For many facing challenging financial times, the holidays can bring more than average stress with it. But remembering that Christmas is heavily commercialized and that is it never really about the money, we can find other ways of celebrating without adding undo stress. Do not focus on lack of money and what you do not have the money to buy, but rather on what you do have, what your perhaps small amount of money can do, and the generosity you have to give that does not cost any money at all. Here are some things you can do to get into the Christmas spirit, and celebrate in a low cost, no stress fashion.
14 Ways To Get In The Christmas Spirit
Know how much you have for gifts AFTER bills, rent and obligations are paid for. Do not borrow your future to pay for gifts using plastic or borrow from your monthly bills. Whether this ends up being $100, $30 or nothing, you should know ahead of time how much you have to work with.
Be creative with the money you do have in finding great sales or like new condition used items for gifting. A great place to start is the Black Friday Portal that ThePennyHoarder.com has. There you can get answers to just about any question you want 24 hours a day by 20 money saving experts.
If your budget amount is extremely small, only gift the kids; forget extended family, spouses, and co-workers at least in monetary gifting fashion.
Try to get the kids at least 1 thing a piece that they really, really want and do not be afraid to buy in great condition used items at a reduced price online in order to fulfill their wish.
For others, gift your time for something they could really use or need, make consumable homemade treats like pumpkin bread and gingersnap cookies. Or offer to shovel snow, or do a repair they have a hard time doing themselves.
Look for free things to attend in town such as a lighting tree ceremony, a night of caroling, do a Christmas eve walk through a decorated area of town or your neighborhood, or whatever your local area has to offer.
Go to your library and check out Christmas books and movies you can watch and read at home together.
Buy a $1 or less box of candy canes or two and tape them to ATM machines around town with your kids.
Decorate your home with holiday homemade craft items such as pinecones or salt dough ornaments you make together.
Use whatever you can in the form of free or extra money to help with gifting such as $5 Amazon gift cards earned from Swagbucks, employee of the month gift cards or even sell a few things you have on Craigslist. I did this and ended up paying only $26 out of pocket for a $60 digital video camera for my daughter, a Zombie book for my son (both items at top of their wish list) a pair of black work pants for my adult son and a Board Game that is a family gift that normally is a $20 game.
Start a new family tradition such as a RACK advent calendar where in place of candies each day has a Random Act of Christmas Kindness to do. Things that can be on this would be taping candy canes on ATM machines, hiding $1 bills behind toys at dollar stores for kids to find, printing off blessings on business cards to hand out to holiday shoppers, taping quarters to vending machines, shoveling neighbors driveway, or whatever you can think of; be creative!