Can you feel the Holiday spirit? The year is almost over and Christmas Eve is only a few weeks away! It’s the time for a family get-together and gift exchanges. We usually host the annual family reunion in our house so we learned how keep control on spending while still enjoying it.
The gift ideas can be endless out there; all you need really is a credit card to kick spending out of control. It’s very easy to overspend whether you shop in malls or online in the cosiness of your house wearing your favourite pyjama.
We often receive a lot of family on Christmas Eve where we exchange gifts and enjoy a table of delicacies. When you’re hosting, you’re always under pressure to be the best host not to mention presenting a fun Santa Clause experience.
This year folks you can be all that on a smaller budget by following a few simple but efficient tips. Fight temptations by setting a hard budget limit and sticking to it. Setting a budget is only half the solution when it comes to exchanging gifts. In order to keep the gift quality high it is best if you only focus on gifting 1 person rather than several.
How do you do this? Very simple, let’s assume that excluding kids, there will be a total of 10 people in the house.
Randomly select a name for each guest whereby each person ends up worrying about 1 person when it comes to gifting. Keep the selection secret; just inform your invitees of the person they will be gifting. In this case, each person ends up buying 1 and only 1 gift allowing you to respect the budget while gifting an item of quality.
It will be fun to discover who is gifting who on Christmas Eve!
The 1 gift rule obviously does not apply on kids because they love unwrapping several gifts – isn’t that what makes their Christmas memorial. For kids under 6 years old, it’s not that complicated to buy them a bunch of toys. No need to buy the most expensive toy, for example for the price of one expensive doll you can get the full deal with accessories and all the magical plastic stuff a dolly needs. You will be surprised of how much stuff you also can buy from a dollar store.
Let’s face it, it’s not worth overspending on a new toy as kids love it today and discard it a few days or weeks later at best. But for older kids, it might get a little bit complicated as they start coming back with all sorts of gift ideas from their peers at school. It’s usually a specific item they have mind usually related to electronics (WII games, XBOX accessories, etc.) Make sure to shop around including online for the best prices.
The bill adds up fast if as the host you have to buy everything. Presenting an assortment of meals is not only time consuming but also very expensive (not to mention drinks!)
In a party with family or friends, just ask every guest to contribute to the menu. They would all show up with something special they cooked or bought. In your case, cooking your part is simply the way out of paying for it. Depending on the plate, most of the time it’s cheaper to make it yourself than ordering it from a restaurant.
Finally, you are building memories of happy times spent with family and friends, that is priceless. And for goodness sake don’t go cheap on cookies and milk for Santa Claus. He/She worked really hard all year long, so let Santa enjoy a hot chocolate and some tasty cookies when he visits :0)
How do you keep your budget under control for Christmas parties?