Christmas When Funds are Low

It’s that season of year again, and it’s supposed to be merry, bright, and joyful. But sometimes it’s not when you simply don’t have money. Especially if you have children who are counting on a “Merry Christmas”.

Sometimes we have to change our expectations and create a new normal. This year, we’ve seen almost everything skyrocket in price. And yet, most aren’t being paid any more to be able to handle the burden. Don’t lose hope, but read on for some ideas on getting gifts with a low budget!

Christmas gifts- for parents and other close relatives/friends. They don’t have to be new. If you always had an expectation that you would spend a certain dollar amount on others, it’s ok to change that. Instead, think about making homemade, thoughtful gifts for others. Maybe for your parents, you will offer to help them with a difficult project that would be tough for them physically. Whether this is housecleaning, work outside, or physical work projects in the home, figure out what would be most beneficial for them and feasible for you.

Christmas gifts- for kids. You are allowed to buy them secondhand gifts. I’m saying this because I’ve done it. And it went over just as well as if it were new. You are allowed to shop at Goodwill, Bargain Bin, Salvation Army, and Facebook Marketplace. You don’t have to get them everything on their list. If you normally stuff stockings, consider limiting what you put in there, and use Dollar Tree items. Consider having a night at the start of the Christmas season, where you read them a book about what Christmas is really about. If you don’t have a lot of money this year, consider incorporating some inexpensive but fun family traditions that they will be excited for. This could be Christmas movie nights with popcorn, making homemade Christmas decorations and treats, seeing Christmas lights, Advent countdowns and activities, game nights, playing Christmas music, and doing something nice for another family in need.

There are also programs like Christmas for Kids, or other ones too. If you didn’t get signed up, contact Hands of Hope Pregnancy Services or others who would be happy to help.

*Consider showing love to others in your life, by sending a thoughtful homemade card instead of a traditional gift.

*You are allowed to tell people No, if you simply can’t afford something. It’s ok.

*If you have abundance, try to think about how you can help others who may be struggling. If you like to initiate gift exchanges, try to see if you are putting anyone in a tight spot. Maybe you can reassure others that a gift in a certain situation is not necessary.

Do you remember hearing stories from your parents and grandparents about Christmas when they were little? Many were excited to get only an orange and a popcorn ball. Did our generation become a little too entitled? I think many of us have. And yet we can be flexible and adapt. And it doesn’t have to cost us our Christmas spirit. After all, Christmas is about celebrating Jesus, the best present of all. And being with family and friends, and being thankful for loved ones. And being generous with what we have been given. This doesn’t have to change. Maybe we need to be more intentional about living out what Christmas is really about.

There, I see it- a little light of hope. Hope comes in the most unexpected ways sometimes. Reach out to Him.