Here are some money-saving tips to use this holiday season.
Instead of holiday cards, send postcards or letters. Postcards require less postage and letters are far more personal—and, these days, unusual. You can cut your old holiday cards in half and send the pretty half as a postcard. You might even make your own from card stock from the craft store.
Instead of wrapping paper, use magazine pages to wrap gifts. The comic section of your newspaper also makes nice wrapping paper. Children’s old artwork can make charming wrapping, or you and your children might create your own on plain paper. Large reams of packing paper are great for this. People in the process of moving usually have a lot.
Gift tags can be made, too, by cutting small pieces of matching wrapping paper and folding them in half. Writing the “To” and “From” on the inside of the paper and taping it to the wrapped present works great. This is also a good use for scraps of paper that are too small to wrap a gift, but too large to toss away. Cut-up, old Christmas cards make wonderful gift tags too. And if you sew, you could also use scrap material to wrap gifts.
For decorating the house, try food and other natural items. Pop some popcorn and string it up. Adding cranberries adds color. Gather up some pinecones and acorns and place them around inside. Sprinkling them with a few drops of pine-scented oil adds a great effect.
Movies are expensive. How about taking a drive around your town—or a different town—to see Christmas lights? This is less-expensive and everyone can talk to each other while sharing in the fun.
Get out the board games. Your children will love spending the time with you. If you don’t have many to choose from, maybe you can borrow a new game from a friend or neighbor who might have a closet full of them. Playing cards is always fun too. Even little children can play Go Fish. And you’ll be making memories. And remember to sing. Many churches and groups have sing-along get-togethers during the holidays.
If you have a fireplace, sit around a warm fire, or cozy up in the living room with blankets and hot cocoa. Tell family stories. Have everyone take turns saying how they have been blessed throughout the year. Being thankful puts you in the spirit. You might also check out a famous holiday book from the library and read it together as a family.
There are so many fun and exciting ways to celebrate the holidays while keeping costs low. Remember, it’s not about what you spend. It’s what you get to experience.