I don’t want to panic you or anything, but Christmas is just around the corner. Inf act, it’s only a hair more than 10 days away. Some of you are way ahead of the curve and have had your presents bought and wrapped for months. Others, like myself, are still finishing up your shopping. For me, it’s a procrastination problem. Others, it’s a funding issue, and they just have to wait until they have the money to spend on all those presents.
If you ask me, the presents are the worst part of the season. I enjoy the holidays, but I truly despise the commercialization of them. I’d rather not do any of the presents schtick and merely enjoy the time off work spend with family and friends. Never mind that it would save us all from having to endure the marketing blitz that is the month of December, or the horror stories of those who risk life
and limb to get that super cool toy at 3 a.m., only to have their children play with it for five minutes and then go off to build a fort out of the box.
But, unfortunately for most, that part of the holiday has become so ingrained into the holiday that it is impossible to remove. For those, I offer a few tips to help lessen the burden.
- Give Homemade Gifts. Maybe you are an excellent baker, or a scrapbooker extraordinaire, or maybe you’re handy with a tool. Not only will making your own thoughtful homemade gifts be cheaper, but they also show that you put more thought into the gift than just perusing the circular and finding the latest thing.
- Go in on gifts. Many people, including myself, don’t have a very long list of smaller priced items that they want or need. But, most have at least a thing or two that is higher priced that they either want or need. Go in with a group of relatives or friends and buy that one big item. You’ll get away with paying a lesser amount, while the person will receive a bigger gift that they want rather than a bunch of smaller gifts that they don’t really want.
- Go dutch. Instead of hosting a big meal and cooking it all yourself, make it a potluck. Not only will you get the best that your friends and relatives have to offer as far as holiday food goes, but it will significantly reduce the amount you’ll spend on groceries.
- Fill the holidays with activities. It sounds silly, but the more down time you have to ponder the lack of presents, the worse everybody feels. If everybody knows they’ll only have a little bit of free time before going off to play board games, they won’t notice a few less presents.
Whether you take advantage of ways to save money this holiday season or not, do try and keep in mind that the season is about spending time with those that you care about. Try to overcome any of the usual holiday squabbles and enjoy their company, and enjoy the season!
I started this blog to share what I know and what I was learning about personal finance. Along the way I’ve met and found many blogging friends. Please feel free to connect with me on the Beating Broke accounts: Twitter and Facebook.