Recession-Proof Your Christmas

It's never too early to start planning your Christmas, especially if you want to save your holiday from falling victim to the current financial situation. Good planning is the key to a successful Christmas, and this year you can have a Christmas without too much expense.

Christmas Cards

Cards can suck up your Christmas money without even trying, especially with postage costs. If you have email addresses for your friends and family, do consider sending e-cards. If you make sure to include a personal message for each one, no-one will feel short-changed. There are even websites where you can design your own e-card and include your family photo. Not only will this save you money, but it's much better for the environment too.

Christmas Presents

Start early, and think carefully about what you want to buy for people. One beautifully wrapped, well thought out present is worth three generic ones, even if they did cost more. Make sure to pay attention to the sales - you might well get something in the autumn sales that might be full price again by Christmas. That said, many shops are now holding pre-Christmas sales for a week or so before the 25th in order to encourage shoppers to part with their cash. If you spot something you want at full price, ask the sales assistant if the shop will be having a sale before Christmas so that you can buy it at a discount.

Christmas Stockings

If you've got kids who are used to having Christmas stockings, there's no need to stop this tradition. However, you should rethink what goes in it. If you're a parent who normally puts expensive treats inside a stocking as a prelude to the 'main event', this year try returning to the traditional roots of the stocking, filling it with inexpensive but well-chosen gifts. Consider art supplies like coloring crayons and paint brushes, small notebooks, and miniature toys, a small amount of chocolate and, for a truly traditional stocking, an orange.

Food and Drink

If you think about it, Christmas dinner should not be an expensive meal. The main cost is the Turkey, or other meat, but after that the trimmings (especially vegetables) are relatively inexpensive. Usually there are plenty of left-overs too, so one meal can stretch to around three by the time Christmas is over! You can also cut costs by making your own desserts. Make sure that you shop around for your turkey and if you see a good deal, buy in advance and freeze.

Bulk-buy chocolates, crisps, nuts and any other snacks you and your family might want, and don't buy the most expensive brands.

The Trimmings

This is perhaps not the year to go out and buy a load of new Christmas decorations. Everyone has a box full of tried and tested decorations in their loft, so use what you have.

Christmas trees vary in expense, but generally the bigger, the more money. Consider buying a smaller tree this year and resting it on a low table for the illusion of height. You could also buy a synthetic tree - although the initial monetary outlay will be a bit bigger, it will last for years and save you money throughout this time. It also means there aren't any needles to hoover up!

As for Christmas crackers, keep shopping round until you see some on sale. Really cheap crackers are a waste of money as the contents are almost always poor quality and not enjoyable. Why not consider making your own hand-made crackers? It's not difficult to do and you can personalise them for your family.




author: Evie Gray

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