A local Under-5 group have an annual toy sale. I think they aim for this time of year deliberately as they know that parents are thinking of clearing space ready for Christmas, and other parents are looking to bag a bargain in the run up to Christmas. I fall into the latter camp.
We headed to the toy sale without too much cash in hand. C was allowed to choose a toy for himself up to the value of £5 as a reward for getting twenty stars on his chart. He chose a (sadly plastic, and with noises) lorry that opens out to a small road and ramp system for little cars. It cost only £2 and he is delighted with it.
I next spotted a wooden dolls house. Santa has instructed me to keep an eye out for one of these, and I have been scouring Gumtree and e-bay, but so far have had no bidding success. Imagine my pleasure when I spotted this amazing one, including the dolls and the furniture - for only £10! That's Christmas sorted for Bug...
Just next to it - for only £2 was an unopened box of Meccano - a set which retails for between £20 and £30 and was on our radar as a potential Christmas present for C. Okay then... twist my arm - that's Christmas for C sorted as well.
Is it bad to deliberately spend little on Christmas presents for the children when others spend hundreds of pounds? I don't think so. They are still getting something for Christmas that they will really love - I don't imagine that they will mind that it wasn't bought for full price or was previously loved.