Everyone is feeling the pinch this holiday season. The usual time for splurging has become a time for gathering the resources we already have. It's a wonderful opportunity to come together and make things special with whatever you have in your family. Here are a few tips for making your family holiday great.
1. Make your own decorations. There is no extra cash for decorations beyond a tree this year so we decided to make our own with some greens from our front yard. I was surprised how good the kids were with just an old hanger, greens and some floral wire. We made wreaths, garlands and various other pinecone creations.
2. Recycle Christmas. One particular year I noticed that the local thrifts stores and consignment shops had some pretty good toy finds. I asked the kids if they might like to have a recycle christmas. With the exception of one small new present for each person, the entire holiday gifting was repurposed gifts. Lots of the treasures we found were perfect for stocking stuffers and the kids loved the hunt. No one seemed to notice or care the items had been previously loved.
3. Skip the holiday madness. You are allowed to skip the 5,000 tree lightings and grand illuminations that are usually followed by eating out and the $10 glow necklaces. Stay in and make homemade pizza, decorate the tree, have a living room holiday dance party, watch a classic movie together. The best traditions often evolve out of just hanging out. Our latest expert, popular author Katrina Kenison has some great ideas for simplifying your holiday.
4. Alternatives to giving gifts. We let our extended family know we will not be sending gifts this year. Instead we suggested a cousin holiday card exchange and a small donation to a local charity.
Choose an experience over a gift, it sends the message there are other ways to express our love than exchanging presents. Go ice skating or go bowling, create a new family tradition outside of the norm.
What are your thrifty ideas for making this holiday great and not breaking the bank? Let us know in the comments.