[Photo credit: Mike Fleming]
Christmas is a little over a month away and the department stores are stacked full of Christmas goodies and decorations. The seed is being planted to let you know that it’s time to start spending. Is there a better way though? Can you give to your loved ones and not spend a fortune?
I’ve been raving on about planning lately. All of my most recent posts, from finances to relationships, seem to have a foundation set around planning. It’s no secret that the best way to save money at Christmas is to buy your Christmas goodies and presents during the sales the year before. That’s all well and good for next year but what about this year?
Holly asked me what I thought about buying everyone’s presents this year during the post-Christmas sales and having a post-Christmas celebration to exchange gifts. This would allow us to simply enjoy Christmas for what it is and not get caught up in the marketing side of it all. While it sounds like a good plan, I’m still not entirely convinced.
Here’s how I believe you can save money and make this Christmas the most memorable one yet.
How To Make This Christmas The Best One Yet
- Do a secret Santa.
We have a fairly big family. Holly and I have five children and we’re both from local families. We see a lot of aunts, uncles and cousins (each with their own brood of kids) on Christmas day. A few years ago, we decided to adopt the secret Santa idea. On our traditional day of making the pudding in mid December, each of us cousins and our partners, draw out names of which family we will buy for. This makes Christmas preparation so much easier as we have a limit to spend on each family and only have to buy for one cousin and their immediate family.
- Make your own.
For those who weren’t organised last year (like me), or had the spare money immediately after Christmas (also, like me) to buy a whole other round of gifts, try making your own. Home-made gifts are so much more special. Even home-made goodies like bon-bon’s, serviettes and lolly Christmas trees for decoration, make Christmas all that more special.
- Buy local.
Finding time to make presents at this time of year is difficult. I live in a town that is known for it’s markets. In addition to the regular markets, at this time of year, there are temporary stalls set up in shopping malls and dedicated craft fairs. These stalls and craft fairs sell some amazing hand-made gifts and you can get some very unique and exclusive presents.
Buying your Christmas presents from market stalls and craft fairs helps to support your local community. Wait to spend your money in big chain department stores after Christmas, when you can get good deals.
- Plan for next year.
With all that money you saved this Christmas, put some of it to good use by planning for next year. Purchase anything you might like or need for next year during the post-christmas sales. Wrapping paper, for example, is super cheap after christmas. If you know you’re definitely NOT going to make your own wrapping paper next year, pick up a few rolls for cheap.
Despite the growing materialism of Christmas, you can actually enjoy Christmas more for less. Home-made and hand-made gifts help remember the true meaning of Christmas. Buying from local artists and suppliers helps to support your local community.
How do you make Christmas meaningful without breaking the bank?
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