So it’s that time of the year again where the old bank balance is starting to wince at the thought of Christmas costs. However, it doesn’t have to be an all-out spend-fest, here are some tips to help cut back on the cost of Christmas for your family:
The run up
· Get the kids involved and make your own decorations, a glue stick and some glitter will always keep small people happy (adult supervision recommended, no one wants the dog to resemble a Christmas tree!).
· After wrapping the presents, let the kids put their own mark on it for the grandparents and the family. It encourages involvement, and they’ll be proud of their work of art!
· Create an activity advent calendar planned around nativity plays and other obligations such as shopping, buying the Christmas tree and decorating the dining room. This way everyone can get involved – get a real team going!
· Don’t go mad with the food; “special” food for each meal isn’t always necessary and chances are you’ll probably throw loads of it out anyway.
· Create a buffet from the leftovers on Boxing Day, sometimes grazing as and when is just what you need after Christmas day indulgence.
· Use the bones of the turkey for stock – make the most out of the bird!
· Shops are open again on the 27th so you only really need to cater for two days; don’t be fooled by TV adverts showing tables full of food and think you need to replicate them!
· Look at giving family presents. Games that the whole family can enjoy together, and maximise some of the time you have with each other.
· Use the pound shops for stocking fillers.
· Make a game of present-giving for the kids – treasure hunts around the house and garden will make the present-opening last longer.
· Do a secret Santa for the adults with a price limit.
· Don’t buy over-priced tat that no one wants or needs, avoid the tacky mugs or joke toilet rolls, you’re probably only buying it for the sake of it!
· Adults would probably prefer a nice bottle of wine instead of the annual address book or naff toiletries – quality always triumphs over quantity!
The build up to Christmas is exciting, so make the most of it by getting everyone in the family involved!