Coffee lounge
If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.

Surviving Christmas

Apart from buying over a period of time or last minute on a credit card, does anyone have suggestions for making Christmas less stressful and affordable.

The other problem is as our children get older they are more aware of the issues, our 11 year old told my partner she’s not expecting anything as we cannot afford it.

but the practical side of things the secondary school expect a laptop for homework, We have been looking at refurbished ones online perhaps.

my Son wants a Nintendo Switch, the nearest he may be getting is something with a switch button on it.

Dread the whole seasonal situation of recent years and would like some positive ideas please 

Replies

  • WhileIBreathIHopeWhileIBreathIHope Posts: 216 Member
    Sam_Scope said:
    It's a subject that effects so many @WhileIBreathIHope so thank you for sharing.
    It definitely gets harder when kids become teenagers as they are so aware of what others are getting and things are so expensive!

    One thing we started years ago was that we all do charity work as a family over Christmas. We do a reverse advent calendar in December where we put one item of food in a box every day and then donate it all to a food bank. And on Christmas eve every year we all go and volunteer at a project that provides a Christmas day for anyone who cant afford it or would be alone. 

    This has taught my teenagers about how tough a time some people are having, that even when we have been really tight on money, we have always had some food in the cupboards, we have eachother and that is a privilege. 

    We also have an ethos of gifts being home made, or experience over stuff. So either making each other something special, or the gift being something we do together. This has spread to our friends; I would MUCH rather have a friend give me a voucher for having a cup of tea and a cake with them than another toiletry set! 

    Re the laptop for school, have you spoken to the school about any support they can give? There may be some grants or schemes in your area that could help. I found this website Get Online at Home who offer reduced priced laptops, Get Online @ Home is an initiative run by Computer Recyclers UK who provide low cost refurbished computers, to be eligible you need to be:
    • A member of a low-income family receiving any state benefits based on need
    • In a community with limited access to technology
    • Have a disability
    When times have been tight, I have been honest with my teens and explained that we simply cant afford an expensive gift, but that we can work towards it. So for example, setting up a savings account and asking family and friends for a small cash amount for Christmases and Birthdays. I know it feels hard to not be able to just buy a gift for your kids, but in the long run, they will understand.


    Hi Sam, thank you for the information- not sure if the school aware as we used to get free school meals and mysteriously money appears on our eldest’s food card we top up as well to buy dinner at school when moved from primary to secondary school.
    We haven’t dared ask where the small amount of money comes from weekly, in case we find it needs to be paid back- if it is an error that comes to light, hopefully it will get written off.

    Our youngest’s school moved from rucksacks to these courier style bags and after paying for 2 that didn’t last we refused on grounds of cost- the school now hand him a replacement when it breaks without a word to us.

    Our youngest may enjoy making some things, my perception is Christmas has become a lot more materialistic as a child I never received any expensive gifts or felt I was missing out.

    I’d be a lot happier if Christmas was cancelled until  new year one night of sitting in front of the tv with a drink and nibbles.

    will look into your suggestions.

    Thank you
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @WhileIBreathIHope, thank you for sharing this and I know you will not be alone in this. I am glad the school have been supportive. When in high school, the free school meal policy is normally put on a students card. I hope this makes sense.

    Postponing Christmas isn't as uncommon as you may think. I've heard of many families doing it if they couldn't afford it or if there was a death in the family. Please don't feel like you need to do anything extravagant. Low key with the family is also very valuable. 

    I hope @Sam_Scope's helpful suggestions have been useful. I know as a family we much prefer to get gifts that allow us to do something together. :)
    Community Partner
    Scope

    Tell us what you think?
    Complete our feedback form to help us to improve your community.
  • WhileIBreathIHopeWhileIBreathIHope Posts: 216 Member
    Thank you for replies, thank you for explaining the school card it saves lots of embarrassing issues for our child.
    Having some time to plan this will look for community events etc. 
  • WhileIBreathIHopeWhileIBreathIHope Posts: 216 Member
    Staying at home and cooking seem the cheapest alternative. 
    @thespiceman I too had a past that was pretty awful as a child and young adult.

    I'm desperately trying not to bring the children up exposed to the horrors I had. 


  • WhileIBreathIHopeWhileIBreathIHope Posts: 216 Member
    @pollyanna1052 I did think of 3D printing my son a mask or something.

    I sell something on a site on the Internet, I make £8 an item after costs and sell a few a week.
    I saw the HMRC NES chap and he didn't have any concerns.
    I'm not sure the legality of 3D film inspired creations-otherwise I could print lots of film based logos props etc. 
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @WhileIBreathIHope   Thanks for reply. Hope I can be of use or help. Have a lot of recipes, ideas and much more.

    Saves money and lots of time.

    Do budget and cheap eats. All the time.

