Monday, November 24, 2008

How to spend less this Christmas

Like most of you, we are scaling things down this holiday season. My husband really wants a new Christmas tree. Instead we are going to use an old tree of my mom's. The big, nice trees are really pricey. I had no idea until we went shopping a few weeks ago.

We do a gift swap most years. We are doing that again. We are also spending less on each person-I hope! My husband is very generous so he likes to go overboard. However, that's not a good idea for us right now.

I am also having the kids make some gifts. We do this every year. I can't say what we have planned for this year because some the recipients check out this site from time to time. But last year we bought fleece material and made scarves. They turned out really cute and only cost a few dollars a piece. You cut one yard into four strips and then cut the ends a little bit to create a fringe look. We also made ornaments. I bought clear, glass ornaments and glass paint. All you do is pour different colors of paint into the bulb, shake them and let them dry. Those were fun, but messy!

I am also thinking about buying some used toys from Ebay. We could certainly get a lot more for the money and my kids are young enough that they won't know the difference. I don't know, but something's gotta give.

From ABC: The holiday shopping season gets under way later this week. Some people may feel guilty about not being able to afford to buy a lot of presents. Colorful holiday displays are supposed to attract shoppers. But what if your budget is tighter this year and you can't afford more than the basic necessities?

Psychiatrist Patrice Harris says many families are faced with a new financial reality this holiday season and they may need to re-focus their plans.

  1. Give yourself permission to scale back. It is okay not to buy a lot of gifts. She has some ideas for those are used to opening up their wallets during the holidays.

  2. Perhaps this year, instead of buying everyone a gift, families pull names; at the office you draw names; at the office you bring baked goods, which can be cheaper than trying to buy several gifts.

  3. She adds, this season, especially, there is no reason to feel guilty about scaling back. Lower your expectations. It is not necessary to have the perfect tree, the perfect decorations. You don't have to spend a lot of money to have a good holiday season.

With that kind of resolve, you'll relieve not just emotional stress, but stress on your wallet.

So how are you spending less this holiday season? Do you have good, inexpensive gifts that kids can make? Please share!

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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Maria said...

There are a few more ideas here:

I am going to make a felt tree with felt ornaments for The Boy to decorate and redecorate. Not sure if we will have a "real" tree at all or not. Mostly, we are staying home instead of traveling 800 plus miles to see family, so we can save for our big spring trip to Europe and/or Dubai.

Melody said...

I have been known to recycle old Christmas Cards and turn them into gift tags. I have also gotten butcher paper (on the roll) and let my neices color it and use it as wrapping paper.

Last year our spending was tight so instead of buying for each person we bought a family gift such as a board game or gift certificate to a family restaraunt... it was much cheaper than buying each person a gift and no one felt left out.

This is the first year that my daughter can do things (20 months) so I would love to hear of any homemade gifts that she could help with.

Becca said...

Instead of buying kits to make handprint molds, model magic works just as well. I found it at Big Lots for less than a dollar a package and this way if it's not how you like it you can do it again. Leave it dry on wax paper for a few days and it will be perfect. Plus you can get it in some really cool colors.
Ebay is great and something we use but you have to watch the shipping and know what has been recalled.
One last fun idea is wal-mart has a pack of like 20 foam ornaments that you make and are picture frames. Have the kids help, add a picture, and it's an easy gift for family and friends.

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