Make time, this Christmas

Cute piggy bank decorated with christmas lights to indicate saving money at Christmas

Anglicare Financial Counsellor Danielle has some simple advice on how to make gifting affordable and meaningful, this Christmas.


 “Tip #1:  Kris Kringle/Secret Santa rocks!

Wouldn’t you rather get one great thing that you like or can use, over a bunch of forgettable things?

 Tip #2:  Make a gift

Why did we stop making gifts, and start buying them?  Everyone is good at something, and I bet that a coffee mug you’ve made vs one you bought is going to be valued more—even if they have to use it as a pencil holder. This is the reason I offer budgets for Christmas:  each one is handmade, will be useful and demonstrates how much I care.

Tip #3:  Get the giving spirit on and donate

I had a neighbour who every year would use Christmas to help her children understand true value and what (little) stuff we truly need. Every year she would ask her children to go through their toys/ books/ clothes and consider giving things they didn’t need to other children who have less. Sure, keep Mr Winkle, but allowing a child to let go of their other teddies so that another child can give them a hug every night builds self- esteem and offers them a chance to survive letting go of something they want but don’t truly need.

 Tip #4: Consider gifting time, not stuff.

Here’s a challenge—why not offer a commitment of your time rather than a gift? If the intended it worthy some Kmart socks, I suspect they’re also worth a commitment to have a coffee, go somewhere new or spend one to one time with in 2021. I also suspect this will be a whole lot more effort than the socks, but I’m also sure you’ll both enjoy a time-gift more.

Tip #5:  Make your cards count

If you are going to take the time to send a card, why not fill every inch of white space with a message or drawing? Get the whole family to help. Yes, the card to Nanna penned by your three-year-old probably isn’t going to be an easy read, but I’m sure she will love it (more). Or, how about you remind the intended about a special memory from childhood or share a story about something that’s happened this year? Or better yet, why not start a family newsletter? Write a paragraph or two each month that tells those that make your Christmas Card friend list ALL about your 2020.

My overall message?  I would suggest that you only buy gifts that are needed/ wanted, for people you like/love, with money you actually have…

Oh, and where you can… buy local!”

Read some more general budgeting advice from Danielle here to help you survive the festive season with your finances on track.

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