The best part of the Christmas season is the celebration of friends and family, but the presents are nice as well. In times of recession and financial strain, it’s hard to admit that you might have to sacrifice gift-giving, especially for your children—or do you? Whether you’ve suffered a medical emergency or an unexpected car repair, there are several ways you can still save Christmas for your children.
Go Looking for a Loan
Image via Flickr by 401(K) 2012
If you’ve suffered a financial setback, whether you needed to fix your transmission or your leaky roof, getting a loan may help you get through the holidays. There are a variety of small personal loans or hardship loans for which you may qualify. Payday loans are extremely helpful as well, especially if you just find yourself short before your next check. Just make sure you pay close attention to all the terms and conditions, including interest rates and payback plans.
Start Shopping Smart
Image via Flickr by mikek
Sometimes you simply have to change your shopping habits. For example, try browsing secondhand stores and thrift shops, along with Goodwill and the Salvation Army. At the very least, you’ll find great stocking stuffers and toys for the children, along with practical items like coats, gloves, and boots. Keep an eye on any sales, especially when you’re looking for particular items. Shopping online is helpful since a variety of stores make use of discount codes and coupons.
MYOG: Make Your Own Gifts
Image via Flickr by poppet with a camera
When it comes to gifts, it’s the thought that counts—especially at Christmas. If money is too tight to spend on gifts of toys and games, come up with something on your own. From soapbox racers to doll clothes, there are thousands of ways to make gifts your children will love. If it’s possible, buy one big-ticket item for each child and supplement the rest by lavishing them with homemade gifts that don’t cost much but mean everything.
Dial Down the Details
Image via Flickr by John-Morgan
How much money do you spend each year on holiday decor, centerpieces, trees, lights, and all that jazz? Those items get very pricey, so consider keeping things simple this year. Have an old-fashioned holiday by stringing cranberries and popcorn, make your own ornaments, and rely on candlelight. The money you save on decorations may help you afford the special gift your child really wants to open on Christmas morning.
Seek Out Charitable Assistance
Image via Flickr by alliecreative
The economy is still bad; people realize that and they’re ready to help. If you simply cannot afford presents for your children or if you’re worrying about returning what you’ve already bought, ask for help. There are a number of charities and organizations which specialize in helping loving parents give their children a magical, fulfilling Christmas.
Financial setbacks often happen at the most inopportune times, so don’t feel ashamed if money is exceptionally tight this holiday season. If you explore the avenues listed above, whether you opt for a loan or a little help, your labor of love will pay off when your kids open their gifts.