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Can a cheap Christmas still be a very merry Christmas?

by grann (follow)
Christmas Competition (39)      Christmas (129)      Finance (24)      Credit Cards (4)      Budgeting (4)     

Girl decorating home grown Christmas tree

Many folks get a big credit card shock in the New Year. How do you avoid this post-Christmas fallout?

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Cheap compare to what? Christmas is what you make of it, and sometimes the whole present idea can really get out of hand. Getting creative is the best part of Christmas even when times are tough!
Amen to that.
by Rice
Plan your budget and keep to it. Only spend money on necessary things and make sure you can truly afford them. You might need to have some self-discipline here, but then you will be very grateful that you did afterwards.
Definitely. Time together with family is the main thing. Good food doesn't have to be too expensive, and decorations can be cheap if you make them yourself, which is fun anyway, especially i fyou have kids.

I try not to overdo shopping for presents for the kids, though sometimes I end up buying more than I meant to because I get stuff in advance to save money then forget that I had it and end up with more.
Absolutely - when you plan a budget with a buffer in case any extra expenses arise. It is more the togetherness than the presents. Some families just do a KK for each other, and the kids get presents regardless. This works without needing to be a grinch.
I plan 2 months ahead.
So In October, I start to look for little things for my Grand-kids.I do not have much in the way of money like maybe the average person, I have maybe $45 to $50 over a week.So good planning is important...I make a 'hobby out of it'', so it is fun.
I never ever spend more than I can afford.I have no credit cards, they are no good for me...

I have told my sons, I really can not afford much....as they make a lot more money than I do.Sometimes you just have to ''call it as it is''.It may not be a great feeling....but the children never ever miss out.

As for food, if you have to make something....keep it simple, and it will be lovely.You can always make a fun salad...and buy sliced ham from the deli.

You don't have to buy a Ham leg..............Dessert can be a fruit platter, or nice plum pudding and custard.Maybe a few bottles of soft drink.

As long as you make a nice table, and put effort into it looking nice, have a look on Google for ideas on table decoration at Christmas.

That is your key right there.

yes. A lot of things you can use each year - get a tree in a pot, shop carefully throughout the year where possible and ebay stuff you don't want and need for those unavoidable full priced xmas items. Make gifts or cards, make wrapping paper, or reuse the gift bags from the year before and so on. Just need to get creative on how you look at things.
Agree with all those saying yes. Make a budget, decide in advance what your 'splurges' will be. I also buy presents at any time during the year - if I see something I know a friend or family member will like, I buy it then and put it in a drawer so that come Christmas time I don't have to fork out money for presents all at once. Works a treat!
I am just about to go through the gift cupboard - my year round collection of careful buying.
by grann
Sourcing Christmas lunch/dinner ingredients from local farmer's markets saves your pocket, supports local businesses and saves the environment - maybe you could even make your own festive punch and preserves as edible gifts for family and friends to save money and have fun too.
by Lucy
I think a frugal Christmas is the best way to ensure a merry Christmas. Over the last couple of years we have really tried to spend less money and more time at Christmas. We still give gifts but many are handmade tokens or very carefully selected items we know will be treasured. Too much stress and money goes into buying stuff that people don't want or need.
Xmas, since my Mother died, has meant little to me.

BUT, did 'mucho poss' when had kids'. They really enjoyed the 'trouble' we went to for them.

When my daughter left the 'nest', she asked if she could have my Nativity Set. I felt 'complimented' by that. Now she's her own home & family, to enjoy setting it up in!
Christmas is spending time with family, and I put money away during the year, like Christmas Club, the one I have had been opened for more than 10 years and I found very useful, I use the money to buy gifts for family and friends and plan the Christmas Lunch with the money I got, I never use Credit Card for Christmas time, for so many years, my family always enjoy the home-style Christmas lunch and very merry Christmas time together.
Christmas is not supposed to be about expense. I thought Christmas was about the Christian belief in the birth of Christ. Family, a simple meal and a happy atmosphere should tick all the boxes.
by Rice
I agree with Chipp - Christmas is what you make it. You can have as much fun decorating with stuff from the dollar store as you can from the most expensive stores. I think the most important thing is for family and loved ones to spend time together. Money doesn't compensate if you don't have love in your life.
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