Creative & Unique Ways To Celebrate Christmas On A Budget


Despite our best planning and intentions, by the time Christmas rolls around, our bank account is squeezed just too thin. If you are on a tight budget this holiday season, you can still create an enjoyable and even magical Christmas for you and your family. You don’t need a lot of money to pull off Christmas, and no matter what your reason for cutting back this Christmas, there is something here for everyone. 

As a mom, I know just how much you want to create the most magical Christmas for your kids. Living on a tight budget can not only make daily life hard but when Christmas rolls around it gets even harder. With a little creativity, here are some fun & unique ways you can spend less money and still have a magical Christmas with your kids, and celebrate Christmas on a budget.

Wrap Every Little Thing

Sometimes unwrapping the presents is way more fun than what is inside.

This is especially true for your younger children.

If you don’t have many gifts to put under the tree this year, wrap everything, even your stocking stuffers (yes, I wrap every teeny tiny item inside my kids stockings! Even candy bars I got for FREE at the Drug Stores using coupons!).

This will not only help with stretching out Christmas morning as long as possible, but it will be more fun!

For example, if you buy your kids a pack of matchbox cars, open them up and wrap each car separately. There will be more presents for your kids to open, and you just made one gift into more!

Get Crafty

Store-bought Christmas decorations are expensive! {I made the glittered fruit centerpiece in the photo above for less than $5 total! Put the glittered fruit in a bowl and add some ribbon and you’ve got a really festive centerpiece. Or, hot glue them on a wreath that you made from a few branches out of your Christmas Tree.}

Whether you are looking for ornaments for your tree or just a creative way to deck the halls, look no further than your own hands!

Creating crafts with your kids is not only a great way to spend more time together, but your house will be full of beautiful, low cost, Christmas decor!

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You can even take this a step further and make your Christmas gifts this year. Baked goods, homemade candles, and even DIY Lip Balms are all great gift ideas that will be just as amazing as the storebought ones. You know who loves homemade gifts? Grandparents! They already have so much that something you made with your hands is more meaningful anyway.

There are usually several FREE DIY eBooks on Amazon that are filled with ideas for making gifts using everyday materials you probably already have in your pantry!

Keep Christmas Morning Breakfast Simple

It’s easy to get caught up in all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. There are adorable pancake molds and fun new Christmas food to make for your Christmas morning breakfast.

If you’re on a tight budget, you need to keep it simple, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose the fun.

Pancakes, fruit, and bacon can be easily shaped into Reindeer, and you can turn those boring cinnamon buns into a cute Christmas tree! By keeping the breakfast menu simple, but the arrangement fancy, you can have fun without the excess expense.

Think Of FREE Gifts To Give 

While Christmas is the season of giving, if you are working with a small budget, you might need to hone your spending a little this year. Explain to extended family that this year you are focusing on just your immediate family. You can make it up to them next year, but this year you need to focus on your family and that is okay.

If this is just not possible, or you are embarrassed to do so, think of FREE gifts you can give to them so that you still have something to give without the expense:

  • Enter their mailing address for a FREE annual magazine subscription and you don’t even have to enter a credit card, PLUS you’ll never receive a bill.
  • Make them a “homemade coupon booklet” in which you could promise them a future experience such as a day of canoeing once the weather is warmer and the holidays are over.
  • There is nothing wrong with secondhand gifts, as long as they are in excellent condition. Check out thrift stores, Craigslist, eBay, ThredUP, and even Goodwill to find brand new items for sale. I once found a box of Pampered Chef goodies! It had never even been opened. {In case you are curious, there was a whisk, spatula and a baking stone inside the box, I think people kept passing it over because the spatula and whisk were loose inside so it sounded like the piece inside was broken. I simply asked if I could open the box to see the contents and boy was I pleasantly surprised!}

Limit the Number of Gifts

When it comes to Christmas, we use the holiday as an excuse to buy more than we need. Limit the number of gifts you give each person to help you save money this Christmas. If you’re going for a more minimalist Christmas this year, consider using this as a guideline and buy one of each “type” of gift:

This will work for everyone on your list, and ensure that you aren’t blowing your money on gifts they won’t even use.

Shop at the Dollar Store

Instead of spending hundreds on your decor and stocking stuffers, shop at The Dollar Tree!

You can find coloring books, Christmas tins, and even supplies for Christmas crafts all in one store!

And you can also use coupons at The Dollar Tree too. Be sure to check our coupon database for coupons you can use in the store.

Shop Secondhand and Dollar Stores for Decorations

While Target may have beautiful displays of artificial trees and ornaments galore, it’s best to stay away from these stores (avoiding the temptation) until they clearance their holiday items.

Instead, shop at Secondhand stores and Dollar Stores if you must have some new holiday decorations this year.

Places like Big Lots and Goodwill have gently used items that will be perfect for decorating your home, plus, it’s fun to hunt down a good deal on a barely used Christmas Decoration!

Make It From Scratch

The holidays are one of the best times to get baking. For one, baking items will be in abundant supply (and least expensive) this time of year, and second, it’s a fun way to spend time together!

Bake cookies for Santa together, or make your festive holiday treats for friends and neighbors. While it may be tempting to head to the store to buy these baked goodies when you get busy, you’ll spend twice as much and it won’t be nearly as much fun!

Look at this adorable way to make a Gingerbread House (really called a Graham Cracker Cottage) using super inexpensive ingredients!

Keep It Simple

Christmas is one of the few holidays where people tend to go a little overboard. You don’t need a house full of Christmas lights, a million presents for your kids, and the most expensive fruitcake you can find to have a great Christmas.

Focus on the little things and keep things simple to avoid overspending.

You will still make great memories by watching Christmas movies with a cup of hot chocolate as you would by going to the movies.

And you will have just as much fun driving around to look at the neighborhood lights as you would attending a Festival of Lights.

The importance is not in how much you spend as much as how present you are with your family for the season.

Shift Your Focus

Last but not least, remember that Christmas is about giving and spending time with family.

The entire season really has nothing to do with Christmas trees or presents, but about the birth of baby Jesus.

You might not have many presents under the tree this year, but remember that Christmas is about so much more than the gifts you receive. It’s about the miracle in the manger that day, and about the love and time spent with your family.

You can still deck the halls, bake cookies for Santa, and put something under the tree this Christmas, even if you are on a tight budget. If you follow these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to save some money for Christmas and make it happen for a lot less.

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