Top Christmas shopping tips from parents

trolley with huge bauble in itAsk parents about their best Christmas tips and the advice arrives like a Santa’s sack of treats.

Here, some of BritMums’ parents’ best tips:

How to shop smart at Christmas

  1. Save on online delivery charges by ordering together with other Mummy friends and splitting the cost @netbuddytoptips

2. Many gifts can’t be returned after a certain number of days, check the return policy before you buy @caro_mad

3. Get organized, don’t leave it til the last minute and end up running around buying things people don’t really want @mummymummymum

4. Online shopping all the way. Heating on. Glass of wine in hand, millions of retailers at your fingertips @babynotincluded

5. Use cash back sites for online shopping – often offering special discounts at this time of year @liveotherwise

6. Use vouchers & bonus points to pay for your Christmas shop @caro_mad

7. Look for interesting gifts everywhere! I find small things at corner shops, delis, etc. For example, an unusual candy bar for someone’s stocking or a funny little gadget for the car. It doesn’t all have to come from big shops @jhowze

8. Buy rechargeable batteries that are already charged to go with any battery toys and package them together with the present @liveotherwise

Budget shopping ideas for Christmas

9. Give friends a voucher for babysitting. It’s priceless! @mummymummymum

10. If you have a group of friends, put all names into the hat & select one! And set a limit @littlelillypadco

11. If you put £10 a week away all year it adds up to over £500 to spend on presents @MrsSmith

How to choose inventive Christmas gifts for kids

12. Do a snuggle sack on Christmas eve. Contains new slippers, pjs, books, a DVD, chocs, crackers, etc. It’s my kids’ fave thing @christinemosler

13. Me and my friends are heading to the charity shops/vintage warehouse to make up fancy dress kits in old suitcases for our 3-5 year olds @aresidence

14. Collections of books can be split between nephews/nieces, really good value @liveotherwise

Great edible gifts for Christmas

15. Make homemade hot chocolate in a recycled glass jar. Cocoa, sugar, dried milk & pretty ribbon & name @christinemosler

16. Buy a nice storage jar, layer it with ingredients for cupcakes, with a recipe on the tag and a wooden spoon and cake cases attached with ribbon @JennyPaulin

17. Gingerbread Stars stacked & tied with ribbon @octarinefire

18. Make homemade syrups @HomeBakedOnline

19. Fill handpainted mugs with sweets @villimummy

20. Go traditional with homemade mince pies @Urban_AngelsUK

21. Cook up a chutney @mothersright

22. My brother bought me a peach schnapps kit when our limit was £5. It just kept giving! @aresidence

Give in the spirit of the season

23. Make shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child with your children. Don’t forget those children who won’t have a present @RedRoseMummy


More Christmas ideas!

40 fun ways to gift a scratchcard this Christmas

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About Jennifer Howze

Jennifer Howze is the Creative Director and co-founder of BritMums. She blogs about family travel at, tweets at @JHowze and Instagrams at @JHowze. Previously, she wrote the Alpha Mummy blog at The Times and as a journalist has contributed to The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Wall Street Journal, Travel & Leisure, Budget Travel,, Allure, SELF and Premiere, among others. She won The Maggie Award from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America for a health article in Seventeen magazine.


  1. 23 March 2012 / 15:50

    I love your tip about using brown paper as wrapping paper. It’s actually so chic and is always available and when paired with a suitable colored ribbon can totally fit any occasion. My son loves to participate too.

    And number 8 – Online Shopping all the way – That is totally my mantra! Can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner. I just wrote on a blog on the top 5 reasons to shop online. Drop by for a read.