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Gifts for this one and gifts for that, decorations, events, planning, photos, greeting cards, traveling, in-laws… Santa needs a cocktail, folks. A great big cocktail.

With all that goes into what this season brings, plummeting into the red (and we’re not talking vibrant Christmas decor red) is not something you need to ring in the new year.

In order to avoid starting 2018 in the negative, consider some of these money saving and organizing tips to help you tighten your belts a little extra this Christmas season.

Well, don’t tighten them too much… think pie. Lots of pie.

Say No To Clutter

Keep holiday decor, gifts, and other seasonal items, packed away in a
local storage unit, with an updated list of all that you have in order to help you to avoid unnecessary spending. You can pull items out of storage as you need them (and place items there that you don’t), leaving you with less clutter and chaos as you go about the month of December.

Make Running Lists

Make lists of all the gifts you need to purchase, as well as lists of menu items for meals you are preparing. Ensure your lists fit within your typical monthly budget, as not to exceed what you usually spend any given week.

Made With Love

Rather than purchasing expensive gifts for those you hold dear, consider getting a little creative by making items to give to loved ones. Baked goodies and beautiful decor are certain to please your closest family and friends. If you have young children, have them join in the fun, making their own gifts for those who are important to them.

Group Gifts

Ask family or friends to do a grab bag or secret Santa this Christmas, with each person only having to purchase one or two items. If you have a large gathering, this option is ideal, and with various fun and exciting ways to exchange, you’ll build memories for years to come.

Experiences Instead

What if you and your loved ones scratched gift giving and decided to go to an event together (each covering the cost of his or her ticket)? Christmas shows, sporting events, escape rooms, the theater, concerts… there’s no limit to what you can enjoy with one another.

Price Max

Lay the rules on the table early and decide what the maximum is each person should spend per gift. Depending on the size of your gathering and the situation of those attending, setting a $10 or $15 limit (or whatever works for you) can help everyone feel comfortable, without the stress of having to spend more than they have.

It’s Not About The Presents…

Christmas is a time to reflect on the things that matter most to us in life, not on our wallets or on our checkbooks or on the gifts received from others.

Sharing the holiday with other people, and feeling that you're giving of yourself, gets you past all the commercialism.” -Caroline Kennedy

Remember, the greatest gift we can give to one another is ourselves.

As you reflect on your family, your friends and your faith this Christmas season, may you be inspired and fulfilled, cherishing the moments you share.

Happy Holidays.