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If you’re worried how you’ll make ends meet or concerned you can’t give your family the kind of Christmas you really want to this year, don’t despair. I’ve got some great suggestions to help you have a great Christmas on a tight budget. Ideas your family will remember and cherish for years to come.
I remember all too well the first Christmas I had to really ‘tighten my belt.’ It was depressing partly because I didn’t understand then what I do now – that Christmas doesn’t have to be about elaborate gift giving.
When I was growing up, we were not wealthy. Far from it.
My parents sacrificed and struggled to give us a lovely Christmas each year. My sister and I typically got 6-8 gifts each and a stocking, and that was it. A far cry from the types of Christmases my daughter got used to.
Thinking back, it was still a great experience in part because I knew my parents did their best to give us some happiness at the holidays.
I’m sure you can to read this post hoping for something similar for your family.
These 29 ideas won’t cost a lot but will certainly make you feel good inside and won’t hurt your budget.
29 Ways to Enjoy Christmas On A Tight Budget
1. Visit our 100 Days of Debt Free DIY Holiday Ideas for budget-friendly gift ideas, projects, and crafts.
2. Instead of gifts, how about a handwritten heartfelt letter to those you love. Purchase or make a personalized frame for a little something extra.
3. Every Christmas my parents would take us to look at the Christmas lights. Fill a jug with some delicious eggnog and head out to see the light displays in your area.
4. Shop consignment stores or sites like Craigslist for good quality used toys. You won’t believe what you can get in practically brand new condition if you look diligently.
5. Create a Values Based Christmas by centering your Christmas around family activities instead of gifts and goodies.
6. Send your Christmas letter and photo via email instead of regular mail.
7. Keep it Simple! No need for extravagance or to fall for the lie of commercialism this holiday season.
8. Have a homemade Christmas, where everything is homemade.
9. Make Homemade ornaments instead of buying them. Bath Salt Ornaments, Clothespin Snowflake Ornament, Scrabble Tile Ornament. For more ideas visit 100 Days of Holiday Ideas!
10. Host a Make Your Own Boxwood Tree party. Look for supplies during sales and save a bundle while having fun with friends and family.
11. Plan a scavenger hunt for the kids by hiding small gifts (gum, stickers, chalk, etc.) around the house.
12. Make donations in your family’s name instead of giving gifts.
13. Shop the many sales available during the holiday season.
14. Make sure you’re getting the best real tree for the money. Then make sure you keep it lasting all season with these tips!
15. Decorate your tree with items you already have in your house. Use items like cranberries and popcorn (strung on thread and hung like garland).
16. Make and give yummy Christmas desserts as gifts. Here are just a few recipes to get you started: Red Pepper Jelly, Peppermint Meringue Cookies, Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Vanilla Icing.
17. Sell old toys/clothes to a local consignment store for extra cash for new gifts!
18. Go Christmas caroling as a family and make memories.
19. Do something for others: take Christmas cookies to the elderly in a nursing home.
20. Place fruit in the toe of Christmas stockings as a way to “fill up” the stocking in an unexpected way!
21. Make your own advent wreath and give small gifts daily up until Christmas Day. Start with this suggestion: Pottery Barn Knock Off Advent Wreath
22. Give a gratitude journal/notebook in which you document the multiple reasons you are grateful for that special person in your life as a gift. Or get my FREE journal page below.
23. Make homemade Christmas Decorations instead of the costly store-bought versions: Here are some great ideas: Snowflake Christmas Wreath, Peggy Bond’s Snowman Wreath, Snowy Mason Jar, Pinecone Kissing Ball
24. Regift appropriately. It’s not as taboo as you’d think as long as you follow certain criteria. Pinecone Kissing Ball
25. Do your holiday photo in “PJs” and save on expensive clothing.
26. Many stores offer Black Friday freebies. Get there early and be the first 100 to receive the free gift.
27. Save on your electric bill by decorating with ribbons and/or tinsel etc. and NOT lights on the house or tree.
28. Instead of buying a ton of gifts have the family just to do stocking stuffers and see how many cheap gifts you can fit into each stocking!
29. Start a new Christmas tradition! Find a way to create a new tradition for your family!
What other ideas do you have? Share them in the comments section so we can share the ideas! Just because your budget is tight and you’re having a low budget holiday this year, it doesn’t mean you’ll lose out on the fun and festivities.