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'Tis the be Frugal

This time of year is filled with holiday parties, gift exchanges, ugly Christmas Sweaters, love and joyous times with the family and friends that mean the most. This is also my “birthday month”, so historically I have been known to splurge during the month of December. But not THIS time.

Here are some of the things I have thought about differently this year vs last:

1. Find creative ways in wrapping your gifts.

You don’t have to buy the $3-5 gift bag/wrapping paper. Recycle old newspaper or re-purpose gift bags that were given to you. I have several solid colored bags that I plan to reuse, as well as leftover rolls of wrapping paper. Disclaimer: Be sure not to give the same person the bag that they gave to you. That goes for re-gifting an item as well. You’ve been warned--be careful

2. Be selective in your gift list.

Your grade school bus driver’s daughter’s cousin does not need to be on your Christmas list. My list includes, immediate family and close friends. If I don’t give you a gift for Christmas it does NOT mean that I love you any less, it just simply means--I’ll catch you on your birthday :

3. Be creative in your gift selection and make it meaningful.

The amount an item costs does not equate to the meaning behind it. I plan to make a few friends gifts this year, which will be a first for me. I suggest utilizing Pinterest to create gifts (i.e. baking goodies, knitting a scarf, etc.) Just leave the fruit cake recipe alone--I never came across one that I liked or one that couldn’t be used as an extra brick on a foundation of a house.

4. Know your expectations of being invited to a holiday party.

Are you required to bring a white elephant gift? How many times will you have to make your infamous caramel cake? All in all the amount of money you spend adds up. I have a holiday party each day this upcoming week. Luckily--only one requires that I bring something for the group. Bottom line--choose your RSVP wisely.

5. Value the moments that cost the least.

Spend time with your family and friends--and I can guarantee it will be the best investment you will make all holiday season.

BONUS: Buy yourself something nice. It’s okay. Just make sure it is within reason. Don’t buy anything that you will regret next month.

Whatever you choose to do...let’s not forget the reason for the season!


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My officemates, rather than buying gifts for one another, are doing a white elephant party (where you give something that's "trash to you but could be someone else's treasure"). My Bible Study is doing the same. My high school friends and I always also do a gift exchange, but we've decided to forgo gifts this year and just focus on time together.

There are so many variations of White Elephant parties--I've only been apart of events where there was a limitation of the amount you spend $10-$20, typically. Even then, I am selective in what I choose to participate in. Kudos to you and HS to forgoing doing a gift exchange this year! My friends and I tend to focus more on birthday gifts rather than Christmas gifts--we usually just spend time together during the holidays. Hope you get some nice treasures at each of your parties :)

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