8 Christmas Traditions to Enjoy on a Tight Budget
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It’s time to rein in the budget for the holidays.
We all want the best holiday memories for our family to pass down and enjoy from generation to generation, but some popular Christmas traditions can leave your wallet and budget feeling the winter blues. With these festive ideas, you’ll still feel the same holiday joy without the added cost!
1. Instead of hosting a big family dinner… throw a dessert party!
Why not skip dinner and invite friends and family over for the best part of any meal—dessert! Everyone can bring their favorite treat and still get their fill of quality time for the holidays.
Hip Tip: If you’re not sure what to make, check out our best rolled sugar cookie dough recipe!
2. Instead of buying an Advent Calendar… create your own!
Advent calendars can get pricey, especially if you’re buying a new one every year. When you make your own and re-purpose it each holiday season, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth—and have fun in the process!
Hip Tip: Check out how you can make a DIY hanging treat bag Advent Calendar (as pictured above) and how you can turn trash into a resourceful DIY Advent Calendar. One year, we really stepped up our game and tried this reverse Advent Calendar to give back, too!
3. Instead of buying matching family pajamas… buy matching socks!
Pajamas can get pretty pricey, especially when you have a large family, so if buying some new flannels for everyone isn’t in the budget, consider these cozy Old Navy socks for the whole family:
4. Instead of gifts for the entire extended family… organize a gift exchange!
Have everyone pull names from a hat or use a website like Elfster to create a gift exchange between all the family members. It’s fun, different, and exciting come time to exchange gifts. We even have some frugal ways to wrap your presents for the exchange. Best of all, everyone stays on budget and no one gets left out!
5. Instead of buying neighbor gifts… host a hot cocoa block party!
Make cute bags of hot cocoa or throw some hot cocoa in the Crock-Pot and have each neighbor bring a fun topping. Either way, the kids will have a blast and all the parents will be glad there’s no gift obligation.
Hip Tip: Did you see Lina’s Grinch hot chocolate that you can make in the crockpot?! It’s a delicious and adorable treat that would be sure to please any festive crowd!
6. Instead of sending family Christmas cards… film a Christmas video!
Sure, there are lots of frugal ways to order Christmas cards, but if you’re sending them to a large group of people, the postage alone can get pricey. Plus, a video is more fun for the family, unique to the viewers, and way more personal anyway!
7. Instead of making your own pumpkin pie… buy our favorite pre-made pie from the store!
It’s actually more affordable (and will save you time!) to pick up a pre-made pie at Costco or Sam’s Club rather than buying the ingredients and making it yourself, and the store-bought versions are just as delicious—trust us, we taste-tested them! Top it off with homemade whipped cream or transfer it to your own pie dish if you want to give it that fresh-from-the-oven feel.
8. Instead of buying gifts this year… make them!
While not every holiday gift idea can be made at home, you can make beautiful decor with repurposed materials or simple photo and artwork prints. The time spent crafting a one-of-a-kind gift means so much more than a last-minute mall purchase.
Remember, it’s about the time spent together, not the money.
There’s no reason you can’t flip the script on expensive traditions in favor of new memory-making experiences—they may even become the things you look forward to most each season!
Play this hilarious saran wrap game at your next holiday party!