Holidays Vivian | 26 Mar 2011 07:13 am

5 Money Saving Tips For the Holidays

Christmas is only weeks away and here we are in the middle of the worst financial crisis the world has seen for decades. What does that mean to you if anything and what can you do to retain some semblance of “tradition” to your holiday celebrating, without “breaking the bank”. Actually I think that has already been done, but you know what I mean.

The first thing would be to of course change your mind set. If you do not think Christmas is Christmas without going thousands of dollars into debt on gifts, decorating and food, just get a little bit creative. For hundreds of years our ancestors had holidays without the mall. If they could do that and build happy memories why can’t we?

Second would be to start really looking at the people you buy gifts for and really think of some things maybe you could do for them, rather than buy for them. One example would be gift certificates from you. A certificate of babysitting for a friend would be a great excuse for a night out for her and hubby. Maybe a week of dinners for a friend who is getting ready for finals, trying to finish up that book or whatever they may have going on. Food is going to make a good gift for anyone this year. Make loaves of nut bread for teachers and acquaintances you usually buy boxed stuff for. It will be personal and believe me people will appreciate it much more.

Another thing you could change would be the menu. If your food menu for the holidays went over $100.00, rethink it. Maybe you could have a “scratch” dinner this year. Tell each family member that they can come up with one side dish that they can cook from scratch. It will save lots of money and make many happy family memories in the kitchen. Plus there is a feeling of satisfaction of a job well done.

Fourth would be to look at the wardrobe. If you are in the habit of a new outfit for the Holidays maybe you could re-do an old outfit. Another idea is to do a trade party. Invite several friends who are about the same size and have the same tastes to bring clothes they are just tired of wearing. Trade out your clothes you are tired of and wala you have a few new clothes. Just make sure you don’t work together.

The fifth idea would be to simplify everything. You do not need to be like the Whos of Whooville who had the light contest every year and racked up the bill on electric. You could use the candles in the bags for lights and make some tree ornaments. In the old days they used cranberries and popcorn. Be creative and see what you can come up with to decorate and still simplify.

The key really comes down to changing our mindset. We must believe that we can still celebrate without spending the money, wearing ourselves out, and wasting natural recourses. If we study history we will see that it has really been done the “real” way rather than the “department store” way for many years, and it is still special and memorable for our families.

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