It can be tough to make the holidays seem magical and special when you are a little strapped for cash. However, not having the money doesn’t mean you can’t make the holidays wonderful, with a little bit of creativity and some planning, you can have the best Christmas ever!
Giving gifts when money is tight can really cause a lot of stress. Your loved ones should understand, so you can always give them a heads up. Tell them you need to focus your finances towards your spouse or children. There is no shame in being honest. If you do find a little bit of wiggle room in your budget, of course do what you can/want for the extended family.
Presentation can make a huge difference. There may only be a few presents under the tree on Christmas morning, but when they are wrapped and decorated well, it’ll seem more exciting! While we are on the topic of wrapping, wrap everything. When we say everything, we mean it. From stocking stuffers to dollar store gifts. If you bought a gift with multiple items inside, open it up and wrap each one- boom- multiplying gifts right there.
This may be a little taboo, but if your child has received a gift and they haven’t even touched it or totally forgotten about it, snag it up and re-wrap it. This all depends on their age, of course. Little gifts like toothbrushes, mascara, body wash, socks can be great gifts for your children that they’ll actually use! Start early and you can pack rat these items away. Over time they will add up and you’ll find that maybe it didn’t put as much of a dent in your budget as you thought it might.
Gift giving doesn’t all need to be store bought. In fact, you might find that those gifts you crafted were the ones you hold most near and dear to your heart. When money is super tight- set a price limit, draw names from a hat, and whoever you drew you have to make something for them. (Recommend doing this early on, can take months trying to figure out what to make!) When giving gifts to people outside the family, get crafty! You can make ornaments, brownie mixes, pasta, hot cocoa mixes and more.
Once Christmas morning has arrived- get crafty with how you can spend time together to make it that much more special. Nothing has to be fancy here, and you’ll find that spending time with each other is the best gift after all. Try decorating the table with name cards, homemade centerpieces, or fun holiday themed dishes. Make paper snowflakes and hang them from the ceiling or make paper garland! Turn Christmas into an activity, cook breakfast together, play games or puzzles, start a new tradition, watch a movie together, go outside, cook the Christmas meal together.
End result you’ll have a magical holiday that you’ll never forget. Gift giving isn’t the reason for the season and when you embrace that, you’re guaranteed to have a wonderful time together.