Affording Christmas as Single Mum

21 September 2020

 I love Christmas, in an unhealthy way and to the point where I still believe in Father Christmas so when I came to the point in my life where I realised that I am Father Christmas I suddenly, very much understood the importance of preparation and planning. Fred’s first Christmas with just me ran smoothly, he had everything he ‘wanted’ (he was too young to want things so it was what I’d decided he’d like) and I wasn’t completely bankrupt by the end of it. This year I’ve started early, I’ve been buying stocking fillers since August and popping the festive treats in my weekly shop since they were released and I’ve decided to jot down some tips on how to make Christmas less stressful and more affordable whilst you’ve actually got some decent time left to crack on rather than after the fact. 

Don’t do a big Christmas Shop 

As I mentioned above, I’ve started popping a tin of chocolates or a bottle of sherry into my weekly food shops now rather than having to do a big shop in December and spend loads of money that I don’t really have on dinner bits and goodies. At the moment tins of chocolates of £4 each all over the place and in Asda they’re 2 for £7. To avoid temptation I’ve been shoving all the Christmas stuff on top of my wardrobe and forgetting about and I’m hoping that when it comes to doing the unavoidable Christmas food shop, it’ll just be for food and essentials because everything else will be sorted. 

Start Early 

My cousin probably starts shopping for Christmas in the December of the previous year, but she has an actual problem. Whereas I really love it and get butterflies and cry at decorations, she is on a whole other level however, I have always been envious of her ability to start early and be done by December so this year, I stepped up and started casually picking up bits that could be used for Birthdays or Christmas in February and then really going at it with the Crimbo stuff in July and if I stick to the projected trajectory and I should have everyone sorted by the end of November and that my friends, gets me going. 

Prioritise people and set a budget 

When I say prioritise people I don’t mean pick your fave Auntie and sack off the rest I mean to think of all the people you’ll be buying gifts for (including your own kid/s) and set and a budget per person and stick to it. I categorise my family into kids, Adults and finally Fred. I’ve been picking bits up for the kids in the family throughout the year and just need to add a few extras and they can be ticked off, I’ve decided on most of the adults present’s and will buy them toward the last couple of pay days before Christmas and maybe knock some off beforehand where I can. I’ve started really getting through Fred’s stocking fillers (god this sounds like I get him loads, I don’t I promise) However, Fred is obviously my priority when it comes to getting gifts and if I can ensure I’ve got some presents stashed away should something awful happen…I dunno financially or physically then it keeps me happy. 

Use Wishlists 

Back in July I created a couple of (private) Amazon Wish lists to start saving gift ideas for Fred and a family. Doing this has allowed me to keep a record of what I’m spending on people and enjoy working through knocking the items off the list. It also meant that I had a clear visual idea of what I’d got for Fred’s stocking – I never want to go overboard with stocking fillers, Fred gets easily overwhelmed with Christmas and opening gifts; last year he didn’t open his gift from me until the 27th December because he was neither interested nor ready. I want him to be able to enjoy he gifts that he has rather than chuck as much crap as possible at him to make me feel better so I’ve been really meticulous in choosing things that I know for sure he’ll make use out of and enjoy. 

The Main Present 

Urgh, dreading this one as he gets older because it’s only going to get more expensive. I don’t really have much advice to be honest huns, Fred’s still at the age where he doesn’t fully get the Crimbo life so doesn’t ask for anything which means that I decide for him. This year we’re going for the Happy Land Village thing and we’ve roped Nain in to help and will bribe her with sherry, Christmas dinner and lots of festive cheer. (Gog bless the grand ones). 

Don’t Compete with FC 

I absolutely refuse to compete with that festive f*cker when it comes to gifts, mostly because it’s not his bank balance that gets murdered in his name and also because Christmas is largely about him when it comes to little ones and I don’t want to ruin the magic by getting something of the same size from me. I also want to save money and not fork out twice because have you seen the price of Happy Land stuff? Lol What? I leave my gift for Fred until almost the very last minute because it takes me ages to decide what to get him although this year I might for  a Woody toy because he’s dead into to Toy Story (I am aware that this also means he needs a Buzz). 


  1. Starting early is such a great tip! I am basically always Christmas shopping, no matter the time of year. If I see something I think someone will like as a gift, I purchase it then instead of waiting. :)
    Jenna ♥
    Stay in touch? Life of an Earth Muffin

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