By Mary Asujo
There is no boring Christmas. You can make it a memorable one, fun, and cheap and remember it doesn’t have to very huge. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make it fun. Here are some ways you can have a good and sweet Christmas that will not hurt your pocket.
Design your own Christmas cards
Instead of buying cards for your family members, design your own cards using good photo or a color printer. What you need to do is print a message of your choice. The other option is to use snap fish. You only need to register and upload a nice photo card created by you and your children. Explore several sites and you will be amazed. You will save some money with these ideas instead of purchasing store cards.
Opt for e-Cards
Gone are the days when we used to send card copies. Not anymore! with technology, we don’t have to hassle. e-cards is the way to go. Send e-cards and save on costs for postage. Several sites have variety of unique and interactive cards. This is something different and your family and friends will appreciate the beauty of the cards and the innovation that comes with it. For those who are eco and environment friendly, e-cards is a great gift to think about this Christmas.
Host a gift swap party
Be the first to hold one for friends and family. There is nothing that makes a party complete especially when it involves buying gifts for each other. This will earn you great Christmas saving and it will earn great admiration from your family and friends as well as appreciate you for your intelligence. Blend it with a pot luck dinner to make the feasting inexpensive.
Everybody has at least one gift they hate and will never use. Make this a point for your gift swap. Just ensure you don’t re-gift something that one of your friends or family members brought for you. Re-gift some of your old gifts like photo frames, albums etc. inform your guests to carry wrapped, unwanted but a nice gift. Arrange a table or corner where to place the gifts either under the table, near a tree. By the time they realize your intention, it will make their day memorable one.
Agree on a Spending Limit for Your Gift Swap
If you don’t want to re-gift, you can also buy gifts for the swap. You only need to limit the amount, with each person bringing only one gift. Ensure you give the instruction that the gifts need to be funny, practical and vague or outdated. This kind of gift swap can be very fun with lots of laughter. You can also take it to another level with a game like where people pair up and blindfold and steal any of the first gits by swapping gifts.
Draw Names to Streamline
This is especially good when working on a shoestring budget for a large family or a large extended family. Drawing names helps families return the focus to the season instead of material expectations. Many families draw names during their Thanksgiving get-together. Set amounts based on whether the gift-givers are children, teens or adults. Some families limit the name drawing to just the children of the family to save money. Watching kids unwrap Christmas toys is usually a more enjoyable gift for adults.
Host a Cookie Exchange
You can enjoy holiday time with friends by hosting a cookie exchange and encouraging everyone to bake three batches of their favorite cookie recipe. Purchase some inexpensive containers to pack cookies in; like Chinese-food take-home containers. This exchange gives everyone more cookies and can be done in lieu of gift giving.
Throw a Cookie Decorating Party
Invite family and friends and let everyone get in on the decorating. Have each family bring own prepared cookie dough. You can supply the sprinkles, icing and other candies or designate each family to bring a specific one. This idea allows for get-togethers during the holidays, without having to spend a lot of money.
Have a Christmas parade
Many towns host a Christmas parade around Thanksgiving or a week or so after. This can be a fun outing with friends and family, and it’s free! Host an after parade potluck dinner for the perfect way to top off the event. This idea keeps your family and friends connected to the community while creating great memories that don’t put a dent in your Christmas budget.
Swap Christmas decorations
Part of the joy of decorating for Christmas is getting out your favorite collectibles. But this holiday season, you may want to try something new. Instead of spending the money on new purchases, talk with friends and family about swapping decorations with each other. Make sure to list who has what, any special care or packaging, and a return date. This allows everyone to enjoy fresh decorations, and this annual swap could become a family tradition.
Put on a Family Play
Choose a family-friendly play late in the fall and set up a regular rehearsal time. For opening night, host a potluck and invite friends and family to enjoy your creation! Costumes can be something as simple as last year’s Christmas sweater.
Enjoy Holiday Light Displays
Set aside time to spend an evening with family and friends visiting lighted neighborhoods or decorated cities. There’s always someone who loves to decorate for Christmas, and they appreciate your attention. Exchange warm greetings and enjoy the fellowship of your neighbors. Some communities are renown for their Christmas decorations, so research areas near you that really shine. This type of outing is free and offers opportunities for family and friends to make great Christmas memories.
Attend a Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
If your town has an annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, gather a group of friends or family and enjoy the festivities. Some towns host Christmas refreshments, including hot chocolate and cookies. Some move inside for a holiday dance with live music. These after the event activities are usually free or have a nominal fee that’s perfect for budget-friendly holiday fun.