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Category:  Christmas

Related Links:  | HolidaysHalloweenChristmasGifts |  Seasonal Decorating Savings |

Keep the Holidays, Lose the Expense

by Gary Foreman

Are you dreading this holiday season? Especially with your already overstressed budget? Don't despair! Controlling your holiday expenses could actually mean a better holiday for you and your family!

Begin by forgetting the bling. It's not about how many of the new LED lights you can display. Rather take the time to enjoy the decorations you already have. Show Junior the ornament that marks his first Christmas and talk about what that holiday was like.

Move holiday communication into the 21st century. Christmas cards and the 'annual report on the Jones family' are outdated and expensive. Move to online communications. With the exception of those who would be hurt by not getting a Christmas card (think Granny), use email for your annual family update. Better still, post a video on YouTube. It's more fun and does a better job communicating.

Shift the focus from the food to family. If your family is used to an overflowing table remove a few items from the menu. Add some family fun in it's place. Passing around old family photos during dinner can trigger wonderful family memories. Spend some time after watching old family videos. If the highlight of your family gathering is the food, you're missing the meaning of the holidays.

Get real about gifts. Even kids can understand that fancy toys are expensive. And, that family needs come before wants. If they don't already know it, that lesson could be the most valuable gift that you could give them. Besides, despite what they put on their Christmas list, what kids really want is you. So take some of that shopping time and spend it with them.

Party responsibly. If the purpose of your gathering is to show off then this won't work for you. But, if you just want to enjoy time with friends and family then entertaining shouldn't be a problem. Ditch formality for casual. Instead of a lavish buffet have a cookie exchange. Gather around the fireplace for some eggnog. The sound of laughter in your home is the sign of a good party.

Share with a needy family. There's something about helping others that makes both you and the person you're helping feel better about yourself. You may want to act anonymously so you don't embarrass them. I know of families where one of the biggest parts of the holiday season is deciding who to help and how they'll do it.

So don't let a lack of money spoil your holidays. The very fact that money is tight could be the spark that creates the best holiday you've ever had!

 ______________

Gary Foreman is the editor of The Dollar Stretcher.com  http://www.stretcher.com/r/134.htm website and various enewsletters including Financial Independence. FI is a daily message designed to help people take control of their financial lives through achieving small daily goals. To find out more check out the Financial Independence page  http://www.stretcher.com/financialindependence/declaration.cfm.

 

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Category:  Christmas

Related Links:  | HolidaysHalloweenChristmasGifts |

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