Abundant Christmas on a Shoestring Budget

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As is the theme of this blog (“Abundant Home-Centered Living”) we believe in abundance!  We believe in joyful, overflowing, more-than-enough abundance!  Yet, we live in the real world.  Just like you we have to balance our checkbooks, pay the bills and make ends meet.  So, here are some ideas for having an abundant and fun family Christmas on a budget.  You do not need to sacrifice the abundance for the bottom-line!

Abundant Christmas


1. Focus on the reason for the season.  

Striving to keep our focus on Jesus brings it’s own abundance and joy.  You don’t need any “things” to bring that joy.  It doesn’t come externally, it comes internally.

2. Focus on people and not things.

Enjoying time together with loved ones is free. In fact, more “things” can actually distract from focusing on people.

3. Focus on the simple pleasures.

The old-fashioned kind of fun makes the best memories.  Our best memories of holidays is time around a table, singing songs together, laughing while playing games, snuggles around a fire.

Stand firm in your resolves to protect these core values as you plan and shop for your holiday season! Refuse to give in to consumerism and keeping up with the Joneses!


  •  Go Christmas Caroling.  If you’re the Von Trapps or the Von ToneDeafs, it’s still super fun to get out there and spread Christmas cheer!
  • Get together with other ladies for a day of crafting and creativity!  If you each bring what supplies you have, you may not even have to spend any money at all!  Or get your kids together for some kid crafts.  Glitter and glue and pompoms and pie cleaners, falalalala, la, la, la, la!
  • Wait until the day after Christmas and then buy a whole bunch of candy.  It’ll be at least half off if not more!  Then make your gingerbread/candy houses!  Remember, there are 12 days of Christmas that end January 6.  So, it’s certainly acceptable to keep doing Christmas stuff well into January!
  • Observe Advent as a family.  For those not from a liturgical tradition (as we are not originally, but have since seen the beauty in the ritual) Advent is the season of preparing our hearts for His coming.  Beginning four Sundays before Christmas, we light four candles (one new one each week) and have a time of devotion, Scripture reading, and prayer.  We all look forward to it each year.  It causes us to have the right spirit about the season, but to also look forward to His Second Coming and to be ready.
  •  Make your own Christmas decorations such as stringing popcorn and cranberries or making paper chains from scratch paper.
  • There’s nothing quite like a book read aloud!  Every year I read Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to the children.  We make big bowls of popcorn and we snuggle and read.  I do all the voices and they love it!  I recently told our children, “Oooo, it’s time for A Christmas Carol!” and some of the little ones who don’t remember previous years said, “What’s that?”  And the older children said in unison, “Marley was dead.  Dead as a door nail.”  Love it!
  • Make muffins or cookies and homemade cards.  Deliver to your neighbors.
  •  Play outdoors together.  If you live where you have snow, then don’t just let the kids go sledding, make it a family day!  Or try to make the neighborhood’s biggest snowman.  Or have a snowball fight!  If you live where there isn’t snow, then get out there and play kickball or Frisbee or tag!  Our kids love it when we play WITH them.
  • Make sack lunches and deliver to the homeless.  This is what the season is all about!  Peace on earth and goodwill to men!
  • Make a little bonfire if you have a fire pit in your backyard (if you don’t have one, what a great gift to get your family this year!) and roast marshmallows and chestnuts.
  • Take long walks, breathing in the crisp Winter air.  Delightful!
  • Invite friends over for a game night!  Ask each one to bring their favorite holiday snack or dessert.  Break out the cards, board games, charades, etc.
  • Put on Christmas pageant–at home!  Let the kids plan it, write it, direct it!  If you really want to go all-out, make a Christmas movie!  Your family will have a blast watching it over and over again for years to come!
  • Go an entire day tech-free!  Turn off your cell phone.  Don’t go online.  Don’t watch your Blue-ray.  Just be together without the gadgets!  You will be amazed at what your creative minds and those of your children can come up with!  Some of our must hilarious times have happened during power-outages or when we intentionally unplug!

