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Have Yourself a Frugal Christmas Now!

By: Joshua Unseth-- 2010-10-28 2:00 am --

One of the best things to come from the uncertainty of today’s environment and shaky economy is a new emphasis on frugal living and a return to more spiritual values. Will the need to save money and be eco-friendly put a damper on the Christmas season? It does not have to; on the contrary, this may be the best holiday season ever. All of those packages piled under the tree and the list of social events are not what brings happiness, anyway. It is the simple act of giving from the heart and being with those we love that makes Christmas special.

Instead of buying sweaters and electronics that sit in the closet or end up in a Goodwill store, why not give the gift of an experience? Depending on the budget, this could range from a night at a country inn or a massage to a coupon for free babysitting or a free car wash. If you enjoy shopping and preparing special meals, this could be a gift in itself. If you do not, however, consider taking the family to volunteer at a homeless shelter and buy take-out on the way home. Chances are no one will miss all the fuss, and most likely they will feel thankful to be eating a meal together as a family.

Maybe you already succumbed to the quick fix of an artificial tree, but what if you prefer a live one? Why not find a live tree that you can plant after the holidays? Granted, this takes some time and planning, but you will be improving your lawn or neighborhood in the long run. If you are lucky, you might have friends who will let you cut down a tree from a wooded area on their property. After all, Charlie Brown’s special Christmas tree had its own magical charm. As far as decorations go, nothing is more Norman Rockwell than fresh green limbs, red berries, and pine cones; and they don’t have to cost a penny. Some tree sellers give the trimmings away, and others charge little for them.

The likelihood that you are ready to give up all gifts is slim, but that does not mean you cannot get the most for your dollars. A guidebook to bed and breakfast inns with a certificate for a free night will create memories for years to come, and a book of entertainment coupons for nearby attractions will bring joy throughout the year. If you order gifts from online vendors, you can save big bucks by using search engines or discount codes. You can even print coupons online to use in local stores, and signing up for email alerts makes the search even easier.

With all of these options, time is still limited. For multiple party favors, special gift wrap, or Christmas cards, online wholesalers might have just what you want. From themed gift baskets and scrapbooks to warm fleece blankets and designer fragrances, they offer a wide selection of affordable choices for the busy shopper.
There are many ways to have yourself a frugal little Christmas, but the best one is probably to slow down, enjoy the moment, and be grateful for friends and family.