How to survive Christmas without going into debt

Because I've been forced to listen to commerical radio this week, I've heard lots of ads about how to survive Christmas.  Buy now, pay later schemes and all other manner of rip offs.  It took me a while to remember that this is what other people do - they rack up a mountain of debt buying things they don't want.

This are my tips for surviving Christmas without going broke:

If your kid asks for something like say a new Nintendo and you can't afford it, say NO.  

Is that a difficult concept to grasp?  It must be because most people don't seem to get it.  If you tell your kid you can't afford to buy them something they want, they aren't going to die.  The world isn't going to stop turning.  It's really okay.

When my son was young, I had no money.  Absolutely no money.  He didn't get fancy presents.  When he got older and I was working full time, he hadn't learnt to expect them.  If he wanted some big ticket item, he'd ask how much I could afford to contribute to it.  Then he'd save up his Christmas money and birthday money and pocket money - walking to school instead of catching the tram, which was better for his health anyway - until he had enough to buy it.

Most parents want to give their kids good presents.  They want to make precious Christmas memories.  I gave my son some common sense about money and the memory of having to save up and work for what you want in this life.  That's the greatest gift of all.