This year we’re all looking for some cheap Christmas Ideas. Granted pre-planning can certainly take the strain off the holiday pressures, but once you’ve hit November, there’s not really much time for buying gifts ahead. Though starting your Christmas shopping in July makes a huge difference!
Most of us aren’t concerned with what we’ll get, but we put a huge amount of pressure on ourselves to give. With the economy being uncertain, it’s a good idea to decide how to manage Christmas on a budget so that you can enjoy the holiday with your friends and family.
Gifts for your young kids
Let’s focus on most parents’ biggest worry, making sure our kids have something under the tree.
We’ve all heard the stories from our parents; you know the one I mean…when they explained when they were kids all they got for Christmas was a pair of socks. Well, why not! Of course you will want to make it a little more exciting than some white socks. Think about your child and their likes and pick up some clothing paint from the craft store and start decorating. Of course, this would work just as well with a t-shirt, hat, even gloves!
Another thing to consider is going to your local thrift or second hand store. Look for things like wooden trains, planes, doll houses or anything that you can repaint fairly easily. In that same vein, if there is a dollar store near you, that’s a great place to get things like balls or little stocking stuffers.
You can put a number of things for the kids under the tree for under thirty dollars if you’re a bit creative and willing to put in a bit of work making those perfectly good used toys look shiny and new.
Gifts for your teenagers
I realize repainting a toy train set isn’t going to work for the teenagers. Fortunately, they’re old enough to understand when money is tight. So the latest cell phone is out, but how about a week of chauffeuring your teen and their friends around. Another idea, while painful to think about, would be a week of doing their chores! Think about your child and see what you can do for them that would actually mean something to them.
For very young or high school student, repurpose those old or ripped jeans and use the pocket to make a purse or the leg to make a pencil case. That would take a bit of sewing skill and some Velcro, but is certainly doable. For the girls…”bling it up” with some self adhesive appliqués and for the boys, add his favorite sport team, super hero or other patch that works for him.
Put together a photo album or scrapbook with some quotes or memories written down. Be sure you put it together to suit their personality. If they’re sensitive, but in lots of loving and sentimental thoughts, if they’re more the life of the party, make it funny! Remember, it should be mostly pictures and thoughts of them and their friends, not so much of you.
Obviously, this is hardly an exhaustive list, but with a bit of imagination, thinking outside of the box and the local craft store, you can have a wonderful and inexpensive Christmas.
Get the whole family involved!
However you choose to keep the expense of Christmas to a minimum, be sure you explain to your kids the reality of your financial situation. You don’t want to see looks of puzzlement or disappointment when they don’t see the latest and greatest video game or iPod. You may want to get them into the spirit as well by having them do their own creative Christmas presents for others.