Saving Money During the Holidays
If you’ve even seen the movie “A Christmas Story” you’re aware in those days they didn’t have five hundred dollars worth of misc stuff for each person under the tree.
The gift list was pretty simply a Red Rider BB Gun and if you’re lucky a pink bunny pajama set would complete the list. A few odds and ends of course, the movie accurately portrayed the era before true commercialism took over.
These days the Christmas spirit has been overwhelmed by commercialism. Most parents feel they need to fill up the bottom of the Christmas tree until the presents are flowing out from under it around the corner and out the front door. Everyone simply must have the new Wii, Xbox 360, Laptop computers, etc… It’s just too much and it costs too much.
If we could just get back to what the Holiday Season is truly about we would all enjoy it so much more. Instead it’s
become a stress event where we seem to feel that we must max out the credit cards and spend all of our money buying more and more stuff we simply don’t need.
What if this year we go back in time?
What if this year instead of making the holiday season about stuff, it becomes about family & friends good times and the giving spirit. Giving of our time and visiting, simply enjoying this time of year?
Can we do anything to make Christmas truly special and come out of it with our pocket books in tact?
Some suggestions that may work to save money and enjoy the Christmas season.
Make your own Christmas decoration with the kids. You can create a number of fun decorations with inexpensive art supplies and things around the house.
Every year we make it a point to head over to Michaels Art Supply Store and purchase a number of small plaster blank ornaments with little Santas, ornaments, Christmas trees, etc. These decorations run around .20-.50 cents a piece and with a 3.00 or 4.00 in painting supplies you can truly have hours and hours of fun with the family. Turn on the Christmas music to set the mood.
Christmas Craft Projects
During the Holiday season my brother Jerry always keep a collection of Christmas music playing softly in the background. With the Christmas tree set up and some coffee and hot chocolate for the kids and some casual conversation this can truly create a special Christmas spirit. If you have a fireplace make sure to start a nice little fire as well.
Free Christmas Music
Offering hand made gifts is an excellent way, not only to save money but to create a lasting impression and true appreciation for the season. If someone goes out of their way to create a special gift for another, it truly says something.
Every year both my sister and my niece spend a good deal of time creating gift packages of hand made candy and other treats. They make peanut brittle, chocolate covered toffee, peanut butter balls and more as gifts to the family.
Hand Made Christmas Gift Ideas Christmas Recipes
Whether you have the financial means or you have some extra time, consider doing some volunteer work at the local shelter, or helping a needy family. The smallest things can help make a big difference in someones life. After all isn’t that what Christmas is all about?
Holiday Volunteering Ideas
If you enjoy cooking you may want to prepare a special meal for others as your gift. Give a coupon to a friend “This is good for one free meal at your home at the time of your choosing. Merry Christmas!
Sending a special hand made christmas card to your loved ones is a wonderful idea for the holiday season. For the same price as a hallmark card you could buy the art supplies you would need to send 5 hand made cards.
Handmade Christmas Cards
Gift baskets are another a wonderful gift that people truly enjoy and they can be filled with just about anything. Many of those items can be hand made as well.
About the Christmas Tree
If you happen to live in an area surrounded with forest many areas will allow you to cut down your own tree. In our area the fee is only 5 dollars.
Imagine a day out with the family a long Sunday drive looking for that perfect tree. That evening you bring in the the Christmas tree and set it up with special handmade ornaments perhaps stings of popcorn. Just imagine it with some Christmas music and candy. Maybe some fine cheese spread and crackers and a bowl of nuts and a nut cracker.
Enjoy the season for the sake of the season and try not to get wrapped up in the commercialism. Enjoy your family and friends, enjoy the crafts and cooking. Light some candles, hang some decorations and put your troubles aside.