With a little extra thought and planning, Christmas can bring a host of new traditions of making your own decorations, gift giving and remembering the “true meaning of Christmas”. By not getting caught up with the commercialism of the “silly season”, it is possible to change the whole feeling of Christmastime and give joy to others.
Save money and reduce wastage for Christmas gifts and decorations
Expensive presents for children sometimes get limited use so opt for more personal and meaningful gifts that may better reflect the child’s interests and hobbies. For young children, craft items such as playdough, stencils, collage, handmade Christmas cards and gift tags with cut-outs from magazines, and paper maiche ornaments and Christmas trees will keep them amused for hours.
Buy one good Christmas storybook or get some books from the library, and read together each night leading up the Christmas. Rent a Christmas DVD that the whole family can enjoy rather than paying individually at the movies. Make your own popcorn and ice-creams in cones or hot chocolate.
Gather your own materials for a Christmas wreath and tree decorations including pine cones, holly, branches, berries, ribbons and encourage the kids to help make them. Also by looking around the house, you will surely find decorative items such as glittery scarves, strings of beads, etc that can be used to adorn the Christmas tree.
Swap items with your neighbors and friends
It is possible to save money and reduce clutter by starting a group of friends and neighbors wanting to swap toys and books to give the children a variety of pre-loved presents each year. Adults can also benefit by exchanging gifts such as jams, pickles, vegetable plants, home baking, or crafts.
As an alternative to giving and receiving gifts, Buy Nothing Christmas is a movement dedicated to bringing back the real meaning of Christmas. Buy Nothing Christmas is a national initiative started by Canadian Mennonites and reminds us to really think about what and why we are buying things, and if we really need them.
Christmas donations to disadvantaged countries
Give to someone else this Christmas without expecting anything in return. With such organizations as Oxfam America Unwrapped. which is also available in other parts of the world. and Heifer International, it is possible to give a gift to those more disadvantaged and living in poverty.