Christmas is the most magical time of year, especially for children. However it is also the most expensive for parents. With the recent economic crisis, the majority of parents are sure to be feeling the pinch this Christmas. Use these money saving tips to ensure a magical Christmas for all the family without breaking the bank.
Last Minute Christmas Tree Buying
One easy way of saving a bit of money this Christmas is to buy the Christmas tree later. Retailers want to get rid of all their trees before Christmas, and so will slash prices considerably the closer it gets to Christmas day. Of course, no one wants to be left with a tree that is brown instead of green and that has already lost most of its pine needles, but being at the front of the line is expensive and unnecessary. In addition, waiting until just a week or two before Christmas to buy a tree will mean that parents can save the valuable distraction time of decorating the tree until the time when children are reaching their most excited and restless.
Homemade Christmas Tree Decorations
Another way of saving money this Christmas is to make homemade tree decorations. This has the added bonus of keeping the kids occupied and making them feel involved. Tree decorations need not be a fancy affair. They may not be up the standard of over-priced tree decorations that are sold in shops, but homemade decorations are unique and will be preferred by children if they have made them themselves. Try making colorful paper chains as an alternative to tinsel, or designing decorations on cardboard. Pierce a hole through the cardboard and tie some ribbon through it to make a unique hanging tree decoration.
Homemade Christmas Stockings
Similarly to having children make their own decorations, they can also make their own Christmas stockings, with a little help from an adult. Take two pieces of seasonally colored felt and draw an identical shaped sock on each. Cut the shapes out and sew together the outside edges. Try decorating the top of the sock with some cotton wool for a classic Christmas look.
Homemade Christmas Cards
Keeping with the homemade theme, homemade Christmas cards are an excellent way to save money. Sticking a print-out of a family picture on the front and writing a personalised message inside makes homemade Christmas cards more unique and memorable than any generic store-bought design and is a gesture that will be truly appreciated by any extended family members.
Inexpensive Christmas Gifts
With Christmas trees, decorations, stockings and cards aside, the most expensive aspect of Christmas is undoubtedly the children’s gifts. Months before Christmas television stations start advertising the new must-have toys for kids, and these toys are sure to appear on children’s Christmas lists. This same thing happens each year, with these toys regularly ending up at the bottom of the toy box a week later.
Younger children in particular are well known to frequently prefer the entertainment of a cardboard box rather than the expensive toy that came in it. With a little imagination parents can find plenty of gifts for children that will put a smile on their faces without the need to re-mortgage the family home. Santa letters for example are an inexpensive gift that any child would love. Christmas is about much more than having the latest toys, and a letter from Santa is sure to remind your child of the true magic of Christmas.