How to Make Christmas Meaningful Yet Affordable

So here we are in December with Christmas and all the festivities coming whether we are ready or not. I love celebrating Christmas just as much as the next person but I refuse to go into debt in order to provide my children and family with a Christmas they will not forget. In this post I will provide you with tips on how to not over spend this Christmas while still being able to check off items on your children’s Christmas list.

Two Christmas’ ago I was on maternity leave and we were on a real strict budget. I had started putting money aside for Christmas in September to avoid any type of financial stress come December.

Tip #1. Sell off unused items and toys:
I love to “clean up” shop before Christmas to make way for all the new toys the kids are going to collect it is a win win situation. By doing this it will make room in your home for all the toys and items the family will be receiving. It also provides extra money and who doesnt want extra money?

I started selling items on Facebook buy and sell groups and Kijij. I made almost $300.00 just by getting rid of toys the kids no longer used and items we no longer had use for. Its also a perfect time to go through the kids closets and sell off their clothes that no longer fit. Taking them to consignment stores is a great option. There is still time for this. Actually my son posted a few of his toys over the weekend to sell and everything was picked up within days. Both ladies that came to pick up the toys told me they were Christmas gifts for their son’s.

Tip #2. A second hand Christmas:

If your kids are anything like mine they have provided you with a long detailed list of items they would love for Christmas. Well what I do before I go and order off of Amazon or check out the stores. I go on Kijiji, I almost always find exactly what I am looking for either brand new or the in great condition. Check out the pictures below of items I was able to cross off the kids list for more than half the price. I have been shopping this route for the last two years and I will keep it going. I also hit up thrift stores too when looking for gifts. I got my daughter an easy bake oven last year. All the food packages included and in the box. Paid $4.00 compared to $107.00 on Amazon.

Get it out of your head that the gift doesn’t come brand new in a box (even thoughsometimes it does.) I thought of that the first time but guess what my kids have never asked why the item was not sealed in a box. They have been so over the moon they got almost everything they wanted and a few extra presents and that’s because I always come in under budget. I was able to score my two kids and nephew a Nintendo DS this year all from Value Village. Retail price on these are over $150.00 I got mine for $15.00 each and even purchased a couple games. Yes it does take a bit more planning but the savings is so worth it!

Some items I have purchased via Kijiji or thrift stores.

*basketball net Brand new in box

* fuseball table in box

* air hockey table

* paw patrol figurines and vehicles at a swap party (free)

*Imaginex figures

* Bey Blades and domes

*Pokemon lot of cards and figurines

* skates

*barbie house in brand new condition

*barbies

*dolls

* fur real animals

*scooters

*bikes

* books

* ride on electric motorcycle (Free)

*craft kits

So why do I do this you ask?

Reason 1: kids fave items/toys change by the minute. Why would I spend $100.00 plus dollars on one Fur Real Horse at Toys R Us when I could get this whole lot of Fur Real toys for $50.00. So after a couple days of my daughter playing with this zoo of animals she was on to the next item and now they hang out in her closet.

Reason 2. If the item breaks or they loose it I wont be so upset because I didnt spend a ton of money on it. Come on you know it’s true nothing lasts forever with children.

Reason 3. It makes sense financially!!!!

Tip #3 Gifting experiences for the kids:

Let’s face it our children are blessed and all of our playrooms are full to the max. Last year they could barely come up with gift ideas. I asked my immediate family to gift the kids with experiences. The best part was that most family members included a sleepover so it was a present for mom and dad too!

The kids got to experience a hockey game, trip to the museum, trampoline park, dinner out, movies, tubing and we took them to a water park and turned it into a mini vacay. They still talk about these times spent with their family. Groupon and Wagjag are two great places to go to see what you could purchase.

Another idea is having family pay for an extra circular activity. Ex, swimming lessons, piano, sports, Girl guides, Beavers etc.

Tip #4 Extended Family Christmas:

No need to buy for everyone in the fam. Why dont you draw names so you end up buying for one person and make a price limit? We use a website http://www.drawnames.ca. It draws the names and you can add to your wish list on the site.

I know we are getting down to the last few weeks but you still have time to shop around for items on the kids list. Enjoy the time spent with family and friends this Christmas season and most of all making memories. The last thing we should be doing is worrying about seeing the credit card statement when it comes in January.

Do you do anything to make Christmas a bit easier on the bank account or special for the kids? Let me know

14 thoughts on “How to Make Christmas Meaningful Yet Affordable”

  1. These are great ideas! I know we all can count the number of “gotta have it” toys that are in the bottom of the toy box! I’ve moved into the experience phase of gifting as well and it is so much fun!

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  2. These are great ideas, thank you!! We do way less than we used to and make it more about spending quality time with family and friends. I bake a lot and share the treats. I love giving gifts so it’s hard for me but it’s so nice not to have Christmas debt anymore!

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  3. We are totally thrift Christmas gifters. Not only do I buy gifts from the thrift store for my children but I take them shopping there to buy gifts for parents and siblings. It makes so much sense.

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  4. I LOVE the experiences idea, and I really hope we will be able to implement that in the future as our little one gets older.
    With extended family, we do a type of white elephant. We have done bags of candy(not my favorite), board games($10 or less), and this past year we did anything $10 and under. It takes the pressure off of hoping you get a gift that they want or don’t already have.

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  5. What great tips! Thank you so much for sharing. We are definitely focusing on experiences this year and that is also giving us something else to look forward to after the holiday season!!

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