This is my first year in a very long time where I haven’t been in school over the Christmas season. A year when I should actually have money to spend. Well, Royce and I are newlyweds, fairly new entrepreneurs, and working hard to invest back into our businesses so this year I wanted to be a bit more thrifty. Here’s how we did it.
1. Shop Early- We started looking for Christmas presents while we were on our honeymoon on the Oregon Coast. We had a bit of wedding gift cash so we used that to buy some gifts and then also purchased our flights home for Christmas right away. We saved money on booking early and we also didn’t feel broke come December since the flights were paid for 2 months ago.
2. Reuse old decorations- We moved this summer… in peak wedding season… which means I literally have no idea where half of our stuff is since it’s still in boxes. Don’t judge me. So the decorations I did find were minimal. Instead of going out to buy more, I used the ones I could find though many were missing the wire hooks. I used the “hookless” ones across our mantle on fresh tree branches with mercury votives I had in my wedding decor stock. And then came our tree. We really wanted our first Christmas tree as a Sihlis Family to be a real one. We didn’t save money there, but I decorated it with a bunch of photos we had in a box from our wedding from when we were kids and our past 4 years together. Our star became one of our wedding photos.
3. Wrapping- I’m smitten with kraft paper and ribbon so naturally we had a lot laying around our place. I took a gold sharpie and chose a series of Christmas themed words to handwrite all over the paper. And then I wrapped each gift with it and tied it with a satin gold or silver bow. I wrote the name for the gift on the bottom so I could keep them straight.
4. Secret Santa- My family is growing quite large now that my one sister and I are married, and the other has a long term boyfriend. And “That’s a lotta gifts!!” (I’ve been watching too much Cake Boss). So this year we did a Secret Santa instead and then each sibling & other has to put a $25 gift into each of my parent’s stockings. We used the Draw Names website for it and it was amazing! I highly recommend it. http://www.drawnames.com/
5. Spouse Gifts- Instead of buying each other presents this year, Royce and I decided to use gift cards we got as wedding gifts and a bit of our own money to spend two nights at Sparking Hill Resort. We decided we’d rather spend some quality time together than exchange gifts since we really don’t “need” anything.
6. Making Gifts- My mom has made caramel popcorn for years as gifts for friends/coworkers/etc. instead of actually buying presents for each person. This is something I’ve really grown to appreciate and something I’d like to start doing myself. But I suck at making caramel popcorn, mainly because I’ve never tried. So I’ve made little bags of nuts & bolts instead and mini mason jars of hot chocolate and marshmallows. A small gesture is still a kind gesture!
And there you have it! Those are my easy tricks to saving a bit of money during the holidays.