying on reading until you find something not quite so pricey. Got it? This is the present you’re going to buy.
Next, head out to you local supermarket and find the biggest surplus box you can find. Now take the real present, wrap it up, drop it in the box and place it under the Christmas tree.
Next, sit back and watch as your children spend 30 minutes playing with their real present followed by months of playing in their cardboard box. Priceless!
Do you have anymore tips for frugal Christmas presents? If so, then let me know in the comments below.