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Christmas is a time of giving and togetherness, but how or what do you give if you have little or no money?
This year Christmas will be a bit different for us. My husband has taken a new job and our income will change a bit in the coming months. With the job change, today’s economy and the rising prices of most goods I have decided to pull the reins in on the Christmas spending.
I have always wanted to have a homemade, buy local, crafty Christmas and it looks like this year will be the year. Over the years we have decreased the number of people we buy gifts for opting instead for spending time with the people we care about. Time catching up, enjoying a good meal together. Christmas is a time of togetherness.
Christmas Name Draw
In years past we have taken part in name draws for gifts. In this case you put all the names of the attendees to your Christmas function in a hat and everyone draws a name. You would do this months prior to your party. You then set a price limit and you purchase one gift to bring to Christmas dinner. This saves money, time and generally you put more thought into that one gift than if you had to buy twenty other gifts for everyone at the party. If you are doing a name draw, you could have one draw for the adults and another for the children or mix it up.
Dollar Store Christmas
I have also heard of people doing a dollar store Christmas. Where you set a five dollar limit for all your gifts and the rules imply they have to be purchased from the dollar store. You will be surprised what you can purchase at the dollar store. I would love to be on the receiving end of a dollar store gift that includes books or stationary or jars or organizers. I know my husband would gladly accept anything from the tool or automotive section in the dollar store. Our son, well he would gladly have toys, crafts, books and holiday items from the dollar store.
Homemade gifts and bake goods are always great gifts. Yummy cookies or fudge, only the kind Grandma could make. I know people who would prefer homemade gifts over big box store bought items. I make jars of vanilla pears every year and I have a friend who would gladly accept one or two jars with a big red bow on them over a store bought gift. Every year I visit a craft fair and purchase pre-made soup mixes to put into presents. This year I am kind of hoping with my fingers crossed that someone in our family will continue my Grandmothers cookie baking and fudge making. Simple things like this is what makes Christmas for me.
Give The Gift Of Experience
Instead of giving gifts opt for experiences, spend time with someone. You could teach the receiver of your experience gift a skill such as baking, knitting, crafting or etc. Spend an evening or afternoon out together, going to the movies, the zoo, the aquarium or go for coffee and chat. I know that some parents would prefer a gift of experience than another toy for their children. You could go bowling, fishing, mini golfing or help pay for a class they want to take. Give the gift of time.
Buy Them Something They Need
Instead of spending money on shiny must have items for your family give them the gifts they need. Do your adult children need help with babysitting? Does your college student need books, life essentials or food? Could your Grandparent use some freezer meals or cookies? Does anyone need socks, mittens or books. Could you save money on gifts by purchasing gently used vintage items from the thrift store? Children grow quickly and can always use clothes.
You can have a frugal Christmas with little or no money you just need to set a budget and figure out what people truly want and need. Christmas is about togetherness.
Have an amazing day.