    Happy to share or look around the forum and website. If you wish to scroll down.

    I am sorry to hear your experiences as well happy to listen anytime.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman
    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    Christmas food booklets. This year I am ordering our family Christmas lunch and tea at Sainsburys again. I also buy Christmas craft supplies from the shops and look at crafts online etc. 
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    One family tradition we have is that we split the work. To promote a spirit of teamwork, I insist on each family member even the kids helping me with the baking and cleaning. My local Sainsbury produces a Christmas food booklet each year, I am ordering our Christmas lunch and dinner this year again apart from the puddings. I am low key as well. We are hosting the annual Christmas party this year with a small guest list, a few drinks etc. It is okay to say no. 
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Spiceman:
    I agree the true meaning of Christmas has been lost. Well and truly lost. And of Easter too for that matter.
    A governor of the Bank of England once said: "The real significance of Christmas will not be known until Easter". Never was a truer word spoken, but he was talking about the GDP!
    Christmas is not about your presents, it's about His presence.

    Probably upset everybody now...
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   Thank you for your comments you have done nothing wrong.

    You just being honest and open with your feelings and emotions.

    About Christmas. Also there are many of us who are Christians and of many faiths on here.

    Always happy to discuss anything.

    Concerning our Lord, God and anything else. The bible is not full of meaning less words have used it a lot to heal.

    Have given away my bible to those who wish to ease the suffering and pain. Bought several times bibles  and end up giving them away because people want to know.. 

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman




    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    Spiceman:
    I agree the true meaning of Christmas has been lost. Well and truly lost. And of Easter too for that matter.
    A governor of the Bank of England once said: "The real significance of Christmas will not be known until Easter". Never was a truer word spoken, but he was talking about the GDP!
    Christmas is not about your presents, it's about His presence.

    Probably upset everybody now...
    No I am Christian as well. We will be going to a special service on Christmas Eve and celebrating with friends from church too. 
  • SeanchaiSeanchai Member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    edited October 2019
    Everybody to their own faith ...or none. After Thatcher shut down the foundries , pit, brickworks ect ...i lost my job as an engineer , i could have went abroad to work but i had a young family and did not like the idea of leaving them and my wife . My wife was in full agreement with me . When i worked i had no problem of buying the kids what they wanted ....but....after losing my job , it was a terrible struggle and we used to go into debt ( credit card) to pay for christmas for the kids ....a debt that was usually paid off by september or october the following year , this continued for years .
    When the kids got a bit older they understood the position we were in and we tightened our belts a bit . My kids now have kids of their own and for some of them the debt spiral goes on .
    I think its about time people went back to the roots of Christmas, ...its not about jesus now, its about footfall and capitalism ....even worse now than ever . When will it all end i wonder.? 
    Last week i read about a 12 years old boy who did not want any birthday presents from the family ...he asked the family to donate whatever they were thinking of buying him to homeless people ....he got so much joy from doing that, that he has asked his family not to buy him christmas presents but to donate the money to charities . Maybe we should all take a leaf out this young boys attitude to spending loads of money we do not have .....
    Peace and joy to all this Christmas ...and may your god bless you .
  • WhileIBreathIHopeWhileIBreathIHope Posts: 216 Member
    I do sun worshipping, the terms of service are lenient and the ratio of Hope v positive outcome is no worse than being an outright atheist.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    We need to get the Gospel back out there. It is not being preached in the C of E for sure, there may be a few good pastors in other denominations out there, but most of them are too spineless to preach the truth.
    Going right off subject now, but as Christmas is Jesus and Jesus is the  Gospel, not really.
    There are some great preachers on YouTube, most in the US, one of our good guys is Mez McConnell. Check him out, amazing testimony.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Seanchi:
    There is only one way, and it's got nothing to do with religion or denominations. Hes called Jesus, and hes alright.
    April2018mom:
    Thanks, I thought I went out on a limb a bit there. Did you see my post above this one?
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   Thank you for sharing. Good morning to you bless you sending prayers this cold chilly day.

    The problem is so many people think meet a Christian going to be preacher the words of the Gospel the words of Jesus the words of our Lord.

    There are so many meaning, parables, stories and much more in anything else that can give you support, guidance and understanding .

    In your life.

    I used the words to think and how I can move forward. Since becoming a Christian  I know my own needs.

    Use this with addiction and used this every day to instil, motivate myself.

    I believe if not the faith I had the bible there would be a different outcome from my life. Have now recovering and am blessed to survive.

    The other problem is Christmas or any thing around any festival connected with Religion is too commercial.

    Too much greed, heart break pain and selfish self centred all about me. In reality that should be a day of helping those in the community.

    I would like to see every one volunteer if they could around Christmas give and support those who have experienced misery and simply can not fathom out why. Have ended up like this.

