In pre-COVID times, about now we’d be entering what would be the most wonderful time of the year. The cheerful jingle of Christmas carols would follow us through the shopping mall, houses would dazzle in red, white and green decor and the fresh scent of Christmas cake would be flowing through our kitchens. Not to mention the piles of neatly wrapped gifts just bustling under the Christmas tree waiting for that fateful morning on the 25th of December to be opened, loved and cherished.
Yet in 2020, like many celebratory days throughout this unprecedented year, we face a different kind of Christmas with many struggling financially. Realistically we know that the gifts, food, and family traditions all add up to a costly price, which for many, will damper their Christmas spirit. So if you’re one to find yourself feeling a little grinchy this year, just know that it’s not time to put the tree away just yet. We’ve come up with five handy ideas that can lighten the cost on Christmas day that still give the same impact as previous costly traditions.
Get Crafty with the Kids and Hand-Make Decorations
Remember those paper chains we used to make at school to decorate the classroom? Well now is the time to stop reminiscing and to start creating. Add a personal touch to your home by making your own decorations. There are heaps of Christmas DIYs and crafts online that not only cost you nothing but also put those random items around your home to good use.
Purchase Home Brand Products for your Baking Needs
Being restricted by a budget shouldn’t stop you from getting your inner Jamie Oliver on in the kitchen. By shopping home brand, you can still cook delicious tasty treats, traditional Christmas dinners and indulgent desserts all at half the cost of what you would previously spend. Also, take advantage of the major supermarket chains’ free Christmas recipe catalogues that include their home brand products in each recipes’ ingredients.
Create Gift Hampers for Families
If your family tree is looking more like the size of an oak tree compared to an olive tree, purchasing gifts for every single family member will have you spending hundreds. Gift hampers can be a great way of giving a lot whilst remaining on a shoestring budget. Fill up your hamper with homemade cookies or chocolates, self-care packages, gift cards, candles, jams or even tiny alcoholic beverages. That way there’s something for everyone at a quarter of the price.
Ask Guests to All Pitch In on the Menu
Inviting the extended family over to your house will result in a lot of mouths to feed and nobody wants to spend all of Christmas day locked away in their kitchen. Ask your guests to bring a dish each. You could even assign dishes to guests by dividing up appetisers, lunch, dinner and dessert among each family. That way you can save time and money and spend more quality time with your family.
Support Local Small Businesses
If your budget is a little more flexible and you don’t have the time to cook or create gifts for Christmas, invest your earnings into small businesses who can do it all for you at half the price of big retailers. Right now, big companies will be making more profit than smaller businesses. so if you really want to make someone’s Christmas extra special, support those who have been hit the hardest by the pandemic this year.
With so many ways to save big this year, don’t let the finance grinch steal your Christmas joy and spirit.