Well it is that time of the year, Halloween and Eid are around the corner and Christmas is not far behind. The holidays are here! So how does one get ready for all these holidays and not break the bank?
For us it has never been about the amount of money we spend. It has been about creating time honored traditions and looking for opportunities to serve others.
For us it is about being smart with our dollars:
- we make costumes or shop at thrift stores
- we do not over decorate
- we give simple candies no big bags of treats here
- set a budget
- think what we can make- a coupon book makes a neat gift
- make it about prayer and family
- for the meal go potluck
- think clothes as gifts
- Again we set a budget
- Shop with a list
- Make sure we keep reciepts and if buying right before Christmas check for reduced prices within 2 weeks of purchase, often they will give you the sale price.
- We set limits
- Again we go potluck
We also look for chances to serve. In past years we have participated in food drives and sorted food and toys at local food banks, prepared shoes boxes to send to children overseas, chosen to adopt a child from overseas, adopted animals, cleaned up a neighbours yard, and shovelled snow for those who couldn’t. There are many ways that you can find to serve and often time is the best gift you can give.
When it comes to Christmas presents we also have a time honored tradition: it is called a cash Christmas. I have never bought on credit when it comes to presents. For my daughter she knows that Santa has a budget after all he has so many children he needs to prepare for. She has never gone overboard on her list. In some years I havegiven gifts that I got for free. I had collected icoke points and shopper optimum points and gave gift certificates for the movies, and bath sets that I had gotten basically for next to nothing. Here are some generic ideas that do leave cents in the wallet:
- Homemade: one year I made soup mixes and put them in old fashion canisters I got for a $.25 each, another I made hot chocolate mixes and put them in mugs I got for $.50, another I got frames and decoratedthem with buttons and other nicknack’s.
- Cookies with recipe card attached.
- Git Certificates you made yourself for services you can do : ie gardening, sewing, babysitting, cooking , game time, reading, really the list is endless for this one.
- a treasure box: get a small box at craft store: fill it with treasured notes ,etc..
So for me it just makes sense to do it with cash and creativity, that way you really can enjoy the holiday no matter which holiday it is with less stress.