Mum hits back at criticism for only spending £100 on each of her children at Christmas
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Christmas is coming up fast, which means you're most likely thinking about presents.
But while many of us spend hundreds, sometimes even thousands, on our nearest and dearest, one mum says she's not going overboard with it this year.
Samantha Mary, from Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, has put a strict limit on her kids' gifts.
Speaking about her plans for the festive period, the 35-year-old says she's only spending £100 on each of her two children, Jack, one, and nine-year-old step-daughter Isabella, so as not to 'spoil' them.
Samantha has budgeted £20 each for stocking fillers like shower gels and scrunchies, and £80 on the main presents.
The primary school teacher said: "We thought about how much we wanted to spend. I felt £100 was a realistic figure.
“Christmas is getting out of control. There is pressure to Christmas Eve boxes and elf on the shelf.
“It gets bigger and bigger. We want the children to be grateful for what they have.
“Less is more. We don’t want to over spoil the children.”
Samantha says she and her husband, Richard, 40, decided to tighten their belts this year, forgoing expensive designer brands for Amazon and Primark.
For example, their daughter's main gifts this year include a body warmer and a set of Lilo and Stitch pants and vests.
Jack, meanwhile, is set to receive a railway set and animal puzzles, among other things, from Santa.
“We're in a living cost crisis," she explains. "Things cost more.
“We're being conscious of what we spent.”
However, the couple's thrifty plan of attack has not gone down well with everyone.
After sharing her story online, Samantha says she's come in for a fair bit of criticism from other parents.
She claims: “There were a lot of people against it.
“I have put essential items like shower gel in the stockings.
“Christmas is about so much more.
“It’s about what the children want as well.”
Samantha says that she prefers to do things with her family rather than just lavish them with expensive presents and things.
And even if she could afford the best of the best, she doesn't think it's worth it.
“If you spend a lot of money that becomes an expectation," the mum adds.
“But it’s up to parents what they spent on their children.
“I have memories of the things we have done rather than the gifts.
“It’s about having that special day.”