Which is better, buying or making Christmas presents?

Gifts in front of Christmas tree

Gifts in front of Christmas tree - Credit: Getty Images

With just six windows left to open on the advent calendar before Santa calls I’m feeling fairly relaxed.

With just six windows left to open on the advent calendar before Santa calls I’m feeling fairly relaxed.

Everything on my slimmed down gift list has been bought or made and the bulk of the food shopping has been done - within budget.

I’ve even had enough time to ponder the question of how to have the best Christmas possible. Is it endless amounts of presents,

spending time with loved ones or listening to Noddy Holder belting out “It’s Christmas” at the top of his voice several times a day for

an entire month (I jest, of course)?

For Emma Tapping, a mum-of-three from the Isle of Man who found unwanted fame after a social media picture of the gifts under her Christmas tree went viral, it is, apparently, all about giving - in volume.

Most Read

The 27-year-old has been criticised for spending £1,500 on 300 presents for her children, the youngest of whom is just 19 months old.

But Emma is unrepentant, saying she starts shopping in the January sales and never pays full price for anything so she can give

her children “the best Christmas they can have”.

While I certainly don’t judge anyone for celebrating Christmas as they see fit I did find myself wondering if this really is the way to give children the “best Christmas they can have”.

This volume of gifts is so overwhelming as to be almost meaningless. What happens next year and the year after when she has to buy the same - or more - presents to satisfy the idea in her children’s minds that having the best Christmas they can have is about material gain? And what happens when they grow up to discover that there’s always another ‘thing’ to desire and actually none of it can, in itself, bring lasting happiness?

On another level, it’s sad for anyone to think they have to spend the year buying things to make their children happy.

I dread to think what my frugal Nana would say about this level of indulgence. She counted herself lucky to get an orange on Christmas Day when she was a child. And when I look back to my own childhood Christmases the memories I most treasure have nothing to do with the

presents I received. Perhaps that’s the real magic of Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you all, however you choose to spend it.

?sheena.grant@eadt.co.uk, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, tweet #ThriftyLiving

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter