Have a holly, jolly (wallet-friendly) Christmas
For most people, November and December are the best months of the year. It’s getting colder, wardrobes are full of fashionable layers, and the holiday cheer is among us! The holidays remind us to give thanks, make amends with people we love, and get together with family and friends. In light of the tragedies that have affected Wine Country recently, I’m sure many people are asking themselves, “How am I going to afford Christmas this year?” But don’t fear, my friends! I have thought long and hard about this, and I have some tips and suggestions to help you and your family have a wallet-friendly Christmas.
Gifts on a Budget
Instead of honoring everything on your children’s Christmas lists, concentrate on the one big thing they want. Unless it’s a dog – then focus on the second most coveted gift. Another idea is to plan something for your family to do together. This allows you and your family to create experiences and memories instead of collecting stuff.
As for gifts for other people, perhaps get small gifts just for the children. When families grow and get large, beanies and gloves are a great way to go! If you can knit or make blankets, that’s another great route you can go (and more power to you). You can also give recipes in mason jars. A case of 12 mason jars costs about $10.99 at the craft store. You then add dry ingredients for hot cocoa or chocolate chips cookies and give that as a gift. Overall, the cost of each mason jar gift is about three dollars.
Another thing we have done (since our family is so big) is do a Secret Santa for each branch of the family. For example, my family goes in the hat as “Stacie’s family”, my brother’s family goes in the hat as “Galicinao’s family,” my sister’s family goes in the hat as “Mel’s family,” and so on and so forth. Everyone picks one family from the hat, and that is the family that you get gifts for.
Decorating on a Budget
Instead of spending all of your money on decorations, make them yourself! Growing up, I loved decorating my grandmother’s tree with the ornaments that we made. It was also something that we did together, which was so special. All you really need to make your own decorations is yarn, glitter, construction paper, and markers. Set aside a few hours to sip hot cocoa, listen to Christmas music, and let your crafting bug run wild.
Regarding outdoor decorations, one alternative to hanging lights is to decorate your front door to look like a Christmas present. All you need is some wrapping paper and ribbon to create a festive entrance. You can also visit Dollar Tree and buy some window decals for the front windows of your house. Just stick them on the glass and voila! Your house looks festive and your PG&E won’t go up. Wallet-friendly Christmas decorations, here we come!
Wallet-friendly Christmas Trees
Although I am the biggest Christmas Scrooge, even I know that there needs to be a Christmas tree in the house. Here are my suggestions:
- Target has an unlit, six-foot-tall artificial Christmas tree available online for $29.99. They have many other options, but this is the most wallet-friendly Christmas tree on their website. You can also get lights there for $2.99.
- Visit a local tree lot and get a small tree for around $40.
- If you have a chainsaw, haul the family to Lake Pillsbury in Mendocino County and cut down your tree. All you have to do is pay $10 for the permit. It makes for a fun road trip, too!
- Don’t forget about the abundance of Christmas tree decorations that you can find in the dollar section at Target and at the Dollar Store!
I hope these tips and suggestions help you and your family to have the merriest, wallet-friendly Christmas season. Merry Christmas, y’all!