How to do a Magical Christmas on a Budget
That time of year is fast-approaching. One where many of us find ourselves spending the most on presents, decorations, gift-wrapping, cards – and let’s not forget the food! Creating a magical Christmas for the whole family can easily become overwhelming as you watch the bank account drain; but with a little organization and some creativity, you can have a lovely Christmas and start the new year without credit card debt.
1. Set your budget early
Ideally, you should set your budget as early as possible. Make a list with each person you will buy a gift for, then break down what you can spend on each person. This may lead to some weeding-out of anyone outside of the family if buying for friends or coworkers is over your budget. If buying presents for everyone on the list is still surpassing your budget, consider suggesting a Secret Santa to the family – it may come as a total relief.
2. Shop early, collecting gifts up until the holidays
Starting early always has its rewards. If you collect gifts gradually up until December, you’ll find that spending bits of money here and there will keep you from breaking the bank. You can also take advantage of Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales to stock up, or even off-season sales earlier in the year.
3. Give the gift of time
It’s easy to get so focused on just the presents sometimes, but spending time together is a gift the family will truly treasure. Going skating, visiting Christmas markets, attending holiday festivities together, taking a stroll through the neighbourhood Christmas lights, visiting Santa, baking together, etc. All of these activities cost little, but have so much value and add to that magical experience Christmas is known for.
4. Use the web to chat with family
If you have friends and family across the country or overseas, utilizing video chat services on the web can prevent an expensive phone bill. Instead of making long-distance calls, arrange a time to call them via Skype, Google Hangouts, or even Facebook video chat.
5. Get creative
Another great way to save during the holidays is to put your craft-making skills to work. Baked goods, holiday decorations, Christmas cards, and even essential oils can be made from home! You can find an abundance of inspiration here.