- Decide on a total Christmas budget – including gifts, extra food items, décor, wrapping, postage, entertainment, etc.
- Make a list of people you want and/or plan to give a gift. (Make sure they are on your list for the right reason. 🙂 Also, keep in mind that a “gift” doesn’t have to be a purchased item. See the “no” things gift suggestion list.)
- Set a per-person spending limit and stick to it.
- Shop online.
- Always shop from a list. Know what you plan to get before you go.
- Review ads and look for coupons.
- White Elephant or draw names to simplify gift giving– making a game of it makes it even better!
- Keep receipts in separate envelope marked Christmas Receipts to help with accurate tracking and/or if returns or price-match proof is needed.
- Give gift cards if appropriate.
- Ask for gift boxes at the store.
- If you are hosting a get-together, have everyone bring a dish(s) to share.
- Instead of sending 100 Christmas cards to folks you already connect with, send just 10 people that it may not get many or would be an unexpected surprise.
- Have a group chip-in for one “big” gift for someone instead of a bunch of little things.
- Have family members exchange a personalized letter and/or a special gift of their time. For example, my kids would “gift” to do the other’s chores, help with a project, hangout time or special activity together.
Ideas for adding special memories to the season:
- Plan a Random Acts of Kindness day by yourself or as a family. Play “Secret Surprise Santa” throughout your community. (See ideas below.)
- Volunteer as a family – nursing homes, food pantries, shelters, etc.
- Family game night
- Thrift store shop for “ugly Christmas Sweaters”; have everyone wear Christmas day
- Watch old family movies from past Christmas’
- Adopt a family for the holidays – supply their tree, gifts, Christmas dinner, etc.
- Invite and share the day with someone that may be alone during the holidays
Above all else, create reminders to help you remember the real reason for this season. Merry Christmas everyone!
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