This time of year, the urge to feel happy and help others be happy by giving gifts can feel overwhelming. Yet there are many things you can do to celebrate the different holidays and they do not have to cost a lot of money.
1. The Home Tree. Many years ago when my children were growing up, money was in short supply. We could not afford to buy a Christmas tree, so we made one. I used construction paper (glued together) to make the body of the tree. Then I printed some ornament shapes I found online and the kids cut them out and colored them. We zigzagged our lights from the previous year across the tree and – VOILA! A beautiful festive site.
At the time, I felt sad because I could not afford a traditional tree, but now, 15 years later, my kids still remember that tree and beg me every year to repeat it. I think we will next year.
2. Cup of Fun. If your family celebrates Christmas and expects to see stockings filled with goodies, try decorating a tall cup or mug. A little ribbon and some colored paper and pens can go a long way towards making a simple cup seem like a festive celebration. In addition, allowing each family member to decorate their own will add to wonderful memories for years to come.
Ideas for stuffing the cup:
3. Sing a song. Even if you do not have the music, gather together and sing a few holiday songs. Add some Sparkling cider and candy canes and enjoy the time with your loved ones.
4. Sightseeing. Take an evening spin around a well lit neighborhood and enjoy the beautiful decorations on display. Check your local paper or ask some friends about the best locations to see holiday presentations.
5. Decorations. There are several inexpensive ways to decorate for the holidays.
6. Gift of You. While we hear a lot of talk about the latest and greatest technological toys, there is another murmur we do not always pay attention to. That is the need and the want of our families to spend time with us. If you have children, try making a date with each of them individually. Do the same for your parents, siblings and anyone else important in your life. It is an inexpensive gift to give, but it has tremendous value when it is received.
Start a new, inexpensive holiday tradition this year. Think about the memories in life that have meant the most to you and why. Use those memories to build inexpensive fun into your holiday season. You only have one life, make sure you fill it with the most important things.