Who knew that by being frugal at Christmas time, this would enable me to have the best Christmas yet? Last year, around this time of year, I embraced minimalism. This year, I’ve boarded the frugal train and what a difference it’s made for me and my family. Why spend close to two thousand dollars when I can spend two hundred and have a more memorable Christmas than any that came before? Why go into more debt when my goal is to become debt free by next April?A few months before Christmas, I let my friends and family know that we weren’t doing the big (read, “extravagant”) gift exchange this year. Everyone, except my mom, was on board with this new idea. It took the pressure off my adult children to spend money they didn’t have. It took the pressure off me in that I didn’t need to spend countless hours shopping for that “perfect” gift that would probably end up in someone’s closet by the New Year. This year, I could use my imagination to come up with gift ideas for my friends and family that were thoughtful, yet frugal. For example, for my fiancé, I bought a deck of cards at the dollar store and on the outside of the deck taped a note that read, “52 Reasons Why I Love You” and then on each card I attached a note that gave a reason why I love him … 52 of them! For my mom, I bought a photo album with the title, “memories” on the front. I then bought $15 worth of scratch tickets and placed each of the tickets inside the album with a note next to each describing a memory she and I shared (based on the theme of the scratch ticket). For my best friend, I created a gift certificate to take her out for a movie of her choice.
Yesterday, my adult children and my ex-husband came over for our yearly family get-together. I provided a ginger bread house kit for us to make together and my youngest son and I made rice crispy squares together. The kids brought me a home-made gift, too … a picture of the three of them, framed nicely in a frame they got at the dollar store. Simple, frugal, and one of the best presents I’ve ever gotten!
I’m glad I’ve boarded the frugal train and I’m glad it happened before Christmas. It’s amazing how good I feel this, my first frugal Christmas!