Four Ways to Celebrate the Holidays Affordably

Holiday Gift Swap

Mind your budget and follow these tips for an affordable holiday gift exchange. (photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com)

The economy may be improving but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have a ton of money to spend celebrating the season. If it seems like your gift list is longer than ever and it feels like you may need a magic lamp to make everyone’s holiday dreams come true, these strategies will help you find an affordable way to get to New Year’s Day.

 

  1. Pick Names

If you have a large family or a big group of friends, picking names can make gift giving more affordable. Instead of buying 10 or 15 small gifts for everyone in your family or circle, each person draws the name of someone else and gets a gift only for them. Instead of spending $100 to get each person a $10 gift, you can save money and spend $50 to get the person you picked a gift they really want. Everyone saves money and gets a better gift.   To ensure this goes as smoothly as possible, set a dollar limit that everyone feels comfortable following.

 

  1. Do a Gift Swap

There are several different ways you can do this and it works well for the workplace and for a large group at a party of gathering. You can do a Secret Santa/Snowman gift swap where each person who wants to participate draws the name of another participant and then gets that person a gift.

You can do a Yankee Swap where each person brings a wrapped gift and then people take turns picking a wrapped gift. The rules for a Yankee Swap are simple. Each person who brings a gift gets to pick a number from the hat. The number they get is the order in which they get to pick which gift they want to open. Once they choose their gift, they can “swap” gifts with anyone who came before them. Once everyone has opened their gifts, the person with number 1 gets to choose from all the gifts. You can choose whether or not people open their gift before or after they swap.

You can also do an Abundance Swap, which is the most affordable option of all. It works the same as a Yankee Swap except no one buys a new gift. Instead, they choose something they already own but no longer want and wrap that up for the swap.

 

  1. DIY

There is something special about handmade gifts and one of the easiest ways to have an affordable holiday season is to make the gifts for those you love yourself. Some easy ideas are jars of jam, paintings, soap, candles, or framed pictures of your favorite scenery.

 

  1. Host a Potluck Party

The cost of gift giving isn’t the only expensive aspect of the holiday season, entertaining can also come with a costly price tag. You can cut back on how much you spend without sacrificing time with those your love by asking everyone to bring something to share. This lets you bring everyone together without breaking the bank. You can select your dish from our delicious recipe options on Fill Your Plate.

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