What Children Really Need at Christmas

what children need most at Christmas | Vicki Tongeman


I watched a news article where a hard working Mum, due to low pay, was worried about money. Her little boy, looking about 6-8 years old, said “I’m worried about what’s going to happen when she can’t pay the bills any more and we lose our home”. What a responsibility for such a young child! What a fear to live with! Even if we don’t talk about these things in front of them, children pick up feelings and tensions from the adults around them and at some level can tell what’s happening.

I imagine a lot of people are under financial pressure at Christmas, so here are some ideas on how you may be able to keep costs down and give the children what they really need at this time of year and beyond.

As Christmas approaches, please remember that what your child/ren need most is love and support throughout the year and a warm, secure home.

You can’t be that for them if you are worried about debt racked up over Christmas, arguing about money with your partner, and working all hours to try to pay everything back.

I know Christmas is fun, and it’s lovely to have lots of presents piled up under the tree or in their stockings, but it’s not worth it if you’re paying it back for the rest of the year, worrying about bills and keeping your home 💖

So if you’re worried about money this year, and they’re young enough, try some of these ideas…

  • Buy things they’ll need anyway for their stockings…toothbrushes, bubble bath, pyjamas, clothes to replace what they’re growing out of.
  • They’ll all look exciting wrapped in the stocking and seem more fun coming from Santa.
  • Tell your child Santa’s gone “eco” so no more plastic… find shells, leaves, twigs or cheap craft materials, wrap them up and call them Santas craft kit 😊😍
  • Find ways of giving gifts to others that are more time or experience related so you can control the cost…vouchers for giving someone a shoulder massage or home made gifts from your child.
  • Set a (small) budget with adults for gifts and see how inventive you can be with your low cost gifts.
  • Take time out to play games with your kids and even share movies with them rather than seeing TV time as an opportunity to get on with something else. Not all the time, obvs, we all need our quiet time lol! 💖😂
  • If possible, arrange some “me time” where a Partner, friend or older siblings supervise the youngsters so you can get a 1/2 hour to yourself every now and then and maybe keep your cool more easily over the holidays. Remember some children benefit from “time out” too to help them cope with the excitement and overwhelm.
  • For older children, explain that it’s been hard for everyone this year and that you’ll have to stick to a budget. Let them know what it is and help them decide which item(s) they want most this year -and which will fit best into your budget for them. Anything else they want they could save up for. A great exercise in money management! 😊💖 It may seem tough at the time, but you could try playing the “Needs and Wants” game – do we Need it? What will happen if we don’t have it? No electricity = no light, heat etc. No Playstation game means….?

Now I know money is a difficult subject for everyone and we all have our unique circumstances. I don’t want to seem blasé about your individual situation, only you know what’s going on for you. So please just pick and choose from any of the suggestions here – there’s no right or wrong way to do things.

Sending you love at Christmas,

Vicki x




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