There can be a bit of a panic to make sure everything’s perfect for Christmas. The perfect gifts, the perfect decorations, the perfect food. But few things are perfect in life, and striving for perfection often comes at a cost to our stress levels and bank balance.
I truly believe it is possible to have just as good a time with less money. And you may even find you enjoy the run up to Christmas more. So this week I thought I’d give you some suggestions for celebrating Christmas on a budget.
Speak to your friends and family to see if you can agree a set budget to spend on each other. Or why not agree that each person just buys for one other, Secret Santa style?
Bespoke pictures can be quite easy to make. Cut out a pretty applique from an outgrown babygro and frame it for a child’s bedroom. Or use Wordle to create a design using words that mean something to the person you’re giving the gift to. Charity shops often have old pictures for sale in attractive frames that can be resued. Or pick up some cheap frames in Poundland and paint them.
Family members might appreciate a collage of photographs. Take the glass, back and picture out of an old frame and string some yarn or ribbon across it. Use mini pegs to hang photos from the yarn.
You could also try your hand at other homemade gifts, such as bath-bombs, body scrubs, candles and more. A batch of homemade cookies costs very little, and you could pick up some Kilner jars second hand to present them in.
Search online for voucher codes. Lots of online shops offer a discount around Christmas, or have a free delivery offer. We offer free delivery for purchases over £25 for example.
Gift your time. Use an online free design service such as Canva to design some pretty gift vouchers for everything from babysitting to cooking dinner. A busy parent might appreciate a few hours to themselves. An elderly relative might appreciate being read to, or having some gardening done.
Look for ways to make cheaper presents appear more expensive. You could pick up some second hand gift boxes, or decorate with ribbon for example.
Shopping from small, independent stores can save you money, as you’re not paying for expensive stores, advertising and salaries. And you often get a more personal service. We offer a range of giftsets, and we’re also happy to make up a basket with your choice of products.
It can be difficult to entertain friends and family over the festive period, particularly if you have children. However, you may well find that most people are just glad of a break from work or school, so are more than happy to just relax for a few days. If you do want to plan a few activities, there are ways to keep the costs down.
A trip to the panto can be great fun, but it doesn’t always come cheap. Have a look to see whether your local amateur dramatics group is putting on a performance. It’ll likely be a lot cheaper, and you may even be able to take your own food and drink with you.
Keep an eye out for board games and jigsaws in your local charity shop. Lots of people have a clear out before Christmas, and it’s worth picking a few games up to keep the kids amused at home.
Have a crafting day. Depending on the age and ability of your guests, you could try anything from junk modelling to making cushions. Start collecting bits and bobs to use now.
Make the most of free places to visit, from the beach to museums and art galleries. Time your trips so you don’t have to buy food while you’re out, but budget enough for a little treat. Everyone needs a sit down with a cup of tea and mince pie once in a while.
Do you have any tips for doing Christmas on a budget? I’d love to share them. Just leave me a comment, or drop me a message via Twitter @NaryndaSkincare or Facebook.