We don’t always have a lot of money at the holidays, but it is nice to make a big deal out of Christmas. This can be done frugally when needed, without losing the homey feeling the holidays present. How can a frugal Christmas be pulled off without feeling bad about not having much money to spend on loved ones? There are many ways to pull this off.
- If you have old, seemingly warn out bulb ornaments – or have found some at yard sales or thrift shops – give them new life by decorating them in a variety of ways. For instance, you can add stripes of glitter by piping glue around the ornaments then sprinkling glitter over the glue. Or by using glitter glue to write a name and the year on each.
- Pine cones, twigs, and acorns from a nature walk can also be turned into ornaments. Tie a bow around the stem part of a pine cone and add string for hanging. Turn a wine glass upside down on a shelf, placing acorns inside before setting it down completely, then tie festive ribbon in a bow around the glass stem. Place a tealight candle on top. An arrangement of these wine glass candle holders would make a great centerpiece for the dinner table. Also, cut lengths of twig the same size, using yarn to tie the ends together to make stars for the tree.
- Glue ribbon to sand dollars and other seashells to make hangers, to be used as ornaments.
- Make brown paper ornaments and string popcorn and cranberry garlands to hang from the tree.
- Use decorative boxes as part of your decorating efforts.
- Reuse items such as ribbon, tags, and gift bags from year-to-year, and the price of wrapping wont be so high.
- Or, make ‘wrapping’ items part of the gift. Gift baskets hold a variety of things and come in many shapes and sizes. A homemade cloth napkin, dish cloth, or dish towel to cover the contents will serve as wrapping paper. Or, a tin from last years’ gift from cousin Sam will nicely hold baked goods made for a best friend.
- Don’t have many gifts? Make it look like more by placing decorative boxes with bows and ribbon under the tree.
- Invite friends to each bake a batch of a different type of cookie to decorate at their own homes, then get everyone together for a cookie decorating party. These cookies can be given as gifts, or used as each persons contribution to holiday parties they have been invited to.
- Have the friends of your children over for an ornament making party, where you provide them with craft scraps and other necessities. This get-together may not cost anything or you might have to spend a few dollars on glue and such, depending on what is already on hand.
- Get relatives together for a cardmaking party, where you use scraps from a scrapbooking hobby.
- Take a walk one evening to sing carols for neighbors.
- Take a nature walk to view the seasonal changes, and to collect items for making holiday decorations.
- Play Christmas music while decorating or crafting.
- Make a basket of ornaments for someone’s firts Christmas on their own.
- Bake a loaf each of banana bread, pumpkin bread, and apple-spice bread for a bachelor or someone who does not like to bake.
- Whip up a batch of someone’s favorite brownies from scratch.
- Make homemade Christmas cards for loved ones, taping a small bow and a candy cane to each.
It is easy to see that Christmas can happen without spending a large some of money. Enjoy the process of making and doing these things to the fullest, knowing that people will appreciate your efforts because they care about you and they know that money is not what is important. A more homemade Christmas experience should offer a stress-free, more fun, holiday season. Remember, it is not what you spend but how you celebrate and put love into everything you do.