Mum Saves Money For Christmas By Offering Kids 'The Gift Of Time' Instead Of Presents
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Christmas is a time of giving, as the old saying goes, but one mum has taken that term and created her own money-saving interpretation of it.
Hayley Parker, 34, has decided that buying gifts is a waste of money, and has offered her kids the gift of their time instead - hoping to show them that material items and money are not the key to happiness.
Last Christmas, she surprised her kids Daisy, eight, and Freddie, four, when instead of wrapped up presents, she gave them a letter explaining her plan.
The nursery nurse and her husband Barney, 40, gave the children 12 envelopes each containing a family day out or experience.
Hayley, from Patrington in Holderness East Yorkshire, said: "As I was thinking of what to get the children last year I felt that they already had plenty of toys and couldn't think of what we should get them.
"I just knew I wanted to create lovely memories for our family and it has been fabulous and it gives the kids something to look forward to each month. It's the gift that keeps on giving.
"After each outing I create a little photo montage so we can see all we have done together. The beauty of this is that it is actually things we would have done anyway, but it makes more of an event of it and makes up appreciate it.
"You could make your gifts as cheap or expensive as you like, I'll try and do free things when I know money will be tight - like after Christmas or our summer holiday.
"I even timed one of our trips for when we were in Cornwall this year. The kids have loved it so much that this year Daisy has asked for it again and that's a win in my book. I have been thinking all year of the things I would like to include for next year.
"I am organised - it's the best way to save money - but it could even be done by someone less organised by putting ideas into the envelope when the time comes."
So instead of getting them toys that will end up covered in dust by March, the family have been spending more quality time together, doing things like going on an autumn welly walk, watching a sunset at Lands End and having games and movies nights with pizza.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS