We all wish the best for our family at Christmas, but sometimes money can be a factor in the celebrations. Downturns in the economy, an unexpected job loss, or mounting bills can mean little money available for presents, decorations, or other seasonal standards.
However, all is not lost. Here are some suggestions that can assist you in enjoying this time of year even when money is a problem:
Have a Family Discussion
Once you have figured out your budget for Christmas, sit the whole family down for a discussion. Be honest about the need to cut back this year. It is better to let everyone know upfront, in order to reduce expectations. Children might have a hard time with this, but try to convey the issue as best you can. In the end, it will be less of a problem for them than the disappointment they would otherwise experience on Christmas morning.
If it is clear several months ahead that money will be a problem at Christmas, you can start gift hunting early and take advantage of sales as you find them. This method can save a great deal and is also far less stressful than running around the mall in December.
Consider Homemade Gifts
This can be a hard sell with children, but if you have a particular arts and crafts talent, you might well create something truly wonderful for them. Adults will appreciate the time and effort involved in handcrafting presents vs simply clicking your mouse at Amazon.
Three course meals are the norm for many families at Christmas, resulting in huge amounts of leftovers. However, if you don’t have a lot of money for food this season, there is nothing wrong with scaling things down. If turkey seems too expensive, there is no reason you can’t simply make pizza or something else the family enjoys on a regular basis.