Friday, September 25, 2009

Have you thought about Christmas Yet?

Before I started on my Money Saving Quest, Christmas was always a financial disaster for us! It sneaks up so quickly and can easily turn in to a credit card charge fest. Dave Ramsey would not approve. The past few years we have seriously cut back on our Christmas spending. We now focus on the Birthday of Jesus Christ and spending time with friends and family. We keep Christ in Christmas and keep it simple. The funny thing is that we also enjoy Christmas more. By focusing on Christ and not spending a fortune, Christmas is the enjoyable time it should be. Here are some ways that our family saves money at Christmas.

  1. I start thinking about Christmas presents for next year on December 26. There are so many great sales, deals and coupons available after Christmas! I also do not pay full price for a gift. By thinking about gifts early we are able to budget and divide up the cost of Christmas over 12 months instead of spending a lot of money in December. This way there is no budget crunch, money shortage or credit card spending.

  2. Make Homemade Gifts and get the kids involved. My son loves to make pictures for the Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles, etc. We then frame the art work and give them as gifts. We also spend time baking. Homemade Cookies and Breads make wonderful gifts and are easy on the budget. For less than $10 you can make multiple gifts for a lot of people. Another great idea is family pictures. Take your favorite vacation picture or go to a favorite family location and take a picture. Print these as 5x7 or 8x10 photos (watch Walgreens & CVS for great deals & FREEBIES) and then give them as gifts.

  3. Make a budget and stick to it. This is probably one of the easiest ways to not go overboard at Christmas. Sit down and make a list of people you need gifts for and then budget accordingly. You can put money away each month for Christmas and then spend it as you find great deals during the year.

  4. Think outside of the box. I love to purchase summer toys on clearance this time of year and then give them to my son at Christmas and on his Birthday in January. There is something about receiving summer toys in the middle of winter that is so fun! Not only does he get a great toy but he also gets the anticipation of waiting until summer to play with it outside which makes it twice as fun. You can also purchase winter toys on clearance the year before and save them for Christmas.

  5. Don't send Christmas cards. Christmas Cards seem to create a lot of stress for people. They are time consuming and expensive. Try to eliminate them or just send them to family members that are not local. Also, try making cards instead of buying expensive ones. My family loves to receive Homemade cards from my son made out of construction paper and glitter.

  6. Invite friends and family over for dessert and/or appetizers instead of dinner. Even better, make it a potluck and ask them to bring their favorite dessert or appetizer to share. This is less stressful and less expensive than serving a big dinner and you will enjoy it more because you are not stuck in the kitchen all night!

  7. Spend Christmas Eve worshiping & celebrating Jesus. We have a tradition at our house on Christmas Eve. We spend the entire day focusing on the meaning of Christmas. There are no gifts or shopping on Christmas Eve. We spend time together as a Family, attend church and have a Birthday party, with cake of course, for Jesus. My son loves this and it helps him to understand the true meaning of Christmas.

Do you have a great Money Saving Tip for Christmas? Share it with us in the comment section. It's not to late to create a Christmas budget for this year. Get started now and take the financial stress out of Christmas.

Let's Keep Christ in Christmas this year and every year!

For more frugal ideas visit Frugal Friday at Life as Mom.

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  1. Some things we do:

    Send email Christmas cards. We set up an area at home with the tripod, get dressed in what we want to wear for the photo, and take pictures that way of our whole family.

    I make most of the children's gifts.

    Last year, we bought 2 Fireman costumes on Halloween clearance for 75% off, and gave them to our boys for dress-up clothes for Christmas.

    Don't feel like you have to have lots of presents in stockings. Put an orange or clementine in the toe, some candy (I get the multi-bags and give some to each child), and some nuts. For small children, a coloring book from the dollar store and some crayons bought on a back to school sale work just fine. You can also print coloring pages from online sites and make your own book. If you get the Dover Sampler and keep the images they send, you'll have lots of images for coloring books.

    You can also print paper dolls and paper toys (like castles that you print and glue) and use those as stocking stuffers as well.

    Another thing that we do is give needed clothing for Christmas. I will give my boys clothing purchased at garage sales or on clearance as part of their Christmas gifts. I usually make a nightgown and/or a dress for my girls.

    If you want to give your children books, consider buying them used from,, or

    I know some families give three gifts, because that is what Christ was given. They give something to read, something to wear, and something the child wants.

  2. The Prudent Homemaker,
    Thanks for these great suggestions!

  3. Great post. I shop for just about everything, out of season. Wrote a post on it not long ago:

    Makes for stress free holidays!

    PS - I buy my Christmas cards at 90% off each year, end of season.....the simple slip-a-photo-in type. As long as there is not a date on it, you're set for any year!


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