Mum's Christmas balloon hack helps when parents 'can't afford a pile of gifts'
Don’t let guilt buying send you into financial trouble this Christmas.
It’s natural for parents to worry that Christmas this year won’t be as magical as usual, whether because of coronavirus restrictions or because money difficulties mean the usual pile of presents won’t be possible.
But you really don’t need to spend a load of money to make the day special.
Learn from Hannah Stocker, a mum-of-two from Syston, Leicester.
Hannah shared a simple game she created last year when she was ‘felt guilty’ that she couldn’t give her sons loads of gifts.
She has posted the trick on Facebook to help other parents struggling this year.
‘We were struggling to buy presents so I was desperate to take the attention away from their small pile,’ Hannah tells Metro.co.uk. ‘When I thought of this idea it seemed like the perfect solution.’
The idea is simple. Hannah filled the living room with over 100 balloons, with coins inside some of them. The balloons containing money were each marked with the boys’ names, and Leo, 12, and Charlie, seven, were tasked with working together to find their balloons, pop then, and add up their money in their moneyboxes.
While most of the balloons had nothing in them, some had 20p coins and one had a surprise £5 note.
After popping their balloons and finding their money, the boys each had £50 in total – and had spent ages excitedly running around and having fun.
It’s a simple idea, but an effective one, as the balloons take up enough space to cover up a lack of massive presents.
And the trick was a huge hit, as Hannah says Leo and Charlie have asked for the same thing this year.
‘This year will be pretty much the same as last year because it worked so well,’ Hannah tells us. ‘We do decorate our house inside and out for others to enjoy and we also cover the lounge door with Christmas wrapping paper so that the boys have to break through it to see if Santa has been.
‘Santa is magic so he has a special way of getting into the lounge to drop of the boys gifts.
‘We do keep our fingers crossed and hope that he doesnt burst a balloon while he is here.’
Hannah shared her idea on the Family Lockdown Tips & Ideas Facebook group, where it has been flooded with comments from parents planning to try the game out with their children.
She recommends using eco-friendly balloons and getting a balloon pump, rather than blowing them up with just your breath.
‘I work for the NHS and I’m working Christmas day this year so we will have to get up earlier to enjoy the fun,’ says Hannah.
‘I try to teach the boys that presence is far more important than presents and hope they appreciate the love we have as a family.’
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