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Christmas On a Budget

By Lelyla Yilmaz

23rd of November 2017

As it’s getting colder outside, we’re digging out our bobble hats, buying a new Chapstick and snuggling up at every opportunity to watch Netflix. There’s no doubt about it, Christmas is coming!

It’s difficult not to get sucked into the festivities with the Christmas adverts and decorations just about everywhere you go - and end up with major money worries! I have come up with several ways you can make Christmas magical on a budget 😊

Homemade Hampers

Putting together homemade hampers is a great way to give gifts on a budget. First, gather shoes boxes from your local shoe store and decorate them (wrapping paper, ribbon, stickers…). Then visit a cheap shop such as Poundland. You can collect multipack food items like biscuits and chocolate bars; toiletries like face masks, soaps and even perfumes, which are typically on offer (2 for £1). You can also get DVDs and CDs, which are still only £1, or 3 photo frames for £1! This will add a personal element to the homemade hamper. 

Secret Santa or Present Raffle

Setting up a Secret Santa or Present Raffle for the adults in the family is a fun way to distribute gifts, eliminates the worry of not knowing what to buy and reduces the cost of Christmas. You don’t have to take the responsibility of the ‘oh good, socks again’ face.

A Present Raffle is where everyone brings a present, they get numbered and then numbers are chosen out of a hat.

Do You Have a Talent?

Are you good at sewing, knitting, painting or crafts? A home-made gift can be more special than anything you can get in the shop.

Buying/ Selling Online

If you want to raise some extra cash for Christmas you can sell some items online. Below, I’ve listed my favourite websites where you can sell or buy new or used gifts on a budget:

Ebay is a wonderful place to buy or sell – new or used items. You can often find that items are much cheaper than in shops and still the same or better quality. However, there is a cost when selling. 

Also, Facebook for sale pages offer a whole range of items for reasonable prices. You can sell on these for free and manage the posts easily with marketplace.

Music Magpie buy your used CDs, DVDs, Games, books, Mobile Phones, Tech and Lego. Check it out!

Christmas with Little Ones:

Organise a Toy Exchange

Giving new toys to children at Christmas can be very stressful! If you want to keep the costs down, why don’t you organise a toy exchange? Speaking to friends who have similar age children or advertising on Facebook pages a toy exchange is a fantastic way to make new friends and give your children new toys. This way, the kids can get lots of new things and you can save money and maybe just spend on one special item. Once they are wrapped, littles ones don’t notice or care if things aren’t brand spanking new.

Free Santa Letters

Everyone loves seeing little one faces when they receive the magical message from Santa confirming their place on the good list. Many places charge, the average letter costing is £5…But, ROYAL MAIL DO IT FOR FREE!!!

Get your child to send their letter to Santa’s direct Royal Mail postage address: Santa, Santa’s Grotto, Reindeerland, XM4 5HQ. Make sure they include their name, address and anything they are hoping Santa will bring them. Post this by 8th December on a stamped envelope and hopefully your little one will receive a reply before Christmas Eve.

Letting Kids Buy Presents

Give the kids the money you were going to spend on the grandparents, aunts, or other parent’s present. Even if the budget is reduced, everyone will love their present because the kids have chosen it.

Face Forward is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund.