What was your first thought when you tallied up all the people you need to buy gifts for this year? If your first thought was somewhere along the lines of “son of a…”, I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone. There’s got to be some alternatives to buying gifts, right?! After all, gift giving ain’t that cheap and when you’re trying to stick to your budget, excessive spending can feel anything but merry.
With 11 nieces and nephews, family, friends, white elephant gifts, and secret Santa gift exchange through work, my list seems to never end! I am sure that you feel the same way, too! So why don’t we cut ourselves a bit of slack and vow to come up with alternatives to buying gifts for at least some of the people on our list this year? I will if you will. 😉
Let’s look at 5 creative ways that you can pump the breaks on the excessive spending this year and instead make lasting experiences and memories with your loved ones.
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Eat Your Heart Out
Who doesn’t love a good dinner party? Fancy-ish dinnerware, wine goblets, candles, your snazzy Christmas outfit, delicious food, and good company. It’s all so dreamy and looks straight out of a Macy’s commercial. I don’t know about you but the memories from dinner parties with friends and family over the holidays are my favorite.
Instead of exchanging gifts with your family or friends this year, opt to have a dinner party where everyone contributes so it doesn’t all fall on the host. You can get creative and make the dinner party a fancy theme. Think Elegant Christmas. Your guests will feel classy AF but the party will never be dull or stuffy (because it’s you and you’re awesome, duh).
Game nights are guaranteed to provide lasting memories and Santa-style belly laughs. Along the same lines of throwing a kick-ass dinner party, a game night is an excellent alternative to getting together with your friends or family to exchange gifts.
Instead of purchasing an actual gift, plan a laid-back night with a variety of yummy snacks and you’ll be sure to make lifetime memories. Here are a few of my favorite games that never disappoint in the laughter category:
Switch Up The Gift Theme
This technically still constitutes buying a gift, but stay with me. If you must give a gift to either your friends or family, try to create a new gift theme for this year and insist that they be homemade gifts. I did this one year with my family and it was actually REALLY FUN! We got creative and even fought over my mom’s famous, made-from-scratch BBQ sauce! We all loved this theme. I’d encourage you to give it a try and you’ll be surprised at the amount of thought and time that will go into some of these gifts!
Ew, I know. Before you scrunch your nose at this idea, hear me out. I’m not the best DIYer/crafter on the planet either. However, there are really great templates and tutorials on Pinterest that you can follow along with. Instead of exchanging gifts with your girlfriends this year, invite them over for a Christmas craft night! Wine, all the comfort food you can think of, holiday music blasting in the background, and a good Christmas craft to work on together. You each will leave that night with something you’ll cherish for years. Think ornament or Christmas decoration for your home! Here are a few ideas to get your wheels turning:
17 Quick & Easy Homemade Gift Ideas for Christmas @ Our Provident Homestead
Easy DIY Evergreen Wreath Tutorial @ Pinchea Place
23 Homemade Christmas Decor Projects to Deck Your Halls @ Our Provident Homestead
How To Host The Perfect Pinterest Party @ Lake Life State of Mind
Do Some Good
As we cross off the names on our Christmas lists, we can’t forget to remember those in need of our time and generosity. Nothing can bring people closer and get you more into the holiday spirit than volunteering. There are so many ways for you to get involved in your own community. Here are just a few ideas to consider: