Christmas is traditionally a very expensive time of the year, especially if you have children. In these times of economic uncertainty, Christmas can also be a very stressful time for parents whose children ask for expensive gifts Of course, no parent wants their children to be disappointed but it’s also not a good idea to go over-budget or into debt if you are facing economic difficulties The good news is that there are ways in which you can make Christmas fun and exciting for your children even if you don’t have a lot of money to spend.
In the run-up to Christmas, involve your children in every aspect of the preparations. This will help them to feel that their contributions are valued and it will increase the sense of anticipation. Instead of buying new Christmas decorations, make simple decorations with your children using materials that you already have. From paper chains to paper plate angels, plenty of ideas and inspiration can be found for free on the Internet.
You could also ask your children to decorate an inexpensive roll of brown Kraft paper using colouring pens. It can then be used as Christmas wrapping paper, exhibiting your children’s artwork to family and friends. Children can also make and design their own Christmas cards and gift tags and such essentials as Christmas crackers can also be handmade.
If you bake Christmas cake, mince pies, cookies and other delicacies before Christmas, let your children help during each baking session, even if it means that the kitchen becomes very messy. When the sweet treats are in the oven, you can encourage the children to help clean up the mess by promising them a freshly baked reward!
When shopping for Christmas presents for your children, set a total budget and keep to it. Try to look for good, less expensive substitutes for some of the presents on their wish lists. For example, if your son would like the latest Buzz Light year toy, look for a less expensive Toy Story toy that he would like just as much, or, if you are comfortable with giving him a good quality, second hand toy, look on the Internet or in thrift stores for such a toy. In addition, buy a selection of small presents inexpensively from Christmas fairs, eBay and thrift stores.
Do not be afraid to buy your children items that they need for Christmas. For example, if your daughter has just grown out of her winter coat, it is fine to buy her a new one as a Christmas present.