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Five tips for a frugal simple Christmas


 Five tips for a frugal simple Christmas (Photo:

Christmas can be a meaningful and joyous holiday celebration without the stress and anxiety of overspending or overbooking. Really! Check out these five ideas  for a frugal simple Christmas.

1. Talk to your family about the Christmas celebration. Find out what is meaningful and important to each family member and scale back or eliminate the rest. Discuss gifts, food, baking, decorating, travel, and activities. You may find some things that you have been spending a lot of money or time working on that can be discontinued.

2. Try to reduce spending in all areas: food, decorating, and gifts. Set a goal of how much you would like to cut back (10 percent? 15 percent?) and take on the challenge of achieving it! Or, consider itemizing and writing down what you spend this year. This record can be the measure for trimming back next year if you wish.

3. Keep a holiday folder from year to year. This is where you keep your budget, shopping notes, baking recipes, and menu planning. You won't have to rely on memory to recreate family traditions each year and you can make conscious choices to tweak your celebration and budget from year to year.

4. Add traditions that don't cost anything: Watch Christmas DVDs as a family. Read a Christmas story outloud as a family. Designating a family board game day or pajama day while everyone is home for the holidays. Plan outdoor walks and car trips to look at Christmas lights. Go ice skating or sledding if weather permits.

5. Check out these resources to help you further simplify for the holidays and all year round:

Alternatives for Simple Living is a "non-profit organization that equips people of faith to challenge consumerism, live justly and create meaningful celebrations." There are many resources on their website. 

The Simple Living Network also has ideas to simplify Christmas, including the book Unplug The Christmas Machine by Jo Robinson & Jean Coppock Staeheli. This book is the go-to classic resource for simplifying your Christmas celebration.

For more frugal and simple Christmas ideas: 

5 ways to get organized for Christmas

9 uncluttered Christmas decorating tips from 2 perspectives

Christmas gift ideas under $10 from the Christmas Examiner

Five Easy Steps to Simplify the Holidays and Have a Merry Christmas