We are rapidly approaching the Gift Guide Season in addition to all the Holiday excitement. While I do plan to run a gift guide or two for this site, frugal living is also very important to me. Consider this Un-Gift Guide a handful of suggestions and solutions for sharing the spirit of Christmas even with a tight (or non-existent) budget.
Gifts that Aren’t Gifts
Attend a tree-lighting ceremony or take a walk through the central shopping district of town to see all the spectacular decorations.
Assemble a video montage or photo collage of images from past Holidays.
Reuse items in the home to make decorations. Let Google be the guide to crafty discoveries for baubles.
Borrow Holiday themed books from the Library.
Make Every Dollar Count
Use every FREE coupon. Last year Toys R Us and Sports Authority both sent high value coupons in the mail with no purchase necessary. Grab a spare gift for unexpected guests or to donate when these pop up!
Get the Whole Family On Board
If your kids are old enough to understand the value of money, take the time to talk about your financial situation. Let them know that even though they are not getting an iPad, you still want them to have a special celebration on Christmas. When you find out what that means, deliver on the promise. Whether it is cooking a favorite meal, buying a new sweater instead of a new wardrobe, or assembling a puzzle together, you are still responsible for your child’s happiness. If you don’t think it’s possible to make them happy without material things, how will they learn anything different when you don’t try?
We always talk about kids who don’t show appreciation for what they have, but do any of us really take the time to show children what it means to celebrate without funds? I’m simply suggesting that we all carve out a little time for family activities and remind our children that togetherness is also a gift.