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Patience

Family Holiday On A Budget

Posted by Patience on December 3, 2009 at 11:32 PM in Budget livingFamily ActivitiesHolidays
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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.

poor boy wreath2.jpg

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.

7 Comments

Colleen writes...

Going back to the days of past. A progressive dinner with family and friends and a cookie exchange!

PatienceAuthor Profile Page writes...

oh, I used to love progressive dinners and haven't done one in years. hmmm, maybe this year! thanks Colleen!

Stacy writes...

We started a new family tradition last year that my kids love. They all put on their PJ's, we make hot chocolate and put it in travel mugs, and then drive around to look at Christmas lights in other neighborhoods.

PatienceAuthor Profile Page writes...

so funny you mentioned this idea because I was thinking about the very same thing and looked into www.tackylighttour.com to find houses in my area...great low cost idea! Thanks for sharing.

Amy writes...

We used to exchange gifts at Christmas with my teammates at work, until money became tight for everyone. We decided to "create a memory" together instead of giving gifts. This has been a great experience for all of us, because instead of going broke, we are spending fun, quality time with each other! Memories that we can keep long after the holiday season.

jujulee writes...

I think this is so adorable, I was looking for a craft for my older kids we are getting tired of ginger bread houses. I love the smell of fresh pine.
http://littleredridinghoodstory.com

Amy writes...

baking! amazing how much a little bag of goodies tied up with a bow can do for the giver and recipient this time of year. and, flour and sugar are relatively inexpensive, the real cost is the time :)

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