Since I love helping moms simplify motherhood, saving money is a part of my everyday life. And, as a stay-at-home-mom, I have had to get creative when it comes to Christmas shopping.
I have learned a few lessons over the years.
Lesson #1 DO SOMETHING
Kids will remember memories much more than gifts.
-DO you really remember what you received for Christmas when you were 8? Probably not. But you might remember a trip you took with your family. So one year, we cut the clutter of gifts in half, and took the kids on a fantastic train ride in December. We told them the train ride was a part of Christmas, and they were great with that. And now they have a neat memory to share.
Lesson #2 BUY USED
Kids don't need everything new under the tree. My sister-in-law was married last year, and she and her husband are selling a bunch of things they had double of, like a very nice digital camera...for $50. So we are buying that for Hannah for Christmas . Shhhh...don't tell her. Be sure to check out garage sales, used clothing stores, even Goodwill. I once found a beautiful cashmere sweater for Sydney at Goodwill for $3. Yep, that was a find.
Lesson #3 WRAP EVERYTHING INDIVIDUALLY
My kids love coming downstairs and seeing the gifts all wrapped in piles under the tree Christmas morning. And since we open one gift at a time, one person at a time, we can enjoy each one. So, I wrap everything separately. If I buy several books for my child, I would place each book in a larger box, cover it with tissue paper, and wrap it up. I wrap each shirt, or pair of pants separately. The kids simply love the excitement of opening the gifts.
Lesson #4 BUY AFTER CHRISTMAS
I know it's too late for this year, but buy all your wrapping paper, ribbons and bows AFTER Christmas has passed. You can find rolls of wrapping paper for under $1, and tons of bargains you can put away for next year.
Lesson #5 SIMPLIFY
Most of all, keep life simple during the holidays. Don't eat out when you go shopping, that wastes money. Eat and then go. Make homemade gifts when you can, like Cookies in a jar, and just relax. Your kids don't want a stressed out mom. They want mom - happy and content. And your attitude reflects through the entire family. Simplify what you can, relax and enjoy the time with your family.
Enjoy the journey-Trish