A Less Expensive, More Meaningful Christmas

With the economy how it is, most people are spending less on Christmas this year. This is a perfect time to create a simpler Christmas. Set the intention on focusing more on meaning and less on buying and you won’t even feel deprived.

Have family trips to see the lights, make your own paper snowflakes, volunteer together, read stories of hope, set aside times of silence, enjoy what you have, and love one another.


Photo by Stephmcg

Here are a few practical ideas on saving money for the holidays:

  • Say no to new decorations – I am sure you already have plenty. Is it really worth it to buy new ones to make sure you have the "in" decorations?
  • Buy a smaller tree this year.
  • Take a cue from the Magi and get only 3 gifts for the kids.
  • Make a pact with sisters and brothers to not exchange gifts this year.
  • Go to the fall craft shows for inexpensive gifts that are handmade.
  • Make a photo album of your digital prints for a family member at Snapfish.
  • You can save time and money by shopping online. Go to a place like PriceGrabber to find the lowest price. You can also fine new and used things on ebay. And do a quick Google search for a coupon. If you have a ColdWater Creek shirt, search for "ColdWater Creek", coupon.
  • Have a night out with your spouse instead of exchanging gifts.
  • If you run out of Christmas wrapping paper, try using brown bags you decorate, an old poster you are done with, scrapbook paper you already have, pictures from old calendars for small presents.
  • Create a budget now and stick with it.
  • Draw names instead of buying for everyone in the family. My Dad is one of 10 so they pick something like ties for the men, and kitchen towels for the women. Then they pick, trade, swap and laugh.
  • Volunteer to serve Christmas dinner together instead of creating a lavish meal yourself.
  • Stock up on food when they are on sale so you aren’t getting high priced last minute items.
  • Buy family gifts like games, movie night, etc. instead of individual gifts.
  • Use extra scraps of wrapping paper as gift tags. Fold them over and write the to and from information inside.
  • Look at the gift ideas at Buy Nothing Christmas.
  • Send Christmas postcards instead of cards.
  • Send cards to less people.
  • Hit the freebie sites now for stocking stuffers.

What are your favorite tips for saving money at Christmas time?