Christmas is a brilliant time of year. It’s full of great food and wonderful family memories that you cherish forever but it’s also notorious for being expensive! Not just a little expensive either – Christmas has always been extremely harsh on your wallet for all sorts of different reasons. Well it’s time to say no to the overly expensive Christmas.
Obviously, there are some costs that hard to keep down like food for the family but there are some expenses we simply don’t need, and it’s time to expose them – starting with the biggest culprit; gifts.
Fundamentally, Christmas is symbolic and religious, but it’s celebrated by all sorts of different people across the globe and at its new central point is the gift giving. Receiving gifts is incredibly enjoyable, as is buying them! Knowing that what you’ve bought a close friend or a family member will put a smile on their face is a very fulfilling but equally, it’s a drain on your wallet. The worst part is that we tend to feel bad if we haven’t spent ‘enough’ on a gift, whether that be time, effort or cash.
If you’re trying to make Christmas a little cheaper, there are a few ways to compromise without feeling guilty. The first and most common method is the use of a budgeting system. Ask everyone in the family or friendship group to agree on spending a specific amount of money per gift; this will put a cap on your gift buying figures. The second option is to use a Secret Santa system, where each participant only has to buy a gift for one member of the group. The third way is to craft the gifts that you’re giving instead of buy them. There are plenty of DIY Christmas gifts that you can create for a low price, it’s simply about researching and discovering.
You can even save money on what you put inside the stockings of your younger family members. Stocking fillers don’t need to be expensive, there are plenty of smaller ideas that are equally charming and fun. Remember, they’ll be getting a large gift later!
Moving onto the organisational equipment, Christmas regularly demands a lot from your kitchen and dining room. First you have to think about cooking all the food, then laying the table in an attractive way and fitting everyone in – it all becomes a bit of a challenge.
In terms of the kitchen, try to decide exactly what you need and what you already have. Remember, all you truly need is the essentials like bowls, plates and serving spoons. There’s no need to splash out on new versions of everything.
When it comes to laying the table itself, the best way is to borrow or collect items from family members that you’re missing. Unless you’re set on ensuring that every aspect of your Christmas dinner table is of the same style, borrowing from attending family should help you cater for all. If you’re worried about not having enough glassware, try LSA’s selection. LSA glassware is some of the best on the market and it’s bound to last until next year unless your clumsy.
Finally, the living room. This is usually where the present opening occurs, as well as the Christmas movie watching and general family bonding. If you’re having visitors, consider borrowing chairs from neighbours or friends who aren’t going to be using theirs. If you can’t find any and absolutely must buy some more, consider directors chairs (as their easy to fold away) or head to a charity shop and find something second hand.
You can even save money on your Christmas tree. Some of the minimalist Christmas trees that have been covered on the blog make for charming substitutions that cost significantly less than a fresh one.
Prepare for a Thrifty Christmas
All it takes to have a thrifty Christmas is a little research and a willingness to change your traditional ways of doing things. Create some new memories and some new experiences by changing the way you do the biggest festival of the year. There’s no doubt that it’ll be just as great without the extra purchases.
See more thrifty Christmas tips at Baby Budgeting and if you are planning on staying in at New year you might like my post on Easy Ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve with your Kids