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Do kids need expensive experiences to enjoy Christmas?

3 years ago

Siobhan O'Neill writer
Siobhan O'Neill Freelance journo and mum of 2
Last half term I began to worry that we weren’t being very good parents. My Facebook timeline was filling up with friends taking their kids to Madame Tussauds, Harry Potter Studios and a week in Cornwall while the best we managed was a trip to the park. Am I cheap, lazy parent?

The fact is, with Christmas on the horizon and without loads of spare cash to splash around, I chose to save then to spend at Christmas. Instead – as a family – we baked and decorated Halloween cakes; dressed up and did the night-time walk to collect a few sweets from the neighbours; we baked cookies and made our own popcorn to watch movies with; we went to a local fireworks display, and we made LEGO stuff

We spent time together and the kids really didn’t seem to mind that instead of an expensive trip out we all ran about like idiots between the swings and slides. 

Undoubtedly this year the bill for Christmas will be as eye-watering as ever so I have no plans to take the kids out on day trips again. No pantomimes, Christmas markets or trips to see Father Christmas at Harrods or Hamleys. But we’ll bake Christmas biscuits for family and neighbours; we’ll all snuggle on the sofa stuffing bad food and watching great Christmas movies; we’ll spend time on the floor playing with their toys and we’ll take them to visit family and friends to play with other kids. We might have a MarioKart Grand Prix or two if mum has had a cheeky sherry.

I’m pretty sure you don’t need to spend a fortune to give your kids great childhood memories. Most children say they’d prefer parents to spend time with them more than a big present. Stopping work and being together as a family surely makes for a good Christmas that kids will appreciate, but what do you think?

Do kids need expensive experiences to have good memories? Tell us in the comments below.
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Opinion 3 years ago

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