Monday, December 5, 2011

A Stress-Free Christmas

Christmas always stresses me out. My money is tight year-round and when you add in the pressure to BUY AMAZING THINGS and give them away, I'm >thisclose< to freaking out.

This year my (very large) family decided to cut the pressure in half and make Christmas about family time instead of gifts. It has made it so.much.less.stressful on all of us. We don't have to worry about buying a gift for each of our siblings and their other half, kids, moms, aunts, grandparents....and on and on it goes. Instead, we are coming up with simple themes and one gift per person and/or family and trading them all around. It's really taking the pressure of giving an amazing expensive gift off and making Christmas fun again!

I thought I'd share the genius ideas we have come up with and maybe you can start a new Christmas tradition as well!

White Elephant/Dirty Santa
On Thanksgiving have everyone write a theme on a piece of paper. They can be as silly or crazy as you want them to be. Like: Star Trek, Goodwill, handmade, the color blue, spoons, sweet treats etc. Then toss them all in a bowl and have a little one pull out ONE paper. Whatever is written on that paper becomes your theme for the gifts at Christmas! Each person has one month to buy an item that has something to do with the theme that was chosen. It can be cheap, or expensive, a good gift or downright hilarious! Wrap it up and have fun trading gifts around Christmas Day!

Family Baskets
Instead of each individual buying a gift, have each family fill a basket with items surrounding a theme. The options are limitless here! You could create a movie night basket, a build-your-own-snowman basket, a Nerf war basket! Anything goes! Then you can either wrap up the baskets or leave them as they are and trade them around! You could also trade names at Thanksgiving so you know which family you will be making a basket for!

Stockings Only
This idea is probably the simplest of all! Have each person purchase multiples of one item that will fit in a stocking, whatever they choose/whatever they can afford. They can write their name on the item with a special message if they choose. Make sure that you have a rough count of who will be attending so no one is left out. Christmas Day have everyone bring their stocking from home and once everyone is there, stuff the stockings! Everyone gets a gift from you! But you only have to put thought into ONE gift.

For more unique, but cheap(er) ideas, visit my Pinterest boards. I've been pinning lots of amazing ideas!
Get Crafty, New Use, I Give (to others), Green Livin'

What interesting traditions do you have at your family Christmases?


lace said...

love all your ideas

Odie Langley said...

They are all wonderful ideas Ali and I sure am enjoying that Christmas music on my computer. Thanks again.

Kristie said...

Cute ideas! The stocking one reminds me of what Morgan's class is doing for their Christmas party this year. I had to buy enough of one thing for 16 kids and spend only around $3. Her classmates are all getting little paddleballs :-)