Heartbroken mum forced to tell son she can't afford any Christmas presents this year
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With Christmas creeping ever closer, your thoughts may have turned to shopping lists and what you’re hoping to find under the tree on 25 December, but one mum has had to make the heartbreaking decision to tell her 10-year-old son that he won’t be getting presents this year as the cost of living soars.
You can hear her talk about her struggles here:
Christine Borton, 48, was left devastated after being forced to tell Dayjanta Samuels not to expect to get any gifts on Christmas Day as she simply cannot afford them.
Heartbreakingly, Christine said the youngster ‘wasn’t surprised’ because he ‘already knew’ that would be the case due to the family's dire financial situation.
Single-mum Christine has been struggling to pay her bills after she was left unemployed due to medical reasons and lost her job as a support worker last year.
Since then as the cost of living continues to rise, Christine has had to use food banks and Universal Credit to survive, but says it isn’t enough to cover the bills.
And with energy set to hit record highs this year, Christine had to make the tough decision to cut out Christmas presents this year.
Christine, who has two grown up children and lives with Dayjanta in Wednesbury, West Midlands, said: “Life is tough right now.
“I’m unable to cover all my outgoings, I can’t cover my basic needs never mind presents.
“I told Dayjanta about four weeks ago. I told him there wouldn’t be any presents. It broke my heart.
"He has been looking forward to a Christmas present but he realises now it won’t happen. I think in a way he already knew. It wasn't a surprise.
“He understands we don’t have the funds for it.
“He knows the situation, he doesn’t ask for sweets and ice-cream, he's pretty laid back and just says: ‘Don’t worry man’.
"I am very worried about the next few months. Dayjanta looks at the electric meter and keeps telling me how much we’ve used - he’s obsessed about our finances all the time.
"A 10-year-old kid shouldn't have to worry about that.
"My little one is looking at the gas and electric and screaming at the levels. Before you know it they need topping up and you can’t afford food.
“I’m even behind on my rent here already, there’s just not enough money."
Christine is concerned about the impact the situation has on her football-mad son, who dreams of one day becoming a professional and being able to support her.
“Dayjanta is football crazy,” she added. “Every Saturday we practice football at this place.”
“He always says he’s going to share his money with me, telling me all the things he’ll buy me.
“But he’s a worrier, he’s very concerned about what’s going off. But he doesn’t need to be worrying about all that at his age. It's hard right now but we will carry on."
If you've been affected by any of the issues in this story, you can find more information about where to get help from Turn2Us via their website