Once spending $1000’s on Christmas presents for her family, Heidi Ondrak has decided that she will no longer be doing so, suggesting that even her children will be receiving second-hand toys instead.
She further went on to mention that this time of year just invites stress and credit card debt. Her usual budget of roughly $50 per person has been scrapped. Even her children Daisy (13) and Archie (15) are on the list – due to receive a few items thrifted from charity shops and boot sales.
Gifting is based on corporate greed
The money-saving mom from Plymouth, England made her decision based on the idea that gift-giving is a marketing construct. Focused on consumption and greed which means that purchasing gifts should never be necessary.
She said: “The gifting tradition is insane, I don’t need anything, and neither do most adults. What’s the point of the stress and racking up credit cards and debt just for one day of the year?”
“I am not religious and Santa isn’t real. It’s all a big marketing construct to make us feel compelled to spend money. It’s not worth bankrupting yourself for one day.”
“Christmas is not about consumption and greed, marketing just has us believe that and our kids are targeted. I refuse to spend my money playing into this any longer.”
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Christmas presents do not have to be brand new in boxes
She added: “If I had very small kids I would get toys at the car boot and sterilize them. Kids grow out of stuff really quickly so it’s usually in mint condition.”
“My kids want clothes and electronics, I’ll buy refurbished tablets and phones online and clothes. I will let them have a budget. When I find things at the charity shop that is boxed or new with tags, I pop that away for Christmas.”
“I usually get bags and tops for my daughter, while my son wants protein and gym-related things. I very found unopened protein powder in date at the boot sale too, so I will keep an eye out. Just explain how budgets work to your children as they get older. As for younger kids, just buy fancy boxes and recycle toys and games from charity shops, Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace and markets.”
Thrifting not only applies to Christmas gifts
Heidi brags about her general cost-saving tips. She also ditches the Christmas turkey and uses her air fryer to prepare most of her meals, saving on oven-sized electrical bills. Sharing her tips, she said: “Pool together with another family; previous years, me and my friend pooled our resources and our families ate together”
“Buy cheaper meat, turkey is so overrated, get a chicken, cook it in the air fryer, and veg is cheap. There is no need to go mad, top plates up with extra roasters, don’t go mad with tons of desserts.”
“Make a meal plan and stick to it and always shop with a list. I ate out the last few years at about £75 ($85) a head but will cook at home this year. As no one really likes turkey I will buy a chicken.“
“Wrapping paper can be repurposed once saved from last year. What I do throughout the year is buy neutral wrapping paper for birthdays and use the same roll at Christmas for wrapping up presents. My decorations are reused from previous years and the tree lights won’t go on unless they are battery-operated.”
Alexia Tibbs from the UK unanimously agreed. Stating, “For my extended family I think not giving presents is a bit of a relief.” “Our family gets bigger and bigger each year and I hate to waste money on presents no one wants.”
“I love Christmas and it’s still really fun. This year we’re going to do up the shed like Santa’s grotto. He’s not going to be giving out Christmas crap but it’ll be fun. We’ll see friends and I’ll still have my Christmas playlist,” she said.
The trend of debt avoidance is on the rise
The average US citizen owes an average of $1,249 in holiday debt alone according to a survey by LendingTree. Now it’s even more challenging with 40% of Americans claiming they opted for Buy-Now-Pay-Later.
These programs offer bigger payments spread out over months at even amounts, sometimes even interest-free. Not surprisingly the trend actually encourages the average household to overall spend more.
So what do you think? Is this UK mom onto something? Should we be spending less on Christmas and other gift-giving holidays? Let us know in the comments!
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