I have zero shame about the fact that I love Christmas, I love it hardcore. It has always been one of my favorite holidays. When we were kids every year on Christmas Eve we would get together at my grandparents house. My aunt made lasagna, we’d exchange gifts, we’d laugh and tease each other, and the memories are some of my favorite.
After my grandma passed away that all changed, partly due to the loss of our main force at Christmas, and because life dynamics changed. My family moved, older cousins started spending holidays with significant others, life changed. But my love of Christmas remained. Those memories still influence me to this day.
I love the magic of the season, the good feelings, the food, the joy. I’m totally over the commercialization of the holiday. I see so many memes and pictures about people putting themselves further into debt for Christmas. Ugh. Gross. Seriously, we have major goals for our life and putting ourselves further in debt does nothing for that.
Instead, we focus on finding small things that make us think of each other. We do homemade gifts, thoughtful ideas, things that are sappy and romantic. For my friends and family, I love to shop locally, find handmade items or creative gifts that fit into each other’s niche, and of course give lots of food gifts.
Start Shopping Sooner Rather Than Later
I pick up gifts all year round when I find them. If I can find something really cool on clearance or on sale it’s even better. I’ve got a few hiding spots that I put all my gifts in until it’s time to wrap them. When I’m at craft shows or vacations I pick up different goodies. My sister has a deck of cards from every place I’ve ever visited and I always hold onto them until Christmas time!
Make a Budget
The best way to stay on a budget is to have a budget in the first place. Too often people are overwhelmed when Christmas comes around and they never even put together a budget. Impulse shopping takes hold and then on Dec 26 you’re regretting your credit card bills.
Make a List
Know who you have to shop for and write out some ideas of what to get or make them. I make a two column list with ideas for homemade presents and for store bought. Then I keep an eye out for deals on the store bought items and materials if I’m making something for them.
Give Non-Traditional Gifts
Every year my favorite gift to give is the chocolate goodies that I give to my brother-in-law. It’s one of those gifts that started because I couldn’t really afford to do much else. Food gifts are great! Think outside the box. What are you good at? What is something you love to do? Find a way to make that a gift!
Do they really need another plastic toy, another tie they’ll never wear, another throwaway gift that they don’t actually want? Focus instead on something really meaningful. Something that you think will make them smile. Focus on quality over quantity. Do a gift exchange instead of giving gifts to every single cousin and second cousin. Set a price limit with extended family.
Don’t Give Any Gifts
Whoa, what?! Yes, that’s right. This holiday season the best thing you can do to stay on budget is not to give gifts. Give experiences instead, focus on the true meaning of the season, volunteer together, make things, craft, give your presence rather than presents.
Be sure to check out what my amazingly talented friends wrote on the topic of Christmas this week! They’ve got some great ideas for making Christmas more delicious and creative!!
6 Ideas to Stay on Budget for Christmas, Little Blog on the Homestead
Vanilla Bean Almond Cookies, An Aiming High Wife
Baked Corn Casserole, Cook. Craft. Love.
Gingerbread Loaf Cake, Goodie Godmother
Tomato Cage Christmas Tree, No Bohn’s About It
What are you going to do this holiday season to stay on budget? Do you usually do pretty good during the holidays or do you fall off track this time of year?