How to have a frugal Christmas – 7 tips for a cheaper festive season
Christmas can be a very stressful time for some families. The pressure to please your children. The constant temptation of buying things that we don’t really need, when we are already stressed financially. Christmas can just add more stress. Having a frugal Christmas doesn’t mean that you or your family have to miss out either!
And if you are anything like me, you also struggle with the full carparks, the crowded shops and the long queues. For some people, this can even bring on panic attacks and anxiety!
But it doesn’t have to be like this anymore. If you want to save a few pennies and have a frugal Christmas then there are a few simple things you can do to alleviate the mental and financial stress of Christmas.
7 ways to have a frugal Christmas this year
1 Boycott plastic
Tell your kids you have decided to do your part in saving the planet and will not be adding any more plastic to the house this year! While helping your sanity in doing this, you are also helping our planet immensely! A win-win if you ask me!
2 Roast chicken for Christmas dinner?
If you are struggling financially and haven’t saved for Christmas then a roast chicken dinner with some cheap Christmas crackers and an extra nice pudding can be just as nice as a ham or turkey with all the Christmas trimmings.
3 Make your own decorations
Why not make your own decorations this year. If you are frugal like me you’ll just make do with what you’ve got in the Xmas box from previous years. Or if you are feeling crafty, some simple google searches will soon show you how to make some great and effective handmade Christmas decorations with a bit of wrapping paper and stuff you find around the house. The kids usually bring some decorations home from school too to help add to the flare.
4 Handcrafted gifts are cheaper and mean so much more
Why not consider making some homemade gifts this year. They usually work out so much cheaper, better quality and means so much more for the recipient. You could make your own soy candles, handmade soap or a lip balm.
5 It’s not all about size
Let’s go with the Tiny House Movement and go Tiny! I mean… a tiny Christmas tree! The smaller the tree, the less decorations you need and the bigger the presents look. Win-win for everyone in my book!
6 Gifts for all the family…or not
There are lots of different ways families get together and celebrate Xmas. And it can be costly when you have 10 nieces and nephews and 10 Aunties and Uncles!
Instead of buying a gift for every single person, hold a family meeting and come up with an agreed alternative.
Here are some scenarios that we have used in the past and may work for your family:
Secret Santa – You probably already know this one well, but there are a few different versions to the Secret Santa game that you can try to add some flare to the day!
Classic Lucky Dip – where everyone brings one present each to the family gathering and puts it in the Santa Sack or box. (Value of gift previously agreed upon). It could be something homemade, second hand, chocolates or a quirky novelty present. Then you all take turns to pick out a present. You could do one for all the kids and a separate one for all the adults.
Spice things up and turn it into a game! A variation to the Secret Santa game for the adults is when the next person who chooses a present, after unwrapping may decide to swap their present with someone else in the circle! A present can change hands up to three times and can make for a lot of fun!
Buy for one family member only – Pick a name out of the hat, keeping it secret and you buy a gift for that one person only. Again, as a family, you agree upon the value of the gifts.
Something from home only – This is where you find something nice in your home that you could use as a gift for someone else. An old candlestick or unused candle, a nice photo frame or perhaps a pot plant. You can use the same Secret Santa game or the variation of it and have loads of fun giving gifts that didn’t cost a thing!
7 To tell…or not to tell.. the truth about Santa
When our children were young, we would fill under the Christmas tree with crappy cheap presents. I am older and wiser now and it wasn’t long before we introduced the fact that Santa would leave “one” present under the tree (instead of the usual 5 or so).
How many presents do your children get from Santa? Perhaps it’s time to tell them the truth – once they know about Santa then you don’t need to buy those presents anymore!