Thinking of spending for Christmas

Christmas can seem a daunting time–so much pressure to spend!! If you’re like me, you are tired of the screaming ads to purchase, the constant emails to buy while you can, and the incessant requests from others for “needs” they really “can’t do without.”

And yet, with so many people to give gifts to all at once, Christmas can put a lot of pressure on a budget or bank account. Part of sustainability is also good stewardship. Borrowing money to purchase items is not a sustainable practice. It’s a short-term fix to a long-term problem–it causes more stress later and increases the debt load into the future.

There was a time when we had no money for Christmas. Yes–no money. Food was hard to manage, let alone the purchasing of gifts. I remember the generosity of others. Our children needed warm slippers, pj’s, and coats for winter….and someone handed us an envelope with money in it to be able to purchase gifts for our children! What a huge blessing! AND someone bought our children slippers that year!

Most years there has been no excess, but we have always had what we needed. And we have always been able to give to others. Some of this has come from simply re-evaluating what was actually a need versus a want. The size of my hips tells me I’m really not struggling with starvation–I could probably do without a bit more!

Through the years, there have been many ways to think creatively about gifts. Whether it’s been making gifts, re-purposing presents, upcycling items, or just generally trying to think “outside the box” with possible ideas, try something different this year.

Quick ideas for saving money

  • Wait: Wait to purchase–do whatever it takes to put off the purchase for a day so you can think a bit more–but wait!
  • Plan ahead: Start a savings account for those higher ticket items: they can unwrap a cleverly wrapped picture or box showing this as your gift (along with a deposit each week/month until it’s paid)
  • Consider options: See if you can make it yourself or go for a more budget version.
  • Build Memories: Think of an activity to do together rather than an item to purchase–memories last much longer!
  • Make it Unique: Make a “voucher book” of the person’s favourite things (ie. coffee in bed, foot spa, etc).

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