In our family we’re trying to teach our children that Christmas is about family and friends, not about gifts. Yes, a lot of it is because we have A LOT of people to shop for and it adds up quickly. Here are some of the ways that we are trying to be generous and not spend a lot of money. I can’t give a lot away (people will see!), but here’s the general idea.
- Grandparents love pictures and handmade presents. So that’s what we’re doing. Updated pictures, and a special handmade gift.
- We don’t buy presents for the Aunts and Uncles. Instead we give a food gift, pictures, or a little knick knack that the kids have made.
- Extended family only get a card from us with a little note inside. This saves a lot of stress as we have a very large family. Some get pictures, some not. I feel that just to know that we’re thinking of them is a great gift, and that’s all I would want as well.
- Our kids are limited to 5 or 6 presents each. We then donate a gift that matches their age and gender to Christmas Index. They pick out the gift themselves, and we discuss that some families have a difficult time and they are helping Santa out.
- We donate to the big food drive that our local radio station holds every year. I mentioned this and the gift giving in an earlier post.
- We give clothes that we find in EUC at clothing sales to the kids whenever possible. This saves a lot of money that can be used towards that special something that they really want.
So that’s really it. We have changed Christmas from a gift grab into a special family time that we treasure instead. We see all our family over the course of a few days and cherish the time we have together. That’s really what the holidays are about anyway!
For some handmade holiday ideas here are some of my favorite links:
- Martha Stewart has great ideas on her website.
- Here’s a great link on Salt Dough ornaments.
- DLTK always has a great resource of crafts.
- Handmade Christmas Ornaments are always a big hit.
- Here’s another link for ornaments.
Good luck with your frugal Christmas!