10 Ways to Celebrate Christmas on a Budget

Santa's piggy bank
Be thrifty for Christmas!

If you're at a loss as to how to enjoy the holidays without breaking the bank, LoveToKnow Christmas is happy to offer you 10 ways to celebrate Christmas on a budget.

10 Ways to Celebrate Christmas on a Budget

Here are just a few ideas you can try to celebrate Christmas on a budget.

  1. Send e-cards. While there are some lovely printed cards, you'll save on postage and cards if you send e-cards. Many of the sites offering cards do so for free. If you have a digital camera, register on photo sites such as Snapfish or Flickr and upload a fun photo "card" created by you and your family.
  2. Host a gift swap. Yes, to regift is usually considered bad manners, but it's thrifty to recycle items. Host a party where adults and children bring an unwanted but good gift, set up a table, draw numbers, and start digging in to new presents! Make it a potluck for an even more festive, but inexpensive, event.
  3. Draw names. Once a popular choice for extended family members, more families sharing a household are drawing names not only to maintain the budget, but also to return the focus on the season instead of material expectations. Make a decision in October or early November to draw names to avoid a last-minute scramble. Set dollar amounts based on whether the gift-givers are children, teens, or adults. If you're a parent, don't feel like you're depriving your children of a fun Christmas. After all, Santa can still dole out a few presents if needed.
  4. Host a cookie exchange. Enjoy a fun time with friends by encouraging everyone to bake three batches of their favorite recipe. This quantity allows guests to receive at least two of every cookie variety. Liven up the party with silly games, such as "Guess the Cookie," wherein guests try to guess the type of cookie and the ingredients. Splurge on some fun boxes to pack up everything, like Chinese food take-home containers.
  5. Decorate miniature trees. Instead of investing in one big live tree, consider purchasing an artificial miniature tree for each family member. Everyone can decorate their trees any way they like. Make a big pot of hot cocoa and conduct a tree parade during which each person talks about the theme of his or her tree.
  6. Rent decorations. Part of the joy of decorating for Christmas is getting out your favorite collectibles, but why not try something new? Talk with friends and family about "renting" decorations from one another. Your mom may have a few Christopher Radko ornaments that would look great on your tree, and she might have her eye on your Precious Moments Nativity set. Make sure to list who has what, any special care or packaging, and a return date.
  7. Put on a play. While there are many holiday movies to enjoy, it's also fun to spend time with loved ones doing something new. Start a tradition of staging a holiday skit. Choose a family-friendly play late in the fall and set up a regular rehearsal time. For opening night, host a potluck and invite friends and family to enjoy your creation!
  8. Volunteer. As the saying goes, "Remember the reason for the season." Find a charity that needs a helping hand, not just at Christmas, but throughout the year. If you dedicate some time each month to selfless giving of yourself to someone in need, you won't worry as much about your tight budget during the holidays.
  9. Enjoy the light displays. Make sure to set aside time to spend an evening with family and friends visiting lighted neighborhoods. There's always someone who loves to decorate, and they appreciate your attention. Exchange warm greetings and enjoy the fellowship of the community.
  10. Sing Christmas songs. Whether you'd like to lead the choir at church, go caroling, or simply listen to funny Christmas songs while sitting around the tree, the music of the season is always a delightful celebration.

Other Helpful Ideas

Check out these other LoveToKnow Christmas articles for more ideas to celebrate the holiday merrily and inexpensively:

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10 Ways to Celebrate Christmas on a Budget