How To “Make Under” Your Christmas

Are you sick and tired of all the hustle and bustle of the holidays? Do you want to just stop all the craziness and go back to keeping it simple?

Try these ideas for a “make under” Christmas so you can slow down and save money. Have an effortless and down-to-earth celebration this year without saying “Bah Humbug”.

1. Simplify Dinner: Instead of a fancy, expensive,  over-the-top dinner that takes you days to prepare, consider having a potluck with the family. If every family member brings a simple dish to share, you have just reduced your cost AND your workload without having any real effect on either the happiness of the occasion or the quality of the food.


2. Simplify Presents: The easiest way to make gift-giving streamlined if you have a huge family full of aunts and uncles and brothers and sisters and cousins and nieces and nephews is to draw names at Thanksgiving (or assign them through email). Each person buys a nicer gift for that one family member.

3. Simplify the Party: Don’t go through the expense and trouble this year of a formal party. Your friends most likely have tons of holiday functions to attend. They’ll need to get dressed up, find a sitter and stress about being late for all of them. If you’re doing a party, keep it ultra-casual. Invite all your friends over, with their kids, on, say, a Thursday night. Have everyone wear jeans and do something different like ordering pizza. For about $100, you can probably buy enough pizza and soda to feed all of your friends and their kids with less stress, very little clean up and a lot of holiday cheer.

4. Simplify Cards: Ok, I will admit it.  I am guilty of mailing Christmas cards late…if at all.  Stamps and cards can really add to an already stretched budget. For many moms, just the thought of having to address and comment in all those cards can be distressing. Why not send e-cards this year? Or, if that is just too informal for your family, don’t send cards for Christmas at all. Wait until after Christmas and buy up some festive, but generic, and start a new tradition of mailing out New Year’s cards in January. Less rush. Less cost. Less stress. And something different for family and friends to look forward to.

5. Simplify Decor: Keep decorations minimal. Don’t drag out box upon box of ornaments and spend days covering every square inch of your house in holiday cheer. Create a nice display on your mantle or put a beautiful wreath on your door. Decorate the tree with the kids, perhaps making your own garland or ornaments. That’s it.  Best part? There’s less to clean up too.

6.Simplify Cookies: Did you know that the average person in the USA gains about 5 pounds over the holiday season? Consider saving yourself the after-Christmas diet in January and don’t make any cookies this year. You’re sure to get a few cookies from other parties and moms anyway.

Ways to Save Money on Gifts:

What other ideas do you have on ways to create a memorable “Make Under” Family Christmas this year?

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