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Dreading Christmas? 5 Tips for a frugal, yet merry festive season

Making christmas cardsChristmas is usually an expensive holiday season, no matter what your usual budget is. If you are looking to spend less, but still make the season fun and enjoyable for you and your family, there are plenty of ways to do so. Here are some tips that will not break your bank, but will still allow for yuletide cheer.

1. Make your own Gifts

Sometimes personal gifts that are made can be more enjoyable and meaningful than things that come from a store. Make an activity of it and sit the kids down with plenty of supplies. Do you have to provide gifts for multiple relatives, or colleagues? Make holiday ornaments in bulk. The added personal touch will be well received, and will help you to put your focus on other things instead of figuring out gifts for extended family.

2. Skip Christmas Cards

Skip the Christmas cards, or make them. Why not try to make postcards instead. Postcards cost less to send, and the thought is still there. Send a letter with family updates and photos. You could skip sending all together. For those out-of-town relatives that you won’t get to see, make a quick phone call to express holiday wishes. A phone call is also more personal and heartfelt than a Christmas card sent out in mass.

3. Reuse/Recycle

Wrapping and decorating gifts can be painstaking. The matters do not get too much better when the paper is ripped apart without any second thought about the time it took to adorn it with accessories. Get creative and use wrapping from items you already have around the house. Old newspapers can be an interesting twist, or coloured magazine pages for something a bit smaller. Make it a game while wrapping, or before opening to try to find certain words on the page. Cut up old Christmas cards to use as gift tags. Nothing has to go to waste getting forgotten at the back of the storage, and you don’t have to spend tons buying wrapping paper that will be thrown out soon.

4. Creative Decorations

Go outside, and bring nature in. Decorate branches and sticks with ribbons and leaves. You can create any type of holiday accent with some imagination. Look through the decorations you’ve already purchased before. Do you really need more? Can your house deal with what you already have? Get crafty with your family and make strands of popcorn to hang around the tree, or garlands made with coloured paper.

5. Free Entertainment

During the holidays, entertainment is everywhere. Local churches and community centres usually put on a Nativity Pageant, or a Christmas concert with a school band. Go carolling with your kids and a few of your neighbours. You can take a drive, or walk down your street to look at the lights around the neighbourhood. Finding activities to keep your children occupied does not have to cost you a lot, or anything at all.

The holidays are expensive, especially when you go out and buy more than just gifts. If you do find yourself overspending or needing professional help, consult a company such as Positive Solutions Finance, who specialise in debt reduction and budget management strategies.