Christmas Planning IdeasNov 15, 2023
Christmas is less than 6 weeks away, so now is the time to start thinking about what sort of Christmas you want to have, rather than it creeping up on you and the mad dash to the shops begins!
The main expenses at Christmas are:
Presents are nice, but very often they end up just being more "stuff". I know for my daughter, when she receives too many presents, so gets overwhelmed and doesn't end up enjoying any of them. One year, she didn't even finish opening them until the New Year!
Here are some ways to minimise the excessive spending that often goes with presents at Christmas:
- Write a list of who you want to but presents for. Figure out what you want to buy for them, or at least a budget for it. Once you have bought the present, write it next to their name (I use Notes in my phone to do this, or Trello). You can also have a total budget for presents, and figure out how to make it work with the people on your list.
- Pool funds with friends and/or family. None of us need lots of things, so one nicer, larger present is likely to be more appreciated too. Even pooling funds to buy a gift card, or even just giving the recipient cash. That way they can buy what they want.
- Secret Santa is an oldie by a goodie. Rather than having to buy everyone a present. Every person buys just one person a present. It's fun and there is some mystery to it, as you try and guess who your Secret Santa was!
- Shop during the Black Friday sales. Save some money and stay within your budget.
Something I do is to start buying during the year, to spread out the cost. You could also start a “Gift Fund” and save regularly, so you don’t need to use credit.
When it comes to food, there is often a lot of entertaining that happens over the festive period. Whether your family alternates who hosts Christmas, or you do it every year (like I do), chat with the family and friends who are coming and see if they can bring a plate of something to share.
If you have different cultures coming over, ask if they can bring something traditional from their country.
It will lessen the cost and effort burden for you, and you get to try food you otherwise wouldn't have tried - win:win!
The most important part about the Christmas period is to remember what it is all about - a time to slow down and spend with those you love. It's not about how expensive the presents are (or at least it shouldn't be), nor how perfectly you have your table set with everything matching to this year's colour theme. So long as you're having fun, and taking time to soak in the love and life, then that's what Christmas is about.