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Christmas on a Budget

Is it possible to enjoy Christmas on a budget?

Can we celebrate the holiday season without going into debt?

Every year, thousands of families go deeply into debt in order to meet their expectations of what Christmas is all about. They spend hundreds of dollars on gifts, decorations, and entertaining. You may not even realize how much you do spend holiday purchases - have you ever listed everything and added it up? If you do know, chances are you are not happy with the amount.

It IS possible to have a happy holiday season without spending so much (and all the stress that overspending can cause). Read on to see my best tips for Christmas on a budget.

Holiday Gifts

A large portion of our Christmas budget is often spent on gifts.

My favorite frugal gift ideas can help you to shop for perfect gifts or make your own homemade presents so you can spend less without coming across as a Scrooge.

Holiday Entertaining

This is a lot of fun, and many people feel it is expected of them.

You can entertain without spending a lot of money. You can save money when entertaining by being resourceful and thinking outside the box.

These cocktail party ideas are useful for holiday parties or anytime.


  • Pine cones make beautiful rustic-looking ornaments. Collect pine cone that have a good shape (not broken or lopsided). Paint with gold spray paint and allow to dry overnight. Affix a ribbon to the top and hang.

  • For a festive accent try putting pine cones or evergreen boughs in a vase or basket

  • If you have decorative items that you don't use anymore, get some friends together and swap decorations. Have everyone bring things that they are tired of or that don't go with their decor anymore, and everyone can go home with new treasures!

  • String popcorn or cranberries for pretty and homey-looking decorations. (Note: popcorn strings much better if you pop it the day before you string it - if it is too fresh it breaks easily.)

  • Fill a pretty glass bowl with colorful glass balls. This makes a beautiful centerpiece or coffee table display.

  • Fill a pretty basket with pine cones, evergreen sprigs, and colorful artificial or dried fruit.

Christmas Cards

  • Send postcards or family letters instead of buying cards. Using postcards will not only save you money on buying the cards, but when mailing them - be sure you only pay for postcard postage which is less than mailing an envelope.

  • Recycle old cards to create new ones. You can sometimes use the front of a pretty card as a postcard by removing the other half of the card at the fold. You can also use parts of last year's cards as gift cards or let you kids make collage cards by pasting pictures from old cards onto plain card stock. (You can buy card stock in many colors at craft stores for 50 cents a sheet or less. An 8 1/2 x 11" sheet will make two cards - cut it in half and then fold each half in half to make a card.)

  • You can often buy cards late in December or after Christmas for 75% off - sometimes more. If you like to send store-bought cards, consider buying them after Christmas for the next year.

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