Every year it’s the same old thing: You work your butt off to make Christmas perfect, only to end up exhausted and broke. Why do you put yourself through the same thing year after year? Why not change up your traditions to make life a little easier and more affordable? After all, there’s no rule that says you have to do the same things your parents did. Your family is your own, and your traditions should be as well.
Forget the Feast
Save the turkey and potatoes for Thanksgiving and give Christmas its own unique flair when it comes to dining. Just think of all the time, money, and cleanup you will save by having a snack attack day instead of a formal meal. To accomplish this task, serve a variety of appetizers and desserts throughout the day. And that does not necessarily mean it all has to be junk food (because you know there will be plenty of that from Santa when he arrives). All Recipes has a great idea for festive Cream Cheese Penguins made from olives, carrots, and cream cheese. Another way to throw in the veggies would be to create a Christmas tree with them, as Taste of Home recommends. But since it can’t realistically be 100 percent healthy, you can throw in a variety of dips and chips, like the simple and scrumptious Four Cheese Bacon Sour Cream Dip suggested by Kraft.
Change Up the Decorations
While you probably can’t convince your family to give up the Christmas tree, you should have no problem getting them to throw the poinsettias to the wayside. Poinsettias are so overdone and not exactly cheap. This year, why not change it up and get some red and white roses or lilies. If you really want to go crazy, you can forget all the plants and opt for a festive fruit basket instead. You can find bouquets at your local floral shop, but you may overpay. Another option is to look for a coupon for Christmas flowers at FTD.com and have them delivered right to your door.
Pass on the Presents
What would Christmas be without all the gifts? Well, it would be cheaper and a lot less work. Think about how much time you spend shopping, wrapping, unwrapping, taking the gifts out of the packaging, cleaning up the garbage, and then trying to find a place to put all the new stuff. Whew! There has to be a better way. There is, and it’s called giving time instead of things. When your kids grow up, they are not going to remember what toy they opened up on Christmas morning. They are going to recall the fun time you had as a family, eating snack food all day and just enjoying each other’s company. It’s no secret that experiences mean more than material goods. Give your daughter the horseback riding lessons she wants, take your son to the zoo, or take a family vacation to Disneyland. If you encourage your relatives to do the same, you will end up with stronger relationships, better memories, and a lot less stuff to try to find a home for.