Christmas can be a tough time for most of us. Not only because of the number of get-togethers that build up along the course of the month, but also because of how much you have to spend.
From presents to figuring out what to wear on Christmas day to booze to decorations, Christmas time, whilst being one of the happiest times of the year, can also add up to be really stressful in terms of finance. You won't feel it now, but it's when the tree comes down and the new month begins, that's when reality kicks in and you're stuck wondering how to survive.
One of the best parts about Christmas is the part with the presents. But, while it feels really really good to be the one handing them out like Santa, it can be expensive. It could be scented candles with a personalised touch (like dried petals inside them), sugar scrubs, potted plants or even a giant box of cookies (like the kind Harry used to get from Mrs Weasley). DIY presents don't necessarily mean to say you're cheap no matter how much of a stigma there is about it. It could mean that you care to go that extra mile.
Plus, Pinterest and Youtube have hordes of DIY videos you can use for this.
Instead of spending a heap of money at fancy stores, try Pettah-ing it. From Christmas decor to toys for the one-year-old nephew of yours who will probably end up breaking it a week later anyway, try to get it when you make your annual trip to Pettah instead of running to Arpico at the last minute.
Everyone loved getting presents. But, we don't necessarily like everything we get. We've all been there. Whether it be through your office secret Santa or even something your aunt gave for your birthday, it matters not. If you have something which you've gotten as a present for someone else. And you don't use it, try re-gifting it to someone who you think will enjoy it more than you do. Just, be careful not to give it to the same set of people in case it goes a full circle to end up with the person who gave it to you in the first place.
If you come from a family where you make your own Christmas cake, you already know how expensive this tradition can be. So, this year around, change up your traditions a bit and bake a batch of brownies or cookies instead. And no, the people who you end up giving them to won't care about whether it was Christmas Cake or not. So long as it's edible, we doubt they'll give a hoot about what it tastes like.
Instead of buying something small for everyone in your group of friends or even your family, suggest going through with Secret Santa. That way, everyone ends up getting something that has more thought and budget in it.
Make a Christmas Budget
Making a budget is vital for when you don't want to overspend. So, before you start the spending process, we suggest jotting everything down on a note pad and getting rid of unwanted expenses. Just, make sure you stick to it. If you don't, chances are you're going to be back to square one with no cash and much to spend on.
Christmas time is pretty much the perfect time to get your shopping done just because of how many shops give discounts on their stuff. Getting your presents and such from stores that have discounts going on is a basic of this. So, if you don't already do that,..why not? But, make sure to keep an eye out for the stores that give pre-season discounts because there are a whole heap of them. Trust us on this.
Have a Potluck!
December is when every Tom, Dick and Harry comes down for the holidays. And if you've already planned on having a dinner or lunch for your family, you know that the chances of you inviting a solid 20 people is a must. So, instead of having a whole bunch of dinners and lunches to pack up their entire schedule, organise a giant potluck with everyone and have everyone bring a dish to it. This not only ensures that you don't end up spending for 2 dozen people, but it also gives a chance for everyone to meet each other.
Give More This Season
This isn't a budget cut. This is just our way of reminding you that it is the season of giving. So, if you do have the chance of buying something, even something small for a child or anyone in need; do it! Making someone else happy is always a lovely thing.
Stop Buying So Many Decoration!
Every year, I find myself back in Pettah with a whole bunch of bags and at least 2 of them have new decoration in them. That's the thing though, I for one fully know that we have a box packed with old Christmas decor, but still choose to go all out with little Santas and baubles for the 5 days that it sees sunlight. So, trust us on this. You have enough decorations at home. Stop spending so much on it.
DIY's are brilliant. And making your kids or nephews or even yourself make a couple of decorations with old things at home can help with saving a ton of money you'd usually spend of decor. Plus, that way you'll be able to upcycle some old things without throwing them out.
Again, Pinterest and Youtube are a haven for this kind of shenanigans.
Quality Over Quantity
Don't be a Mr and Mrs Dursley, you don't have to give 32 presents to every member of your family. Heck, you don't even need to give them 2. Instead, choose to give something they'd need instead of fancy, expensive presents that they're bound to 'ooh' at and then leave to rot in a corner of their cupboard. Even if they look slightly disappointed at first. I've gone through enough and more presents that I was disappointed with at first that I've used till the point where I had to be forced to give it up.
You don't have to throw a KKW and re-make an entire era to make a present sentimental. Sticking their face on a mug does it just fine. However, if you don't want to give them a cup, I'm sure that there's something or the other that would make them tear up on Christmas morning without you having to dig deep.