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5 Ideas to Simplify Christmas & Save Your Budget

On a tight Christmas budget? Simplify Christmas with these 5 ideas that will save your budget!

Guest post from Crystal of Serving Joyfully

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!

How will you simplify your budget this holiday season?

Crystal blogs at Serving Joyfully where she shares about her debt-free journey, real food, marriage, and the adventures of homeschooling her two rambunctious boys. She is the author of the Homemaker’s Quiet Time Journal and Intentional Marriage: A 31-Day Devotional to love your husband well.

photo source

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  • Love these ideas. It’s so important to keep Christmas simple.

  • Great tips that I would normally put to good use, but this year with baby #5 due at the very end of December, I’m simplifying in other areas, sometimes at the expense of my budget. Saving time and having less stress are taking center stage for me this Christmas.

    Here’s my post about Simplifying Christmas:

  • Kelly Cox says:

    Great ideas! I am a fan of not letting gift giving become a debt burden within the family. Celebrate Christ and give joyfully what you are able! T

  • NaomiK says:

    Thanks for this list! I like the idea of a simplified Christmas! One thing we have done for the past 5 years is to save all year for Christmas. We put away $20 per week through the year for Christmas. That way when it actually rolls around we have about $1000. This is great for us because it gives me a place to grab cash for Christmas presents I find throughout the year and it supplies enough money to cover all our gifts and to travel to see my in-laws for Christmas. Having the extra money to cover all those little things, and especially travel expenses really helps our budget to not get out of control in December. We also usually end up having some money left over which we use for something fun in the new year. After last year we had enough to go to a concert of one of our favorite groups. I recommend this savings plan to all my friends because it has so de-stressed and simplified Christmas for us! Thanks!

  • Caroline says:

    I’ve been trying to be more creative with my gift giving. One year I found my children’s favorite books from when they were little and wrapped them. They were definitely surprised and delighted to have them to share with their own children. Last year I scanned in their old photos and went online to make an album of my favorite pictures. I waited for a free shipping special and saved money. Now they all have pictures that were once stuck in a box in the attic.

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