...you’d better not pout, I'm telling you why.
With all your pre-holiday activities planned and budgeted for, it’s now time to turn your attention to the actual Christmas celebrations themselves.
Rushing out to buy the gifts we want to give would be easy, but as my family keep reminding me ‘prior preparation prevents poor performance’ - in my case ‘prior preparation prevents budget blowouts (well hopefully)’. Here are some helpful ideas that have kept me on budget for Christmas day celebrations in the past.
In our immediate family, we only do a present swap with the adults. While it was not my idea and initially I was reluctant to go down the path of Kris Kringle (aka Secret Santa), I must say it is actually really good and works well. Names are drawn from a hat, kept secret and everyone is given a budget limit. Only needing to buy for one adult has helped me focus on what those people would really find personal, heartfelt and special, whilst keeping my budget on track.
Or, better still, forego gift giving to adults and only give to children… if your family is open to the idea!
Yep, it might be a cliché …but some homemade gifts can be the best. My kids have making bathbombs down to a fine art but they’re not to everyone’s liking. For me, I like to give gifts that people find useful, such as:
- preparing a freezer meal to be used in the coming months
- personalised jewellery
- a fruit, vegetable or honey basket from your garden
- custom clothing or scarves
- DIY voucher for things like babysitting, car washing or gardening.
No presents – experiences
Gift tag reads “Merry Christmas Aunty, the year is long and our homes are far apart. Being connected is the most important part of being a family. So for Christmas this year, I’d like to give you a promise… a promise to spend more time with you. How about meeting for a coffee, at a venue halfway between your home and mine, in June next year?”
A simple gesture can be heartfelt - and allows you to spread your gift spending across the year.
If unfortunately, your budget does burst, don’t wallow in feeling guilty. Work away to pay back the debt (if needed) and start early to make a plan to prevent a blowout next year.
How about putting an extra sum of money away each month as a nest egg for the next silly season, and if you stick to your budget next year you could have money left over… think of it as a present to yourself!
An LLL Savings Account might fit the bill for saving up the nest egg! The LLL offers Personal Savings Accounts with a great interest rate, no LLL fees or charges, and no bonus interest hurdles to jump over. If you are interested in opening an account, please visit www.lll.org.au/savings or call 1800 556 457.
The real meaning of Christmas
As we all know, Christmas can be a busy time of year and we can get caught up with the ‘silly season’ festivities. However, as Christians, we take time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus. Because of Jesus, we can have the surety of being forgiven.
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.’ John 3: 16 – 17 NIV
So let us continue to keep Christ at the forefront of Christmas.
The LLL Board and Staff would like to wish all our customers and supporters every blessing for Christmas and a happy and safe New Year.
This advice is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation, needs or objectives. Please consider the Disclosure Documents (available in branch or on the LLL website) to decide if this product is right for you.