With Christmas literally weeks away, this is the time of year where we begin hearing many different ways to save money on Christmas gifts. Whether with sales, coupons, freebies, Black Friday, or something else all together, most of us are looking for ways to spend less.
It’s so easy to get carried away while shopping for the masses. But whether you just want to lower your Christmas budget, or literally have no choice but to spend very little, here is a thought:
Just buy less.
Think about it…do the kids really need more than a few presents? Where are we going to store all the extra gadgets and toys? What is something they need?
I don’t know about you, but between my husband and I and each set of grandparents, my children get enough gifts to equal three Christmas’s! Is that really necessary? They have enough toys and many that don’t get played with as it is (that we’ve already, and regularly, pared down)!
This year, I am being more intentional in how I shop for my children. If they need a specific item, I’m planning on getting it for them as a Christmas gift. For example, all three of my boys need new jackets, so that’s something I’ll wrap up and stick under the Christmas tree. I’m focusing less on toys and more on needs. My plan is to get each boy 4 gifts tops, and 2-3 of them will be items they need (like clothing). We still do stockings from Santa, so obviously we’ll fill those with little knick-knacks and probably some candy, but other than that I’m keeping it really simple this year. In our small-ish house, I don’t have space for a lot of extras. I don’t have a separate play room. Their play room is the living room, and their shared bedroom! So I really have to be intentional with the toys and other play items we bring into the home.
Not to mention that the less toys we have, the more they play with what we do have. It’s the truth! I’ve tested the theory multiple times, and can honestly say that the less options they have, the more they actually play with their toys. But I’ll save that post for a different day…
In addition to buying less for our kids, we also buy very little for the extended family. It might seem ungenerous, but we have very little extra at this season of our lives, so while it’s not something we want to do, it is something we have to do right now. We buy something for each of our parents. A lot of times this means updated family photos, or a new photo of the grand kids. We each have one sibling, I have a sister and my husband has a brother, so we buy something small for each of them, too.
And that’s it!
Honestly, it can be a little awkward when other extended family members (aunts, uncles, etc) buy something for the boys, and we don’t have a gift to give them in return. But I try to remind myself that we’ve never gotten gifts for any of the extended family, so it’s nothing different than what we’ve been doing for the past 8 years. I know they’re not necessarily expecting a gift in return.
I hope there’s a time in the future where we’ll be able to give more generously to our family, but right now that’s just not possible. All I can do is be intentional and thoughtful in my gift giving, and hope the rest falls into place.
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