Christmas on a Budget
We all say (and we all know) that Christmas is not about the gifts. It’s a holiday for spending special time with family, baking cookies, and pretty lights. Most of all . . . it is about Jesus and celebrating the birth of the Risen Savior! Through all the hustle and bustle, we strive to keep the focus on Christ and not on material things.
However, during the holidays, when the budget is especially tight – many parents cannot help but feel stressed. A good portion of that stress comes from wanting to make sure that children experience Christmas joy and are not adversely affected by limited finances.
It can be difficult to keep that focus on Jesus – when we are worried about money. But, I want to assure you that with a few simple tips, Christmas on a budget truly can be cheery and bright!
Cheery and Bright
Sing Christmas songs. One of the best ways to get the whole family into the “Christmas spirit” is with music. Turn on the tunes daily and sing out loud with the kids. You’ll be amazed at how much joy they derive from this simple (and free) exercise.
Light it up! Whether you have a big beautiful tree, or a small inexpensive Charlie Brown tree – the kids will enjoy seeing the lights and decorating it, as long as they are with you and having family time. The tree used in this article was on its last leg, and had been pieced together with duct tape. I hid the duct tape fixes with dollar store Christmas greenery and it worked like a charm!
Sit in front of the tree and play family games together and you’ll be forming bonds that will last much longer than the Christmas season. Lighting some dollar store candles around the house is another way to create an extra special festive atmosphere – without costing a bundle.
Take a drive to look at Christmas lights. Pile the family into the car (jammies and all) and take a drive in your area to look at Christmas lights. Bring cookies and hot chocolate to make it an extra treat. Sing together or stop at the neighbors house to deliver cookies and sing for them!
Make homemade ornaments and gifts together. The ornaments in the picture above are a sample of the handmade treasures hanging on our tree. We have given them to grandparents, neighbors, friends and relatives. These special gifts are always well received and bring back memories and stories as they are hung on the tree year after year. Get more ideas from my special “Christmas for the Frugal Family” Pinterest board & follow me on Pinterest HERE.
Start your own family traditions. From ornament making to the other ideas within this list, I’ve shared many of our families annual traditions. The boys love having these special traditions and they mean a lot to them. Food and baking together is another important family tradition and is one that gives them family recipes which they can someday share with their own children. I think it means even more to them because we talk about past family memories or stories from mom & dad’s childhood while we spend time in the kitchen together. One recipe that is ALWAYS on our list is delicious Southern – Chocolate Coca Cola Cake! Get our family recipe here.
Do unto others. Make homemade cards from craft paper and deliver them with your children to a retirement home or a home for kids. Remember the woman who was scoffed at by the pharisees because she had barely a penny to give? Jesus said her small gift meant so much more because it was all she had to give. Giving to others, from the heart, doesn’t have to be fancy to be loving and bring glory to God.
Read together – about the BEST Gift ever. Sit in the family room by the tree with all the cheery and bright Christmas lights, and read out loud together as a family. The REAL Christmas story can be found in Luke 2. It will remind you all of the best gift ever given to us all.
Other ideas to help you stress less and enjoy the things that matter most during this busy Christmas season: