Save Money with a Homemade Holiday this Christmas

December 19, 2007

I doubt anyone would contest the idea that Christmas is becoming more commercialized than in the past. Christmas decorations adorn the stores before Halloween has come and gone.

For many people, the rush to start the holiday season did not bring warm feelings of holiday cheer. Instead, the mental cash register starts ringing and the financial obligations of Christmas become a heavy burden. Thus, many people are often depressed throughout the holidays

For many, 2007 has been a difficult year economically. Keeping food on the table has been the priority; forget having anything extra to spend for Christmas. In fact, a family I know, who have 4 small children, says that Santa is not coming to their house this year.

How sad that Christmas has become a time of financial burden. So, I am going to take an idea from a reader’s recent comment, and suggest a homemade holiday.

First, may I suggest reading Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder? Once you read how last century’s families had to live during the holidays; most of us will actually feel wealthy. Next, I want to suggest some good Christmas ideas that will not result in a slew of bills come January:

Cookies: Who doesn’t like to eat? Make a plate of Christmas goodies to give to friends and family this holiday season. It is a thoughtful gift that took you time, because you cared, yet cost very little.

Christmas Cards: Make the cards this year. Especially if you have children, make homemade Christmas cards. As a mom, an Aunt, a daughter, and a friend, I love handmade cards. For every card, the giver has shared his/her heart. It is not a present pulled off the shelf out of a sense of obligation.

IOUs: I mentioned this in a previous post. If my daughter gave me an IOU to cook supper one night, do a chore, or something else, I would be touched, and her wallet would not get thinner.

Crafts: One year, I made Christmas tree ornaments. You can make them from family photos and things you probably already have around the house. If you crochet, you can make snowflakes, bells, angels, and more with a little crochet thread and time. You don’t even have to buy the starch to make them stiff and formed. Boiled equal parts of water and sugar will do the trick. (Sticky at first, the dry ornaments will no longer be sugary to the touch.)

Cocoa: Make batches of homemade cocoa mix, put it in a decorate jar. It can make a yummy gift for months to come.

Okay, now I am passing the baton. We already have great ideas from one reader who wants to bring the Joy of Christmas before the financial burden. What are your ideas? How are you making a homemade holiday this year?



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9 Responses to Save Money with a Homemade Holiday this Christmas

  • ellie may

    i couldn’t agree more about reading the little house books. my daughter and i have read them together the week before christmas for years.(she is now 27 and we still do it) It really gets you in the mood and makes you appreciate what you have.

  • Barbara

    Our 11-year-old son makes little figures out of Sculpey (a polymer clay that comes in lots of colours, and which stays soft and moldable until it is baked for a few minutes in a regular kitchen oven) for all his brothers and sisters, parents, and anyone else lucky enough to be on his gift-recipient list. He chooses something appropriate for each person, such as a human or animal figure or some other object. These figures are minuscule–sometimes only an inch or two tall. Last year he made a tiny Christmas tree from coloured paper, decorated it, and set it up on a shelf near the regular full-sized Christmas tree with all his tiny wrapped packages arranged under it so they wouldn’t get lost amongst all the bigger gifts.

    I think my favourite gift from him, however, was the live puppet show he presented for me on my birthday one year, using jokes from a joke book which the puppets told each other, using the back of the couch in the living room as a stage. The whole family was in stitches.

    His two older brothers, both musicians, have given their dad and me CDs of their music for Christmas in years past. With modern technology, such recordings are quite easy to produce on home computers, and are certainly unique gifts. Our oldest daughter is an artist and sometimes designs a picture which she either paints by hand or prints using special computer transfer paper onto inexpensive T-shirts, shopping bags or other useable items for her siblings. Some years our youngest daughter is the only one with any spending money at Christmas–she babysits!–so she buys her gifts for giving. It’s OK either way with us.

  • Tina

    I love the idea for the iPod cozy!

    What a cool program to make your own family coloring books. Is it a cd available to any like-minded consumer?

    Playing games by the Christmas tree sounds like a lot of fun and a great memory. My son is also fond of games.

    Great ideas!! Thanks.

  • fn

    This year, no matter how tired I am at the end of the day this last week before the 25th, my son sets up a game near the Christmas tree. We turn off all the house lights and play by the flickering tree lights. It’s a great way to end the day.

  • Jamie @ Surviving College Life

    I like to sew, so I made my brother an iPod cozy that looks like a monster is eating his iPod. It was fun to do, and it cost less than $5 to buy all the materials! I love the idea of a “Handmade Holiday” and have posted 4 Roundup posts on DIY Gifts here if you are interested in finding some fun, creative crafts around the blogosphere.

  • Amy

    I sewed stockings for my Mom, brother and their pets, made coloring books for my niece and nephew (used a program to turn family photos into sketches), made some felt food for my neice, made a stuffed puppy out of a sock for my nephew, and sewed aprons, bathmitts out of washcloths, and sachets out of fabric scraps for 3 of my girlfriends.


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