    One Crisis Christmas event. I recall now met a gent who had a job has everything connected with it. Lost the lot.

    Was on the street with addiction, lose his dignity and life to alcohol.

    I met him talked to him, as I was the same.  Being on the road to destruction.

    Unfortunately he passed away after forty years on the streets. Yet we spoke he gave me wise words used his Faith attended the services. Spoke to various organisations on his behalf.

    Resonates me today the amount of lack of compassion and sympathy from those who should be caring.  In certain organisations those connected with supporting.

    I know in many instances Crisis at Christmas does a lot.

    Trying to understand as one TV personality Steven Fry once said how can believe the mutterings of some one a thousand years ago.  

    Religion and faiths all over the world differ enormously. I have the chance encounters of meeting a variety.

    Of Sects, faiths and being able to listen to arguments, debates some times stimulating, awesome and some absolutely fascinating.

    The power of prayer how does any one who does not understand ever contemplate , the reassurance of seeing those in pain and suffering some how recover from illness.

    Been in a Hospital room myself ill have had the Chaplin offer prayers and much more. In a crowded Hospital room full of Church members who were praying for a member of the Church being ill with a serious condition.

    Recovery became eventually.

    Who can explain that. You tell me. Remember there is a lots of differences between Faiths and Sects.

    We had on this forum a fascinating post from a members several about Spiritualism.  

    Another about the Mormon faith and every one is of interest.

    I had former friends children join the Mormon Faith teaches a lot , educates and soon doors, opportunities paths became open to a journey.

    One other point we in this Country many do not attend the Church or support a faith or Religion or Sect.

    One of the problems is many aspects of The Church the C of E . Have rules, their ways and certain opinions.

    Which makes others not wanting to interact or consider looking at.

    I had this myself felt lonely, isolated and been I have to say discriminated.

    In one or two Church organisations. Even though I was part of the Church did not like the situation I was in and made it evident to me.

    So I do not go to Church their rules their views and so on.  So do my own faith at home.

    Jesus said you do not need a Church a building to praise the words of the Lord and the teachings.

    Understand why as in other Countries especially those from the Third World. The Church is responsible for welfare, housing, medicine, health care and much more.

    As in a lot of the faiths from the communities in America the ethnic communities benefitted what their Church offers as in many cases sole responsible for day to day living for many.

    I have views and opinions around my own Faith so use my own knowledge and education to help me.  The power I have found, gained from the Words of my bible and the teachings.

    Pass on if I can to those who are suffering. My compassion, empathy, time and energy to give them the choices and options to recognise their own power and control . In their lives.

    I wish you well. Pleasure to meet and talk to you.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman










    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • SwordfishSwordfish Member Posts: 54 Pioneering
    I have both feet firmly planted in the Humbug camp. 
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    edited October 2019
    Spiceman, Hi.

    I am not in a church or denomination, dont believe in denominations or that there are other Faith's. I am not a religious person, and think religion itself - whatever your faith may be - does more harm then good. [Removed by moderator]. Christianity, simple Christianity, is a way of life. It is worshipping the one - the only - true God for all creation, and forgiveness of our sin through His Son who took death and hell in our place on the cross. Trust Jesus, hes all you need. Trust him for your life.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   Thank you for sharing. Much appreciated.

    I also am happy for you and hope everything you want and need works out for you.

    Please if I can help with anything please get in touch.

    Happy to be a friend and listen.

    Thank you very much for the advice and guidance.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Posts: 2,736

    Scope community team

    Can't go wrong with Cash Converters. Saved many a Christmas for me.
    Scope
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy

    Want to tell us about your experience on the community? Talk to our chatbot and let us know. 
  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,373 Disability Gamechanger
    The first good Christmas I can remember was when I put my foot down and said if we could not afford it we were not getting it! A good simple meal was enjoyed without my wife being tied to the kitchen or myself running around doing different chores. It was however marked by us giving more of our time to each other than usual. 

    Since then we have changed the way we do things. We buy each other treats throughout the year regardless of. Special events on the calendar. Even now where we are financially better off the rule remains if we cannot afford it it doesn't happen and when my daughter asks what I want I either ask for something I actually need and is inexpensive or mostly for us to do something together like a game. 

    One of the best things I did was to get rid of unreasonable expectations out of one day a year.

    For a few years we organised activities on the estate over the Christmas week including bingo, quiz nights, race nights and coffee mornings as one of the issues for some residents was everything else shut down around us. Sadly these stopped when I returned to work and needed the time to relax and give my body some time to recover, but considering restarting some of the activities.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    Seanchi:
    There is only one way, and it's got nothing to do with religion or denominations. Hes called Jesus, and hes alright.
    April2018mom:
    Thanks, I thought I went out on a limb a bit there. Did you see my post above this one?
    Yes I did. 
Sign in or join us to comment.