Make a list and check it twice- Write out a list of everyone you want to get gifts for-be very selective to only include family and close friends. Next to each person's name write how much you have budgeted to spend on that person.
Limit number of gifts-Remember you don't have to go all out just because it's Christmas. Jesus (our Savior who we are celebrating!) only got 3 gifts on His birthday so your kids really don't need 20 gifts on Christmas.
For extended family why not do a gift exchange where everyone draws a name? That way you are only having to buy for 1 person instead of many.
In my family my siblings and I have decided to not exchange gifts at all. That might sound like no fun but we are all saving money and I don't need a gift from them to know they love me.
Get creative with your gifts- For your kids try a gift certificate in place of some toys. For example "This certificate entitles you to go on a ice cream date with mommy or a bike ride to the park with daddy".
For teachers, neighbors and service providers-bake your favorite Christmas cookies and give those in place of gifts.
For friends-choose to have a girls night out to a restaurant or even better a potluck at someone's house instead of exchanging gifts.
Save throughout the year and if you don't have cash don't buy it- At the beginning of the year I write out a list of all gifts I will need to buy for the year (Bdays, Mothers Day, Easter, extra money for occassional wedding/baby showers, Christmas etc). I assign a budget for each gift, add up those numbers and divide by 12 to determine how much I need to save per month. At the beginning of each month I take out that amount of money (in my case $25/mth) and save it in an envelope. Whenever I need to buy gifts throughout the year I only pay for them out of that envelope.
Remember Christmas is only about 1 gift-The gift of our Savior!
Luke 2: 8-11 "And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord."
Use this season to give the gift of your time-time with the people you love and time to those in need. Purpose not to get caught up in all the commercialism and choose instead to have yourself a Merry Debt Free Christmas now:)
What are your tips for a debt free Christmas?