With November almost behind us it's time for us to accept that Christmas is just around the corner - Ok, so I know a lot of you may have accepted that already, you may have had your tree up since mid November or you might be singing carols in the shower but, me, well until December arrives I'm a little reluctant to get in to the festive spirit.
That said, there's one part of the season that I embrace early, and that's the part which has me buying up bargains from October time so that the present buying aspect isn't sprung on me mid December, so that I can spread the cost and so that I can feel like I'm not going to go loopy when I run out of ideas and 'Arg it's nearly here!'.
This year we've still only got Ethan and Skye to buy for (littles wise) but with our impending third child very much on the horizon (eek only 13 weeks to go until due date!) I've really been thinking about how we'll have to deal with Christmas in the coming years. Oliver is going to, without a doubt, inherit a lot of toys from his big brother, but it'll still be nice to make sure he has some new things, of his own, when the festive period comes around.
When House of Fraser asked me to look at some gift ideas from their toys section I took it as an opportunity to show how you really can cater for your growing family without becoming destitute. And I think you'll agree I managed to do quite well for a spot over £30 (£30.20 to be precise).
For Skye I picked this Ella Doll - With baby Oliver as an imminent addition to our family she's started showing a bigger interest in baby dolls so I thought this was a lovely way for her to have practice giving cuddles and pushing a doll around in the toy buggy we have here, on her visits. The Ella doll has a soft body with plastic arms, leg and head which makes her lovely for cuddling but also with quite a realistic baby look. Her eyes close when you lay her down, and one of her thumbs fits in her mouth which is rather cute. For £10 I think this is rather a good bargain, and I think we'll have a very happy girl when she opens her gifts on her weekend here, following Christmas.
For Ethan I picked up this Star Wars 'Destroyer Droid' figure and two Minecraft Mystery Minis. Both of these items are, unfortunately, out of stock at the moment but it's well worth checking out what other fantastic toys are available from other such popular franchises (There's some awesome Minecraft figure sets and Star Wars toys are really popular at the moment due to the upcoming release) and keeping an eye out for when these come back in to stock.
The Destroyer Droid was an absolute bargain at £5, in the sale, and the Minecraft minis make a sweet little stocking filler at £4 each. I know, I'm a naughty Mummy, I opened the minis without him, but rather than saving them for stocking fillers I realised these would be great to take the place of some chocolates in the advent calendar that Grandma has made him so they needed to be open for that (thankfully we didn't get any duplicates for the ones we've already got).
Lastly I picked up these two, brightly coloured, toys for Oliver. I know he doesn't need them This Christmas but they're a great example of affordable toys you can get for a little one's first Christmas. I've never heard of Playgro before but they're definitely a brand to keep an eye out for as the toys seem really well made and I love the different moving parts, bright colours and different sounds and textures.
Sadly I can't link to these as they're no longer on the site (This really is the time of year where you've got to snap up bargains asap!) but I'd definitely recommend checking out the baby section, and if you see this brand at all they're well worth looking at. The shaker was £3.20 in the sale and the ball was £4 in the sale.
So that's what I got for my £30.20. And that's just a small example of the sorts of things that you can pick up from sites/stores such as House of Fraser; even though it's normally a place I equate to high end, they do have bargains too! Your first Christmas with a new addition may be daunting if you're shopping on a budget, but don't give up hope, there's always a bargain to be found so just take your time and buy in advance and you'll be sure to be able to cater for your growing family without breaking the bank.