by Eva Berg
Christmas is a very stressful time of year. Instead of being happy and joyous, most people are stressed over money. Study shows 61% of people get more stressed over the holidays than any other time of year. But there are ways to reduce this stress and save money. Ways such as thrifting, recycling, arts-and-crafts, budgeting and having a fun game of Secret Santa with your friends and family are just some of the ways Christmas can be enjoyed on a budget.
First off is thrift shopping. Thrift shopping may have a bad name; however, it is very environmentally friendly and can cut costs. Personally, the other day, I spent only $10 on a vintage purse and wallet that should have been well over $50! In addition to cost, thrifting has become quite a trend in the youth these past couple of years, as they find something fun in never knowing what they will find. It also reduces their carbon footprints, which the youth these days care about more significantly than any other generation. But maybe thrift shopping isn’t your style, and you want to do something else.
Another choice is ‘recycling,’ or regifting. Regifting has a bad reputation, but I believe it is time to put an end to this. Regifting a nice gift that you never use, and think another person will, is a great way to save money and be more environmentally friendly. As long as you don’t give it to the original owner again. Not only does regifting save you money, but it also clears room in your closet space and can make you happier, knowing you gave someone something they would use that you never did. In addition to your happiness, saving money and clearing space, you are also being environmentally friendly, as you are ensuring something you would most likely throw out is being put to good use. In the end, you are preventing landfill waste, because every piece counts. Aside from that, another worry you might have had is this: is regifting ethical? In short, yes, it is. If you think about it, it would be more rude not to regift, due to the fact that you are wasting someone’s gift by just keeping it in the closet to collect dust. Regifting is morally and ethically correct because you are now putting use to that gift you never would have touched. But maybe you don’t like the idea of regifting, that is perfectly fine, especially if you have artistic abilities.
A separate idea you can use to save money is making the gift yourself. The gifts that you make yourself end up being unique and can be seen as more sentimental. Plus, it is a great way to reduce stress and is an exceptional outlet for creativity. Handmade gifts are good for the environment because you get to choose what they are made from, the colour, basically anything you want, and it can be completely sustainable. Homemade gifts are more cherished than any other gift, as they mean something more. To you, it may just be something you worked on for a couple of hours, but to the receiver? It is something you took time out of your day just to make for them, something that you know they would like. Besides, anything you may need for the craft, you will most likely be able to find whatever it is somewhere cheap, like a thrift shop.
A fourth way to save money is to budget. Yes, it is absolutely dreadful, however, budgeting can help you save money as long as you stick to the budget. If you proportion your money correctly, and know what to prioritize, you will be able to effectively divide your money and buy things for Christmas. With good budgeting, you will obtain the perfect Christmas gifts and decorations. Besides, you will be able to see what you should and shouldn’t be spending during the rest of the year, which will help you in the future. Not only is it good for the holidays, but it’s also good during the rest of the year as well.
Lastly, instead of buying gifts for every single member of your family or your friends a more unique way to save money is having a little more fun by doing Secret Santa. Assuming you and the members have money/jobs, this may be the best option for you. Basically, the point of Secret Santa is that each member who is participating pulls a name and must buy a gift for them. The best part, in my opinion at least, is that it’s supposed to remain a secret, that way, when you finally do the exchange, you must guess who has you. Personally, my family and I, everyone has a job, except for my little brother and I, so everyone in my family helps my little brother and I and gives us money to shop. We put a budget/range on how much we can spend (for us, this year, is around $100, however the first year we did this we only did $20 to see how we would like it) that way my parents didn’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on the six of us. There are a magnitude of ways we can save money for the holidays, including making things yourself, thrift shopping, regifting, budgeting and Secret Santa with your family/friends. Buying Christmas gifts doesn’t need to be stressful; it can be fun and environmentally friendly.