The question I am sure a lot of us are thinking this year- how do we have a magical family Christmas on a budget?
As a family we have always tried to keep costs down at Christmas so I thought I would share some of our money saving tips (without loosing any of the fun!)
1. Secret Santa
We have a really large close family and growing up we always gifted to everyone.
Now we do Secret Santa with the wider family (with either a budget or a rule e.g. last year it had to be something homemade which could be anything from homemade jam to a poem or photo album). We actually love doing this- it takes the pressure off of buying for everyone for the sake of it and we can focus on a really special or fun surprise present for one person.
2. Budget what you will be spending
We set a rough spending budget for the people we buy for (the kids and grandparents) and keep track of what we have bought/want to buy in a list on my phone. It sounds really basic but it really makes a difference! Over the last couple of years we have also started putting a little away each month (by standing order) into a bank account specifically for birthdays and Christmas- this isn't just to cover presents but also food, parties etc.
3. Make stuff
The kids make Christmas cards making it a fun festive activity and keeping costs down. We have also been known to bake presents for people too like some Christmassy biscuits which you can do a big batch of and then wrap up nicely.
4. All chip in
If we are having a Christmas dinner with a lot of family members (one year there was 20 of us!) each household brings something (e.g. pudding). This not only shares the cost but also the workload! And its really nice to enjoy something different that each household has brought.
5. Use and re-use
We re-use gift bags for wrapping. Its a running joke in the family that they get passed around time after time! But also, gifts don't always have to be new- you could customise/upcycle something you already have! Our larger Love Note Patches (£9.99) are the perfect way to personalise something you have at home on a budget! They are made with a handwritten love note which can be from a little one, grown-up or even using writing from a card or letter from a loved one who has passed away. They can be ironed or sewn onto something you already own or a charity-shop-find making it super personal and extra special.
6. A controversial one....
Me and my husband only do stocking presents for each other. This way we still have something to open and we make the presents silly and fun!
When it comes to Christmas I absolutely believe it's the thought that matters and not the price tag, and this year more than ever I know we still want to treat our families and make them feel special but with gifts that really mean something.
At Olive & Pip we know the magic of Christmas is not just about presents, but for those pressies you do want to get please check out our range of gifts for the family. We make affordable gifts that really make your loved ones feel special! And of course they are not just for Christmas, they can be used and enjoyed every day :)