The year has flown past and can you believe it will be Christmas soon?
Only 3 months left!
A time for love, festivities, great food, and giving. But for many, maybe even for you, it can be a time for stress with all the hustle and bustle and the high demand our culture places on giving our children the best gifts possible.
Well, you know what? Our culture can go kick rocks because I’m not going broke or in debt for any Christmas Gifts.
Hopefully, you don’t plan on it either. So with much anticipation for the upcoming Holiday Season, I want to share how you can do….
Christmas on a Budget
Not only that but also how to make Christmas magical – when you have no money!
First I want to give you seven rules for gift purchases this year.
ONE & DONE
Your child should be ok with receiving one gift, if they aren’t I blame you. Sorry, but it’s the truth and I am guilty.
I am an only child so there are many lessons that I should have learned that I didn’t and one was being grateful and appreciative for what you do have.
I was spoiled rotten, anything I wrote on my Christmas list I got.
This is the time to explain the true meaning of Christmas and to teach your children not to overemphasize the receiving but to take joy in giving.
THE ULTIMATE GIFT
Every kid has one gift that seals the deal. To the point everything else is irrelevant. My kids are between the ages of 3-9 so they are still in the toy stages but they also want electronics.
Who am I trying to kid, they will choose a tablet if they had a choice between a toy and an electronic. Because for some reason kids are obsessed with youtube where they watch kids do the exact things they do and play Roblox.
But at the same time if you have a typical child they most likely will already have had a tablet since the age of 2 or 3 so be observant to see what your kids might like.
If your child won’t love it, then don’t buy it.
TEST IT OUT
Often times my kids will ask me for the same kind of toys that they already have.
For example, my son likes Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers. So often times we will get him things for his Birthday to see how well he handles or mishandles them. So we got him Leonardo and Ralph and by the end of the night, they were in pieces.
“Ummmmm son what happened to your new Ninja Turtles?”
“I took them apart”
“Because they come apart”
He won’t be getting any more of those.
So as you can see he doesn’t LOVE Ninja Turtles, he likes the idea of having them because other kids have them and he watches them on TV.
So is it worth spending money on a toy that can’t even survive 24 hours? probably not.
DON’T BUY JUST TO BUY
I have four kids so my husband and I like to make sure all of our kids have the same number of gifts because we didn’t think it was fair for them to get up on Christmas morning to rush to the Christmas Tree with excitement to discover they only have two gifts while another has four.
So we would just buy random stuff that we thought our kids might like, without really knowing.
As a parent you want to make Christmas “magical” so I wanted to make sure under our Christmas tree was filled, I didn’t want there to be any floor showing and if possible I wanted the bottom of the tree to be covered as well.
I know I’m not the only one out there that feel that way.
But when you don’t have money like that you have to find other ways to make Christmas feel “magical” without breaking the bank, we will discuss that in a minute.
Here’s a suggestion if you are buying a toy or electronic that has multiple pieces, wrap the pieces individually. For example, if you are buying a cell phone or a new table or something they come with chargers so take that charger out and wrap it individually and make sure they get that gift first it adds to the excitement.
“Mom, I want that, you see that?” I hear that about a thousand times before Thanksgiving is even here.
Commercials have a way of making toys look so appealing, but in reality, our kids often think that the toys they play with will look like it does on TV and for most of us normal people who make a decent living we can’t afford to buy the 300 pieces that are included in the commercial.
So here is how it will be on Christmas morning.
“Ooooh, mom you got me that toy I saw on TV.” while frantically looking for everything else that was on the commercial.
“What’s wrong Johnny, isn’t that the toy you wanted?”
“Yea, but I thought it would be better, like on TV.”
Hmmm, what do you say to that?
So don’t fall for the commercial woes, they are only expressing an interest because it has been thrown in their poor little faces and they don’t know they are being deceived.
MAKE NEEDS DESIRABLE
Ever went threw your kids drawers near Christmas time and notice either their undergarments are too small or they are in need of new ones.
Time to make those needs appealing in their eyes.
Buy them some cool underwear like Spiderman or My Little Ponies. Please don’t go buy any white or solid color underwear I now you may be on a budget but the least you can do is splurge on the undies.
Maybe you see they need new winter coats and boots. Take the time and assess what your kids really NEED. I know clothes aren’t as fun as a cool new toy or game, but when they outside freezing because they coat sleeve is now stopping halfway down their arm they will appreciate it.
You know what else is a need, Books!
Reading is essential and it’s even more important than buying toys.
FAST FORWARD TO THE FUTURE
If you have a gamer you really don’t want your child playing on their game system or on their tablet 24/7. Then maybe you should consider something different and not but them one.
Because unfortunately cell phones and tablets and gaming systems are a great distraction that dumb downs communication and takes attention away from what’s really important such as studies and spending time with family.
My Pastor often refers to the cell phone as a “curse” to this generation.
EMBRACE THE SPLURGE
I know this may seem a little contradictory, but embrace the splurge.
As long as it’s within your budget of course!
There is nothing wrong with buying that ONE gift that your child will absolutely LOVE and that you believe will be treasured by your child.
This is a great way if you are a Christian to represent Christ because this is what Christmas is about.
Christ is the ULTIMATE gift, that I absolutely love, and I will FOREVER treasure.
JESUS CHRIST is my SPLURGE!
And that’s what we should always have at the forefront of everything.
But What if I don’t even have money to do that?
You can still make Christmas Magical with little to no money!
When I say decorate I mean DECORATE! You want to feel the Christmas Spirit as soon as you walk through the doors of your home.
You can use old decorations and even make some decorations. The Dollar Store and Dollar Tree are great places to go to buy cheap holiday decorations.
You want your home to look and feel “magical”.
When money is tight it can be stressful because you want to make sure everyone gets a gift and no one feels left out. But there is nothing wrong with not being able to. If you are used to buying gifts for others outside of your immediate family, just let them know that this year you will not be able to do that.
Remember how I was talking about how I always like for my Christmas Tree to appear full with gifts, to be honest, what parents don’t. But when money doesn’t allow for that this is when you can make your presentation stand out and it will make a HUGE difference.
Wrap EVERYTHING! I don’t care if it’s a pack of batteries or a pad of stickers.
Also, check discount areas and clearance items and start stocking up on them early, so that means NOW! My kids and I absolutely love going to Target and going to that little “Red Zone” that is right there when you walk in the door there are soooo many gift ideas and they are so affordable.
Create a warming atmosphere that consists of a homemade breakfast that is filled with some of your child’s favorites. Around here my kids love pancakes, bacon, eggs, toast, cinnamon rolls, etc. They are much like their mother so there isn’t too much they won’t eat.
Set your table and layout the ultimate breakfast spread for your children so when they wake to the smell of breakfast the at the same time are able to literally have a sensory overload.
See: Christmas decorations, nicely wrapped gifts, and an arrangement of their favorite breakfast foods.
Touch: Tearing of the wrapping paper, embracing gifts
Hear: laughter, love, excitement, Christmas music
Taste: Homemade breakfast made with love
Feel: the “magic” that seems to have manifested itself through love and the spirit of the provision that is only because of the ULTIMATE gift himself JESUS CHRIST!
I don’t know about you but there is no better way to do Christmas!
What are you planning to do this Christmas?
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