It’s November already. So if you haven’t already started putting money aside for Christmas gifts, then your likelihood of balling out this holiday is looking pretty slim.
And if that’s the case, then now is a great time to talk about how to get through the holidays when you’re dead broke. Most of us are so used to spending money and buying loads of gifts that it seems impossible to get through the holidays without overspending. But this holiday season, forgot about the money and let’s get back to the original intent of the holidays by spending time with family and friends just celebrating life.
Here are five ways to celebrate the holidays when you’re dead broke:
Spend time with family and friends
The saying, “let your presence be your present” has validity. Many people stay away from family and friends when they are not able to show up bearing gifts. Most family would rather you come out and be a part of what’s going on, whether you have a gift to bring or not. Lots of time we put great pressure on ourselves to buy fantastic gifts. When all your family wants is to see you.
If you still feel uneasy about showing up empty handed, then tell your family well in advance that you will not be giving gifts this year. That way, there are no expectations or disappointments from those family members.
Volunteer at a shelter doing something for others in need
Homeless shelters, nursing homes, women’s shelters or even the Ronald McDonald house need help and all hands-on deck this time of year. Turn it into a family event; take everyone to serve for a few hours around the holiday season. It will do your heart good to give back.
Plus, helping others in need help put your real blessings in perspective.
Invite friends and family over for movie and popcorn
You don’t have to have everyone over for dinner. Create an inexpensive activity. A bag of popcorn costs about $2. I’m talking about old-fashioned popcorn kernels not the microwave kind. Grab a couple of movies from the $1 box, and you are all set. Have a good evening enjoying your family.
Have a dessert party
You provide the house along with coffee or tea and have each guest bring a dessert. Sit around talking and swapping dessert recipes. Talk about when your great grandmother made this special dessert. This is a great way to pass along family recipes from one generation to the next. Plus, you don’t have to break the bank on providing an all-out dinner spread.
Exchange DIY gifts
If you like exchanging gifts, have a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) gift exchange. Put a price limit on how much can be spent on each gift. It can be something as low as $5.
Bargain and thrift shop, you may even find things around your house to create a fabulous gift for the gift exchange.
The challenge is to see how little money you can spend. Have fun with it. It places the focus back on what’s important: you and your family. Half the gifts you buy this year will eventually end up in a bag for charity anyway. So, take the pressure off yourself.
Get out; be among your loved ones. Whatever you do DON’T isolate yourself. Don’t rob your family and friends of the gift that is you. Focus on what you do have rather than what you don’t. Dead broke or not, you are more special and valuable than you realize. Seriously, this holiday season let your presence be your present.
BMWK, what other budget-friendly tips or family activities can you suggest to make the season brighter?
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