Our single mother advice maven Tinzley Bradford weighs in with holiday love for less… And thanks to Frugalicious for the fab budget tips video below.
[dropcap]H[/dropcap]ello everyone!

Merry Christmas and I hope you’re working on a fabulous new you for the New Year. Does being a single parent have you all stressed out? Does the holiday season make it seem even worse? Let me share a nice secret with you. YOU’RE NOT SUPERWOMAN AND YOU CAN’T DO EVERYTHING. So only do the best that you can.

I know it’s easy to get overwhelmed when you feel like you’re doing it all by yourself, you have a heavy load on your shoulders and your  is depending solely on you to get them great Christmas gifts. The thing is, you don’t have an ‘everything they want’ kind of budget, but you don’t want to let them down.

Remember the holidays are not about material items. Be sure to teach your kids that it’s all about love and family. So what else do you do to meet your child’s needs without going nuts?
I have a few tips just for you!

1. Ask your child to provide a wish list that includes the top 5 items that they really want for Christmas, this will help minimize the stress of you feeling like you have so much to get on a little budget.

2.If you know you can’t get an item, don’t give false hope. Don’t say what you’re going to get them unless you’re sure. I say this because, while I’m sure it’s never intended to break a promise, kids can be pretty hurt if they don’t see what you said you were getting them under that tree. Even if they hold their pain in, they are probably sad and just may not want to offend you.

Instead of saying what you will get them, say you will try to get this or that item and just be honest. Keep in mind the amount of times you have given them all they wanted and sure they remember too. Don’t stress — just do your best!

3. Educate your child/ children on the true meaning of giving.

Take them to a local charity or children’s group home to do some volunteer work so they can see first hand how hard some kids have it and how they can give back to those who don’t have family or those who are in need.

This is sure to remind your child just how good they have it and how blessed they are even if they DON’T get every item on their Christmas list. They will see some kids unfortunately don’t get anything.

4. See if your in-laws are willing to chip in and get some of the items off your child’s Christmas list.

Depending on your relationship with your kid’s father or the family of your child’s father, this is a great way to still get as much as you can without using all your money.

Keep in mind once Christmas passes you are still that same single parent who has other financial obligations to meet. Don’t break the bank for Christmas trying to spoil your child, just do your best. Trust me; your child will still love you. Think of how much they already do.

5. Find cheaper methods to fill that wish list.

Example: if your child is into gaming which most of them are and they have asked for multiple games. Instead of spending $26.00 for one new College Football Video game at Best Buy, try going to Game Stop where you can get that same game pre-owned for half that price. Then you can even afford a second game as well.

That’s what I’ve done and trust me; most kids could care less about the packaging, they just want the contents. Try online shopping early too, you will be surprised how many items your child wants can be found on Amazon.com and many ship as fast as three to four days.

6. Be honest and just tell them you don’t have it. If you know there is no way you can make Christmas happen for them on time, just tell your kids Christmas will be a little late. If you can get one item then get it, and have that pep talk with your child.

Let them know that even though it may be late, it’s coming. If you have to get creative for the younger ones and say Santa got stuck in a snow bank while he was on his way then say that. But what ever you do, don’t let them wake up without knowing what or what NOT to expect on Christmas Day.

Trust me. Your kids have seen everything you’ve done for them single handedly over the years. I’m certain they will understand.

I can suggest having some fun games to play ready to kind of take their minds off of things. Also see if there are any cool inexpensive holiday events going on in your city like ice skating or a Christmas parade; take them there. Some events hand out free stuff for the kids. This way even if though they didn’t get a lot yet; they will still have a fun memorable Christmas day.

7.  See if you can put your name on the Toys for Tots list. Don’t be embarrassed; that’s what this organization does. They provide toys for children less fortunate. Just visit toysfortots.com to see what you need.

There you have it, dolls; my advice on how to make doing Christmas on a single mom’s budget not so horrific. I hope you were able to get some helpful tips that you can use and I thank you for stopping by.

I’d love to hear from you about some of the neat ways you’re getting your Christmas list done for your kids. I’m sure I can learn a few things, too. Find me on Twitter @tinzleyb.

Have a Merry Christmas!