Have a Holly Jolly, FRUGAL Christmas

The holidays are here! I repeat, the holidays are here!

If you’re like me… you’re not prepared. I am 100% NOT prepared.

You know some people actually start their Christmas shopping in July??!! It’s all over QVC now! Christmas in July is a big hit. It’s just not my style. I try to be more prepared every year, but I’m always that person left shopping on Christmas Eve. Never fails. This year is a little different though. I just got married, almost three weeks ago to be exact!, and to say that I am broke would be a terrible understatement. Weddings are EXPENSIVE!!! I don’t care how cheap you try to be… they’re still expensive! So while my piggy bank is in the ICU, I decided to start planning a very frugal Christmas! So I wrote this article:

10 ways to have a holly jolly Christmas and not bust open the piggy bank

By: Kamie Allen | October 21, 2015

The Christmas season is upon us once again. Most people experience different levels of excitement, while others experience different levels of anxiety and stress. When the Christmas season comes around people start to worry about what to buy their loved ones. That is why I wrote this article to help you enjoy your holiday and have a holly jolly Christmas that doesn’t break the bank.

Some people can only think about what to buy little Johnny and Sally. Most people may feel the need to buy expensive gifts to show how much they care, but the holidays are mostly about spending time with your loved ones and just being able to enjoy the Christmas holiday. Below are some ways you and your loved ones can have a budget-friendly Christmas.

  1. Christmas family game night: Invite your family and friends over for a board game night! Turn on Pandora and set it to a Christmas music station. You can enjoy Christmas music while playing a game and spending time with your loved ones.
  2. Budget shopping: Go to the mall with your family. Draw names in the car so you know who you are buying for, then set the budget to $5 on each gift. Each family member will break apart to go shop for a nice, budget friendly gift and then meet back up to exchange.
  3. Potluck Christmas dinner: Instead of letting just one person be responsible for buying and preparing dinner, why not host a Potluck Christmas Dinner. Each family member and friend can bring a different dish. This gives everyone a chance to show off their cooking skills and your pocketbook can be spared in the process.
  4. Read Christmas stories together: Instead of spending money to do something like going to the movies around the holidays, host a Christmas storytelling night. Your loved ones can all gather together, spend time with each another, and enjoy Christmas stories without spending a single cent.
  5. Take a walk in the park: When the holidays are near almost every city brings out their decorations. Use this as opportunity to spend time with your family and enjoy the beautiful Christmas decorations on display. You can bundle up in your warmest gear and enjoy a night stroll through the park without spending money.
  6. Gingerbread house competition: Host a gingerbread house competition with your family and friends. Mix it up by selecting teams or having it be boys vs. girls. Your family gets to enjoy fun Christmas-based competition and gingerbread house kits are on the cheap side of things.
  7. Snowball fight: This seems a bit childish, but do you have any sad or negative memory related to a snowball fight? Probably not. Have your family and friends bundle up and head out into the snow on Christmas Eve for a snowball fight.
  8. Christmas movie night: Have your family and friends each bring their favorite holiday movie. You can settle in and enjoy Christmas movies all night long together without having to open your wallet.
  9. Decorate ornaments: Go to the Dollar Tree and set a $10 budget. Get enough ornaments so each member in your immediate family can make one each. Buy decorating supplies such as: glitter, bows, ribbon, etc. Go home and gather your family together to enjoy a night of decorating ornaments.
  10. Host a DIY Christmas: Instead of store-bought gifts, ask your friends and family to DIY Christmas gifts. It’s always the thought that counts when it comes to gift giving, so why not give your loved ones something that you made yourself? This can greatly reduce the unnecessary holiday spending and make the gifts more meaningful.

Christmas doesn’t have to mean dropping $1000+ on expensive technology devices, beauty products, and high retail clothing. Christmas can be a fun, enjoyable time spent enjoying with your family and friends doing Christmas activities that will help you make memories to last a lifetime. Let’s be honest, 20 years from now you won’t remember that expensive sweater you got from your Mom, but you will remember all the beautiful memories you made together during the holidays.

I hope this article helped someone in need of frugal Christmas ideas! I kept thinking of what I  really enjoyed about my Christmas last year. It wasn’t the expensive digital camera my parents bought me. Yes, I LOVE it and I use it almost every day… but when I think about last Christmas, I think about how we had our first “unique” Christmas dinner. Instead of doing a huge, elaborate dinner, my mother made a smorgasbord of appetizers, we stayed in our pajamas all day long, and we watched our favorite Christmas movies. That’s what I loved the most. It isn’t about spending tons and tons of money! It’s about family and enjoying your time together. If it’s one thing I would like to encourage people to do, it’s to cherish the time you get spend with those that you love.