We all know that Christmas Consumerism is something we want to avoid. This time of year, everyone seems to be focused on gifts, and less focused on family. You do not have to “go broke” to have a fun Christmas. By planning ahead a bit, you can celebrate Christmas with very little money and still have a very special celebration.
Here are just a few ideas to help you get creative:
• Sit down with each family member individually and ask them what they love about Christmas. You will be pleased to find out that many of these are no or low-cost activities. If no one mentions certain holiday activities, it may mean it is time to get rid of them.
• In November, go through the entire house and gather up all the Christmas CDs, Videos, Books, Devotionals, etc and wrap them. Use what you have on hand. You can use wrapping paper, tissue paper, newspaper, or put them into a big pillowcase tied with a ribbon. If you do not have many of these, think about some books that have elements of Christmas (like the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, or many of the Little House books) and include those as well. Still do not have very many? Go to the library and check out their selections. Some of these can be just for fun, and some can be serious Christian devotional books for Christmas or Advent. Count how many you have, and how many days you have left until Christmas. Each day, allow the children to open a new one (or two, depending on how many days you have left, and how many items).
• Stop now and look through your pantry. Do you have things there you can use to make special treats for your family, or as gifts for extended family?
• Plan a night where you tell everyone to get into their warm pajamas for bed, then, at the last minute, wisk them into the car to go look at Christmas lights.
• Host a Toy Exchange with your friends. A lot of people have toys that are in excellent condition that they children either do not use or have outgrown. Plan a toy exchange where everyone brings toys they want to swap. Everyone spreads their toys around the room (we group by ages) and then everyone “shops” and takes what their family would like. If there are leftover toys in good condition, the host can box them up and take them to a charity.
Have a Merry Christmas!
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