Have a Guiltless & Fun Christmas!
Having a Merry Christmas can be difficult when you’re worrying about expenses.
Take this opportunity to make changes in the Christmas traditions and take the focus off spending and focus on the true meaning of the holidays!
With a couple small changes you can plus your holiday joy by following these five tips below.
1. Family First… Gifts Second – Encourage the emphasis on family and gifts secondary. Model gratitude rather than the frenzied focus on gifts.
Incorporate low cost activities such as playing your child’s favorite game!
Surprise family members with a personalized paper bag filled with their favorite popcorn and watch your favorite Christmas movie.
If it’s not on TV, then look for deals in markets and video stores. This always jump-starts the holiday cheer.
Pick one night with the family and make it a yearly event making holiday crafts, cookies and sipping hot coco.
Who knows you just may solve the world’s problems at this sitting. A wonderful no-cost gift…
is to give a family member the gift of your time and attention. Make up small hand written certificates,
granting several hours of your time from each member of the family to another.
Example, Joey gives 2 hours to play basketball with his little brother and teach him his favorite methods of making moves on court & scoring points.
Little brother gives an hour to help do chores for his older sister or walk the dog, which was his sister’s chore.
- Mom and Dad give uninterrupted time and each child can decide what they want their parents to do for or with them.
– Big sis takes little sis for a play date. Family members will value having very personal attention during this busy holiday season.
It will build and strengthen family ties, have little cost, and huge value. Creating memories that will last forever.
2. Create Memories and Traditions – Every family can create an inexpensive even funny holiday tradition that kids will look forward to annually.
Take a normal tradition such as exchanging ornaments, get creative and search out that one-of-a-kind piece.
Ask your kids what they most remember about Christmas last year, if it was going out and getting the Christmas tree,
then perhaps your tradition is a tree-trimming party.
If what was most memorable was going out to breakfast in new flannel pajamas on Christmas morning,
perhaps there is now the annual Christmas Eve gift of new pajamas for everyone.
Remember you will get more then coal in your stocking if you go into credit card debt for Christmas!
If you don’t have the cash, then you don’t buy it! Put the cards in storage anywhere where you cannot get to them easily.
After the last several years, it is clear going into debt is the WRONG thing to do.
3. Adapting to Christmas Change – Life is forever changing and learning how to adapt to change are wonderful lessons for kids.
Change it up with a meal, have breakfast for dinner and dinner for lunch, by all means make it fun and encourage that change is good and can be fun for everyone.
Explain, we are adding a new theme this Christmas – “Giving to others”- Have your children donate unused items in your household to local charities.
Show children that giving back is more than giving money, you can give your time; give a hug and a smile.
Donate old leashes, collars and dog food to the animal shelters. Give clothing, can food and blankets to your local mission.
4. Focus on Saving and Make it! – Focus on being present with your family.
There is nothing like getting a handmade gift, whether it’s a little booklet or an oven baked ornament or hand-made cookies with a message.
The time you spend making gifts will leave lasting memories for the giver and receiver. You will save money, time and the personal touch is priceless.
To add some fun, save cereal boxes, oatmeal containers and anything that you can use to wrap your handmade gifts in.
Imagine getting a gift in a fruit loops cereal box!
You will be sure to get some surprised giggles and practice recycling holiday style traditions at the same time.
5. All I want for Christmas is… Memory book – Take snapshots through out the holidays and create a memory book of pictures with family, friends and things that are important to you.
Make time to be “Present” with your family and write out goals for the New Year. Every family member’s goals will be different, but also include one family goal.
Maybe it’s a goal to buy a home, car or just save more. When the family is focused on the same goal it’s easier to accomplish.
In the big picture, Christmas has the gift of bringing joy, family and people together. This year, ask your kids, outside of gifts,
what is it that you truly want for Christmas? I think you will be very surprised by most of the answers.