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Ideas for a Budget Friendly Christmas


Having Christmas on a budget isn’t as easy as it sounds but you can have a wonderful Christmas and ease the financial burden too.  The following are some steps to take to ensure your Christmas is a special one.

Talk to family about the costs and gifts. Sit down and make decisions about limits on gifts. This is especially important in large families where the costs of buying a gift for every member of the family can soon add up. Seek agreement that you’ll only spend so much per person.

  • If you’re really strapped, a decision to only give gifts to the children can sometimes ease budget constraints.
  • One way to spend less on presents is to have each family member bring one present and then to Play the “Goofy Gift Exchange” Christmas Game or Play Santa’s Present.
  • Remind everyone that thoughtfully chosen gifts are more important than expensive ones.

Hold a “catch-up” Christmas. If your family overdid the spending last Christmas and your budget is still really stretched, consider not spending for one Christmas. One non-spending Christmas will ensure that your budget catches up. There are still a lot of things you can do to celebrate Christmas without spending money:

  • Make a nice meal, not an expensive one. Look at old cookbook recipes for thrifty Christmas cooking.
  • Make homemade gifts from recycled and inexpensive items.
  • Don’t buy any new decorations and either use a live tree in a planter from your garden, or an artificial tree kept in your storage.

Make your own Christmas gifts. Use the skills you’re best at, such as knitting, crocheting, woodwork, sewing, decoupage, putting together a basket, cooking, etc. A small selection of ideas:

Cut out unnecessary items. There are a lot of items that aren’t needed and are unnecessary waste at Christmas time. Save your money and finite resources by not including them in your Christmas celebrations. Examples include:

  • Ribbons, bows, fancy tape, stickers, etc., are usually tossed away.
  • Plastic tablecloths with Christmas designs. Either use plain colored tablecloths from your linen cupboard or go without.
  • Don’t spend massive amounts of money on outside lights, keep it to a minimum and inside lights should be left off at all times when no-one is in the room, this saves on energy bills.

Get everyone to pitch in with both resources and effort. If there are people coming to your house for Christmas dinner, assign them tasks to help out. At the very least, ask them if they want to bring anything; this takes the pressure off you and generally, people do want to bring something and contribute in meaningful ways.

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Just a few ideas to help ease the burden if you’re in a pinch and need to find a way to save.

If you’re traveling this year for the holidays and are looking to stay somewhere special.  Why not check out some of our budget-friendly cabins.