Christmas on a Budget of $0

This year, money’s tight. But we’ve had tight Christmases before. And what I know from tight budget Christmases is that they’re a drag.

I know – giving isn’t the reason for Christmas. But it’s really fun to choose things for the ones you love that make their faces light up.

Nothing makes you feel like you’re celebrating Jesus’s birthday like having a family member say, “Oh, wow! This is the coolest thing ever!”

So when I first thought about how we were going to manage Christmas giving this year, I had a small idea: give things I already have.

I had no idea that small idea would grow to be huge.

“If you don’t use it, pitch it.”

I’m married to a professional organizer. So I constantly hear stories of his clients and the things he coaches them. The big one is, “Yes you could use it, but do you use it?”

I own a lot of things that I don’t use. But they are beautiful or special – so much so that I ignore the advice. I just can’t pitch them – or even donate them – because… well, because I just can’t.

But if I shared it, now that’s a different story.

Excitement welled!

As I looked around at the things in my home that are fabulous and unused, I got excited. I went from shelf to shelf, drawer to drawer, discovering all the cool things that I could give.

Then I thought about all the things in my mother’s attic. I gave her a call.

“How about a special Christmas gift for you, Ma?” I asked. “Can I come over and get all my boxes out of your attic?”

Now she got excited.

So last week I went “shopping” in Ma’s attic. All my old toys, books, crafts, clothes, and jewelry are going to find their way into hands that will love them like I do. And use them!

I’m recycling, reusing, cleaning out my home and Ma’s attic – all on a $0 budget.

And I’m celebrating the way Jesus would – by sharing!

How about you – are you on a shoestring budget or a $0 budget, too? Tell us about it in the comments!

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  1. Heather C says

    We are doing a shoestring Christmas. I am making almost every gift we are giving our kids (with the exception of a $20 wii remote) and 4 nephews. Fortunately they are still young enough (oldest is 9) that imaginative play is still in their everyday lives. I am crafty, but I don’t sew. I am making the majority of the gifts from felt, with glue and simple machine or hand stitching where needed. It turns out I will be making hubby’s gift too, as the poster I was after for him isn’t available anywhere. But paper crafts are more my speed anyway.

    Hubby bakes, and my 5 y/o is making rock candy, and I think this is how we’ll cover gifts for the rest of our list. It was a scary realization that we would have to get so creative for the holidays, but it’s actually really exciting to see everyone come together. Thank goodness for pinterest, or I may have had no idea what to do!

  2. says

    Sounds to me like it could be the best Christmas ever! Cherished items with a story attached and already soaked in love to share – what could be better?

    We used to be somewhat ridiculous in our spending. Over the years we have scaled back, but we are really tight this year. Work is down, our eldest is in college. We found inspiration from Marcie at Ben and Me, who used a poem to narrow the list. “Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read.” Everyone had fun making their lists, and discussing want vs. need, often in comical terms! We love books, so we talked about what makes a book a “keeper” and what books we should borrow from the library, rather than purchasing.

    Merry Christmas!


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