Guest post from Crystal.
Simplifying Christmas is important to us because of our family values, but also because of our tight budget. If you’re in a position where you need to (or just want to) simplify Christmas, here are a few tips that have worked for us.
If you get nothing else from this post, know this: You can simplify your Christmas and still make it meaningful.
1. Remember the “Reason for the Season”
If you are a Christian, the reason for the season is the birth of Christ. It doesn’t have to set your budget back to celebrate Him, or even to show love and kindness to those around us.
I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, but I did grow up in poverty. Christmas to us wasn’t about gifts or fancy things. It was about family, traditions, time together, and memories — all of which are free!
2. Celebrate with Kindness
Random Acts of Kindness (RAK’s) are a great way to celebrate Christmas, and they don’t need to be expensive.
There are so many things you can do for others that are free, or very inexpensive, and this is a great way to remind ourselves and our children to focus on others. Charity work can be a great way to celebrate the season together.
3. Simplify Gift-Giving
Wishlists these days seem to have gotten out of control. If you feel the same way, here are a few great ideas to simplify gift-giving:
- Model gift-giving after baby Jesus who received 3 gifts from the wise men.
- Base gifts on the following: something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read. I love that little rhyme, and I think it makes for a very balanced Christmas list.
- Consider purchasing classic gifts that will last and be valued for years, as opposed to trendy gifts that children will probably lose interest in quickly.
- Exchange names for larger groups and parties — meaning you only need to buy 1 gift to exchange instead of multiple gifts for everyone.
4. Get Creative
You know the saying, “It’s the thought that counts”? Well, it’s true — and sometimes a handmade gift can be the best because you can give a thoughtful gift and save money at the same time.
With the plethora of handmade gift ideas available on Pinterest, you are sure to find some that fit your taste and talents.
One year, I made goodie baskets for my extended family. Each family got a basket filled with nicely packaged homemade baked goods, cookies, candies, etc. It was, in part, because we were strapped for cash. Everyone loved them and said that’s what they wanted from us every year!
5. Focus on Making Memories
One of the most important things about the holiday season is to make memories with the people you love! Baking Christmas cookies, looking at Christmas lights, watching Christmas classics as a family, reading books, making crafts, decorating ornaments… these memories will live on long after their favorite toys have “died”.
Spend time together celebrating the wonder of the season!