A Holiday Blast Without Breaking the Bank
For those committed to living on a budget you don’t have to sacrifice the joy of the holiday season just because you’re spending less money. If you are having guests at your home on Christmas Day, you can make the day a memorable one, in a good way, on a shoestring budget. With preparation and just the right amount of cooperation from your loved ones, Christmas Day can be one that won’t leave you a lingering reminder in the coming year every time you open a credit card bill.
Probably the first way to save money during the holidays, if you are hosting guests, is to make it as much of a joint effort as possible, especially with the food. If this breaks tradition, because the host is typically doing almost all the work, a simple way to ease into the change is to ask your guests, one by one, if there is something they would like to contribute. Contributions can be for the meal, for the décor, or for the entertainment. There is a good chance your guests enjoy being creative and adding to the meal, but even if they don’t cook they might feel just as involved by bringing something they bought. The same goes for the décor.
Another way to reduce cost on Christmas is to forego activities like going to the movie theater, which has become a common practice on Christmas Day. While fun, it can cost more than you want to spend, especially when you’ve already made dinner or purchased gifts. And even though Christmas Dinner is filling, it can be hard to pass by a movie theater concession stand without buying some of the most expensive treats anywhere.
One inexpensive way to keep family members entertained and engaged with each other around the table is to bring out an old standard, the board game. You might have some at home already. If you don’t, this might be another way for your guests to contribute if they have a game they might like to bring. If you need to buy some games, a card-based game like Uno can be purchased for less than $10 online. Another fun game, Apples to Apples, can be found for less than $20. Read the online reviews if you want to have the best chance of finding something fun for the most people. And if you do an online search you can find dozens of games that can be carried out with nothing more than pens and paper. The games are fun and often contribute to the group learning more about each other
Finally, if your guests are not afraid to show off how well or how badly they can sing, you can do activities ranging from singing Christmas Carols to having a karaoke contest. Maybe some of the children are willing to put on a performance, such as singing or a putting on a play. Music is a great way to keep your guests entertained.
Well planned and with enough fun built in, Christmas Day can be a blast without breaking your budget.
Published Dec 11, 2013.