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Christmas on little or no money.
It can be done. The year I started Saving & Simplicity we celebrated Christmas on a very small budget and it was amazing. My husband had just started a new job so things were tight.
We had a great home cooked Christmas dinner with all our family and friends. Everyone had gifts under the tree. The stockings were hung and it snowed that year on Christmas Eve.
Christmas name draw.
In years past we have taken part in name draws for gifts. In this case you put all the names of the attendees to your Christmas function into a hat and everyone draws a name.
You would do this a few weeks or months prior to your party. You then set a price limit and you purchase one gift to bring to Christmas dinner.
This saves money, time and generally you put more thought into that one gift than if you had to buy twenty other gifts for everyone at the party.
If you are doing a name draw, you could have one draw for the adults and another for the children or mix it up. This is one way we save money during the holidays.
Dollar store Christmas
I have also heard of people doing a dollar store Christmas. Where you set a ten dollar limit for all your gifts and the rules imply the gifts have to be purchased from the dollar store.
You will be surprised what you can purchase at the dollar store.
I would love to be on the receiving end of a dollar store gift that includes books, stationary, jars or organizers.
I know my husband would gladly accept anything from the tool or automotive section in the dollar store.
Shopping the dollar store is one way to save money during the holidays. It is also a great place to purchase gift wrap, ribbon, tables settings and more.
Homemade gifts and bake goods are always great gifts. Yummy cookies or fudge.
I know people who would prefer homemade gifts over big box store bought items.
I make jars of vanilla pears every year and I have a friend who would gladly accept one or two jars with a big red bow on them over a store bought gift.
Locally we have craft fairs leading up to the holidays full of homemade soaps, soup mixes, quilts and so much more that would make perfect holiday gifts.
Give the gift of experience.
Instead of giving gifts opt for experiences, spend time with someone. What about giving teaching or coaching as a gift? You could teach the receiver to bake, crochet or knit or another skill.
Or what about the gift of time. Such as a trip to the zoo or the aquarium or the local tennis court. You could go bowling or out for coffee or to a movie.
Sometimes time and togetherness is the prefect gift.
Buy them something they need.
Instead of spending money on shiny must have items for your family give them the gifts they need.
Do your adult children need help with babysitting? Does your college student need books, life essentials or food?
Could your Grandparent use some freezer meals or cookies? Does anyone need socks, mittens or books.
Could you save money on gifts by purchasing gently used vintage items from the thrift store? Children grow quickly and can always use clothes.
A frugal Christmas.
You can have a frugal Christmas with little or no money you just need to set a budget and figure out what people truly want or need.
Christmas is about togetherness, time with family. For some it could mean a great meal with friends. For others it could mean caroling in the park.
Celebrate your family traditions and make Christmas your own.
Updated November 11, 2019