It's just the money.......
It's been a tough year and there is no spare cash and may be some debt. You don't want Christmas to make the situation worse.
Yet you will feel bad if you can't buy your kids what they want. You know your friends will want to go out for a meal and lots of drinks. There is the demand for new decorations and expensive food.
What to do, what to do.......
Well there is a lot you can do to have fun at Christmas without the cash.
But – you need to be honest with your kids, your family, your friends and most of all... yourself.... Tell them there is no money this year – they may be more understanding than you think. But instead of cancelling Christmas - here is a list of alternatives which just might be better than spending lots of money!
Instead of going
out for a meal – have a 'bring and share' at someone's home.
Everyone brings their favourite dish – someone organises who is bringing what, so you don't get all puddings – and you have a fab
time having a varied meal. Have a kitty for wine / beer / soft
drinks or decide what each person brings. You can also put a
spending limit on what the ingredients for each dish can cost.
Instead of buying
gifts – give a 'gift promise' – a promise to cook a meal,
babysit, wash their car, be their taxi when they go on holiday –
whatever you think will work and will cost little or no money –
just your time and attention. This is for the kids too - promise them a games day, day in the park, whatever you think they would enjoy most without spending money!
Have a spending
limit - £5 or less! This is a challenge and quite fun as you have
to get a bit creative with getting the most for your fiver.
Make a present!
You knew that one was coming didn't you? It doesn't have to be
complex. A cake, biscuits, calendar from photographs – what ever
you can do.
Have a 'no gift'
agreement with some members of your family and friends – you may
find they are delighted with this idea.
Christmas cards – instead email, phone (if you have unlimited
calls deals), chat over the internet. Or better still, invite friends and family round for a Happy Christmas' cup of tea!
Get out last
year's Christmas decorations and enjoy their history, don't feel
compelled to buy new ones. I have decorations going back to my
childhood that have real memories and meaning for me. If you need a
christmas tree (artificial!)– try Freecycle.
This fairy has been at the top of my Christmas Tree since I was a little girl!
articles about How to have the Perfect Christmas. If it involves
buying table decorations and candle holders it is nonsense.
Christmas is about what you do and who you share it with.
Have a games party
where everyone brings their favourite board games and / or video
Make a lot of your food rather than buying it – it really is easy and so much
cheaper than bought. See my Family Meals series under Household for
recipes over the next few weeks.
Christmas is about fun and friendship - not money and things. If you have some good friends you are rich beyond anything you can buy.
Do share below any ways you keep the costs down at Christmas - while still having a great time.
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