Money and holidays. These two things are enough to stress most people out. However, instead of biting your nails and worrying about having all the biggest, best gifts under the tree, take some time to reflect on the real reason for the season. Your mind (and your wallet) will thank you.
Here are some ways I’m being more present and spending less this holiday season.
DIY Holiday Gifts
Every year, I make some kind of Christmas gift. One year, everyone got a homemade crocheted scarf, the next everyone got handmade socks, or their favorite Christmas cookies in a tin.
This year, I’ll be making several gifts for my little one’s grandparents. Overall, nine gifts across all the grandparents will only cost me about $100. That’s just over $10 per person – not bad! More than the financial aspect though is that I will spend time with my little one, friends, and family while creating these crafts.
During the pandemic, most people were interacting with their loved ones via video call. This is still a possibility and necessary for those of us who don’t live close to all of our family members. Set up a few dates throughout the holiday season to sit down and video chat with folks who live farther away. Spending time catching up can be an amazing gift for both parties and help you reconnect – that’s one of the biggest joys of the holidays for me.
Throw a Party
It is easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Don’t forget that the season is meant to be spent with the ones you love. Throw a potluck get-together to keep cost low and enjoy yourself. You’ll get to see everyone near-and-dear to your heart without the pressure of swapping gifts.
Speaking of swapping gifts, we have plans to go to a gift swap this year with other families who have babies. While I have not been a fan of swaps in recent years, I love the idea of it. You get to enjoy the feeling of giving a gift without the pressure of buying a gift for everyone. There is no guilt over how much you spent, nor is there guilt over buying every single person a present.
Money and Holidays: Reflection
These are just three things I’m doing to step out of the mall and into the season this year. There are plenty of things you can do to improve your outlook around money and holidays too. For example, you might schedule a time for your family to be at the local soup kitchen, volunteer your time, or adopt a family in need.
The point is that you don’t have to go bankrupt to have a beautiful holiday. In fact, some of the most memorable moments will be those that you didn’t spend a dime on.
Try to step outside your own expectations and remember the real reason for the season. Happy holidays!
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Amanda is an editor and writer. She has a passion for sharing information that helps people and communities to better themselves in some way. In addition to writing online, she also freelances for local newspapers in her hometown of Charlotte, NC.