Some ideas from lovely blogging friends:

Elaina from The Rising Spoon says, ” One of my best money saving tips for the holidays is to make homemade gifts that are practical for the receiver and the giver! For example, for many years past I’ve made this lemon sugar scrub recipe  in 4-8 ounce glass mason jars. The lemon scent is neutral, so it works for guys or gals, and the mason jars are recyclable so that after the receiver has finished the scrub, they can use the glass jar for other things. Making homemade scrubs is fairly inexpensive (the most expensive thing is the jars and essential oil), and if the giver has any leftover they can use the mason jars, sugar, oil, and essential oil for lots of other things. SO, they’re not buying random things for a gift that they won’t use for the rest of the year.

Lemon Scrub from The Rising Spoon

Karen from The Healthy Green Flamingo says, “Save money AND be eco-friendly this Christmas by creating a memorable experience rather than buying a gift. Ask your family to bring their ugliest piece of clothing to your Christmas party and have an in-promtu photo-shoot (save the pictures and create an album for next year’s gift). You could also take friends and family members on an outdoor adventure such as a scavenger hunt or host a snowman building contest in your backyard.

Healthy Green Flamingo

 Libby from Eat Play Love More says, “Several years ago, before the birth of our first child, I decided to (especially around the holidays) really focus on giving meaningful, yet useful gifts that won’t compound the trash problem out there. I feel that a gift should be more than a glued together hunk of plastic that has been made overseas or a chemically fragranced, petroleum based candle. A DIY gift with a loving meaning behind it wins double points for me!” Check out her idea for DIY Thank You For Being Gift

Eat Play Love More DIY Gift

Chloe at How We Flourish says, “Many environmentally sustainable holiday practices are incredibly frugal: use real dishes, wrap presents in newspaper, purchase gifts second hand, make your own, or give experiences rather than gifts. Homemade gifts, like bath salts with essential oils, are incredibly frugal and easily personalized.” Click here for Have an Eco-Friendly Holiday.


Naomi at Almost Bananas says, “Focus on creating an experience of Christmas to lessen the expectation of gifts, particularly for children. Have special things you do on Christmas day or throughout the season that will create memories for them, from a special breakfast to decorating gingerbread houses to helping pick out the tree to silly family games – those are the memories I have of Christmas, more than the presents I got. Also, try lowering the number of gifts each child gets by getting a family gift that a variety of ages enjoy.”

What’s your best budget friendly Christmas tip? Leave a comment and let us know!

  1. Absolutely awesome post! I believe Xmas is more about being with the family, having fun and laugh.. not about how many presents everyone got. Small things can be just as fun 🙂

  2. Thanks for all the lovely reminders. I’m so loving this season with family and thankfulness and the jolly, gay spirit in the air!!! Tonight we go to a big light display, a $10 surprise for our kids. We’re totally country-stay-home folks; so the kids will love it and be so surprised! 🙂

  3. We’ve found that simple makes for the best Christmases ever. They truly are more magical when they’re simple.

  4. There are so many ways to enjoy the holidays besides gift giving/getting! Thanks for the reminder:)

  5. Love your ideas. I always read One Wintry Night to my children each Christmas. Now, I will continue with my grandchildren. We also go as a family to a local Trail of Lights that is free. 

  6. I love this. I think it’s so important to focus on what is really important and what this time of year is about. Thank you for sharing this. 

  7. Great ideas! I’ve working on implementing a lot of these this year, particularly doing homemade gifts. And thanks for sharing my post!

  8. These are some great ideas and I think the stuff you do together is so much better than worrying about presents and such. One thing my family used to do is drive around and look at the lights. A lot of times you can find some “famous” Christmas light locations near you. There was an entire neighborhood that went all out every year and it was super fun and free!

  9. So glad you wrote this. I think every year I feel like I want to “give” more to my girls – I mean doesn’t every parent want to give their kids everything?! But we just can’t – and honestly too many toys around make them restless. I have a couple small traditions we have started for the season but I think I will add something fun and free we can do every week 🙂

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