When I was little, and I got invited to birthday parties by school friends, my mum enforced a strict £5 present buying maximum. Note the use of the word ‘maximum’. Sometimes, we didn’t even reach the full fiver. And if I wanted to top it up, which I didn’t, but if I did, that was on me and my pocket money. Hence, I didn’t ever top it up.
By the time I had kids of my own, I realised that things had moved on some 30-odd years, and I adjusted spend accordingly to a £10 maximum for any child under the age of 11, apart from very close friends and family. It wasn’t until The Photographer became aware of my policy, purely by chance one day (I think I may have foolishly asked him to put some money into a card as I had to rush out – error), that I even realised there was a problem. Oh, he was outraged! Did I know, he asked, what an insult £10 was? Well, I didn’t dare tell him about my five-pound policy regarding any child of nursery school age *insert see no evil and speak no evil monkey emojis somewhere here* so, shhh…let’s keep that strictly between us.
Subsequently, I have upped the present fund to somewhere between £10 and £15 pounds. I refuse to go any higher for now, because by the time you’ve fronted the cash for the 10 to 20-odd kids (state/private school class size and popularity-dependent) that your child has to provide a birthday present for and multiplied that amount by the number of children that you have, you’re talking at least one pair of these:
or a few of pairs of these Air & Grace corkers :
or a couple of pairs of these Grenson beauties in tan and metallic silver:
In other words, a fair bit of change!
So, to illustrate that I’m not just a total skinflint and that birthday gifts can be frugal and fantastic, here are some things that you can buy for someone else’s child for a tenner or less…and all can be ordered from the comfort of your own laptop. You’re welcome.
KemiKids – @kemikids
BOLD slogan tee from KemiKids – currently only £6.00. Kids always need clothes. And when the clothes are stylish, both child and parent should be even more grateful. This tee is currently available in two sizes: 3-4 and 5-6, so this is one for the younger or more slight kids. It’s 100% organic cotton and totally gender neutral. KemiKids is an online shop, run by amazing mama, Yvonne, and specialising in affordable accessories that inspire women to feel great about themselves. These tees extend this focus on self-worth to the little ones. And, while you’re browsing the shop for stuff for the kids, you might as well congratulate yourself for doing something for the kids by doing something for yourself in the form of an incredibly affordable purchase. Win!
Made by Lowie – @madebylowie
Mini superhero hand painted wooden peg dolls – £4.00 each. Grab a couple for less than a tenner. Add some more if you really like the child. And, if you start early enough, say, age 3 or 4, you can add to the collection every year and the dolls will still be relevant by the time the child is 7. Handmade in London by another lovely mama, the range also includes Super girl, Wonder Woman and Batgirl. For those little ones who are into slightly gentler play, there are also mini fairy tale princesses and the obligatory Elsa and Ana (of Frozen fame) too. Everyone catered for. Win!
Acorn & Pip – @acornandpip
My First Newspaper Editor-in-Chief – £6.00. Know any young, budding journalists? Don’t want them to become the next Rebekah Brooks (boo!) or Kelvin MacKenzie (hiss!)? Want to show them that news can be interesting even without a private investigator getting involved? This is the gift for them. Brought to you from the creative minds at German design agency, Donkey, via UK-based and mama-run online shop, Acorn & Pip and with “peace and quiet for parents included as a free insert”, what is not to love? Win!
Kishem – @kishemworld
Kishem & Ko Inspirational Colouring and Story Book For All Children – £5.00. Brought to you by family run company Kishem, a combination of the names of the young sisters who created this book: Kemi and Kiisha. These problem-solving sisters realised that there was a shortage of books, especially colouring books, that represented them and their school friends, so… *insert lightbulb emoji*…they made their own! They believe that all children have something special about them and hope that this book helps them to realise that they are really cool and that they can do anything. Because representation matters, I think that’s another win!
Pretend it’s 1987. Gift the child the opportunity to count out their age with an equivalent number of shiny, pound coins. Child’s parents will probably side-eye you and your offspring like crazy next time they see you, but it will totally make sense to the birthday boy or girl, as well as doubling as a counting game. Educational and frugal. Win! (N.B. I suggest only practising this up until the age of 10)
So, there you have it, my top five, in no particular order. But, I’m sure there are more. So, I would love to know if you have any other birthday present ideas that don’t break the bank. Plus, it doesn’t cost a single penny to share using the comments below*
*well, technically it may actually cost quite a bit because you may be paying for the Wi-Fi or the 3G/4G to get you onto the internet and therefore onto my blog, plus the electricity to power your laptop, tablet or smart phone plus you may be sitting in a room with the light on, unless you are in some kind of internet café or coffee shop or other establishment that provides free internet access… then there is your time, which is priceless, but you know what I mean… *insert cheeky wink emoji here*
THIS BLOG POST IS NOT AN ADVERT FOR ANY OF THE BUSINESSES ABOVE. ALL OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN, ARE HUMBLE AND ARE COMPLETELY HONEST. I HAVE NOT BEEN OFFERED ANYTHING BY ANYONE TO SAY A GODDAMN THING! I’M JUST BEING LOVELY AND INCREDIBLY HELPFUL x