Wednesday, November 11, 2020 AnnMarie Brown 0 Comments

Dear Diary, 

Christmas can be a stressful time of year with the added pressure we put on ourselves to have the perfect Christmas for our family and friends. I am definitely the person that has put a lot of pressure on myself to have a lovely Christmas for my family. I believe it is because my love language is giving. I love to give gifts and do things for others. It wouldn't matter if there were no gifts under the tree for me I just love watching others get gifts. The joy on their face and look in their eyes truly makes me happy.

I thought I would share some of the things I have done over the years to create a wonderful and frugal Christmas for my family over the years. 

Buy what you can afford - Find that special gift that is in your budget range. You do not have to spend a lot of money to let those you love know you are thinking of them. Now that my children are older we have decided to draw names with a $40 limit on the gift for that one person. We only have to buy that one gift for the name we pulled.

Buy useful gifts - For my children I know from past gift-giving that giving gifts that can be used over and over again is the way to go. I tend to stay away from novelty items because my children never really played with that toy over and over. 

Make food gifts - People on your list are busy and finding time to bake for the holidays is not something they have time to do. A lot of people do not like baking so blessing them with something homemade helps them and also gives their family a tasty treat.

Shop the clearance rack - remember to shop the clearance rack all year long. You can get some great toys for amazing prices at any time of the year. If you are in Canada I have found that Dollarama has had some great name brand toys for $4 and under. Perfect gifts for children. Not to mention they have amazing stocking stuffers at great prices. 

Make crochet or hand-knitted items - if you have the skills of crocheting and knitting use them to make gifts for the holiday season. You can make slippers for everyone on your list or some dishcloths to wash your dishes with put the item you made into a basket and add some chocolate or special soaps and you have a beautiful gift. These are my personal favorites. 

Start shopping as soon as Christmas is over - this won't help you this year but it is something to keep in mind for next year. Pick up your wrapping paper on clearance as well as any decor you spotted while shopping for Christmas gifts this year. It is definitely going to be on sale after Christmas.

Christmas activities - Look online and in your local newspaper or on Facebook for fun free activities to do with your family. I know we go for drives and walk parks that are lit up. Sometimes we stop for hot cocoa if it is in the budget or bring it with us from home. Bake some cookies before you go and surprise your family with them in the car as a treat as you look at the lights.

Don't focus on what others are doing - Try to set the traditions that are important to you and stop focusing on what others around you are doing and getting for their family members. Last week a posted 5 budget-friendly Christmas traditions if you are looking for some new budget ideas.

Give Experiences - Experience gifts are also a big hit but due to the current restrictions, you might want to alter the experience gift to something that is currently available to do. I know things are limited right now so be wise with your purchases.

Please share in the comments what you do to help keep the cost of Christmas down. 

Until next time,