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Does Father Christmas gift all the toys, or just one? Do they go in the stocking or under the tree? Mum-of-two and influencer Alex Stedman reveals to her 256,000 followers how she does her Christmas each year and it might surprise you...
"Ever since becoming a mum I've experienced that chaotic first Christmas, where every family member goes crazy. With copious amounts of ‘Baby’s First Christmas’ decorations, sacks and toys. We decided to do things a little differently, create our own family Christmas traditions (opens in new tab).
Of course I want my children to have a joyful, magical time at Christmas. But I honestly believe we can do it without overloading kids with toys that don’t get used.
Despite working in an industry based around consumerism, I have tried my hardest to change my shopping habits. Especially around this time of year. And I've attempted to untangle myself from the idea that generosity is only associated with how many presents we buy children.
The first change we implemented was a ‘one present’ rule. One present from us, but also just one from family, this includes grandparents.
The outcome has been amazing! Not only for our budget but it also helps limit us to think of something really, really great. I compile a list of age-appropriate toys that I know my kids will love and use. I then pass it on to anyone struggling for ideas.
In addition we try and encourage secondhand where possible. This is especially good for items like DUPLO - which both of my kids love. We will also do a small stocking but everything will be useful. Well, in my eyes anyway - such as road washi tape from Tiger, bath bombs and secondhand Schleich animals.
This new rule means we also have time at Christmas to play with each item, rather than that first Christmas where we had to open presents over a period of weeks. The amount received was overwhelming, just too much.
And, as for Santa? Well, they gift one small present, too! Another great one of our family Christmas traditions (opens in new tab) we're sticking to.
This year it’s a secondhand tutu we found, costing £4.50, retail price £65. Although our eldest believes Santa is a real person, she seems to have no issue with them also possibly being a woman dressed up.
Side note... I love that my daughter's nursery ask one of the female carers to be Santa every year. Christmas is already so gendered (gingerbread men, snowmen, Father Christmas) it’s nice to see some female icons around too. Though, we all know it will be hard to beat, Elsa.