Christmas debt is becoming a tradition along with making cookies and hanging a wreath. Debt, however, doesn’t bring us closer together as a family. It doesn’t warm our hearts in the years to come. The memories made with the gifts are even marred by the fact you are still paying for them. Here’s how to avoid keeping the wrong Christmas spirit in your wallet while serving the Christmas spirit in your heart.
What Can You Afford?
Set a budget before ever considering what you plan on getting. Then work within your budget’s parameters. If a gift doesn’t fit within your budget, try finding it at a lower cost, making it, or simply doing without. Remember, giving a holiday gift shouldn’t cause you grief for the rest of the year.
Can You Get It For Less?
If your child has a favorite cartoon character and you want to get a plushy of that character don’t just get the first one you find. Check different stores and online retailers. Look at all the various sizes and designs. You can pay thirty dollars for a giant plushy or you could pay seven dollars for a smaller one. If you get the smaller one that would leave more in your budget to get your child other items.
Can You Get It Used?
Obviously there are items that you don’t want to get used. I cringe at the idea of used socks or underwear. I wouldn’t give used stuffed animals either, considering I don’t know where they have been and what microbes their stuffing has been storing. Items like video games, game consoles, and other electronics, however, are quite acceptable to get used. I use reviews of sites to tell me if I can trust the resale quality of the store I’m purchasing from.
Can You Make It?
Getting my child a new set of crayons is something that I would be happy to do, but I make his coloring books myself. I go online and print out coloring and activity sheets from pbs.org or homeschooling sites. I use a three hole punch on them, stick them in a binder, and I now have a refillable coloring book. If there are items that can be made instead of bought, reduce your holiday spending by making little things such as new clay, finger paint, or sidewalk chalk.
Spread The Word!