A mum has revealed she’s been for trolled for spending £100 apiece on her son and stepdaughter’s Christmas presents – but says she doesn’t want to ‘spoil’ them.
Samantha Mary, 35, from Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, decided to set a budget for main presents and stocking gifts this Christmas for her one-year-old son, Jack, and nine-year-old step-daughter, Isabella.
She spent £20 on stocking presents – filling them with items including scrunchies, car toys, and shower gel – and £80 on main presents.
Her son is getting a railway set and toys for his play kitchen, while she found her step-daughter an art set and a Lilo and Stitch vest and pants.
The mum said some parents on TikTok labelled her presents as ‘essentials’ not gifts.
But Samantha says they are things she knows her children will love and doesn’t want to ‘spoil’ them.
Samantha, a primary school teacher, said: ‘We thought about how much we wanted to spend. I felt £100 was a realistic figure.
‘Christmas is getting out of control. There is pressure to Christmas Eve boxes and Elf on the Shelf.
‘It gets bigger and bigger. We want the children to be grateful for what they have.
‘Less is more. We don’t want to over spoil the children.’
Samantha decided to set a budget this year with husband, Richard, 40, who works in local government.
She said: ‘We’re in a living cost crisis. Things cost more. We’re being conscious of what we spend.’
During September and October she picked up the presents from supermarkets, Primark and Amazon.
For her son’s stocking she bought biscuits, a water bottle, chalks, a bouncy ball, a book, a puzzle and a vehicle set.
For her step-daughter, Samantha has bought some scrunchies, biscuits, shower gel, a Christmas cup, sweets, stamper set, hair clips, and a Lilo and Stich brush.
For their main presents – Samantha bought an art set for her step-daughter for £30, a body warmer, some Lilo and stitch pants and vests, a Disney bag, a pair of fluffy leggings and a hat.
She found her son a railway set, toys for his kitchen set, a book, animal puzzles, bouncing bunnies, Play-Doh and blocks.
Samantha was really happy with her purchases but was slammed by other parents on TikTok.
She said: ‘There were a lot of people against it. I have put essential items like shower gel in the stockings.
‘Christmas is about so much more. It’s about what the children want as well.’
Samantha said she wouldn’t choose to splurge on something like an iPad for Christmas or have a high budget for their gifts – even if she could afford to.
She said: ‘If you spend a lot of money that becomes an expectation. But it’s up to parents what they spent on their children.’
Samantha said she prefers to spend time with her children doing fun activities in the build up to Christmas – such as seeing the Christmas lights.
She said: ‘I have memories of the things we have done rather than the gifts. It’s about having that special day.’
Samantha’s step daughter’s presents
Stocking gifts costing £20
Biscuits- Shower gel- Crazy foaming soap- Christmas cup- Stamper set- Sweets- Hair clips- Lilo and stitch brush- Scrunchies
Step daughter’s main presents
Lilo and stitch pants and vests
Pair of fluffy leggings
Samantha’s son’s presents
Stocking gifts costing £20
Festive friends biscuits- Christmas cup- Water bottle- Chalks- Bouncy ball- Socks- Book- Vehicle set- 3 piece puzzle
Her son’s main presents