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Although Christmas is almost everyone’s favorite holiday, with the increasing financial difficulties we face in this economy, it’s getting harder and harder not to turn into a total Scrooge… It may sound crazy to even think of Christmas before November, but now is the time to start your shopping to avoid the last minute chaos and truly enjoy the holidays with your family, the way it should be. We are less than one hundred days until Christmas and you may need help getting started. I would prefer to be sitting back with presents under the tree, sipping eggnog while my friends and family scramble to meet the holiday deadline. Christmas is a holiday that should be all about family, friends, and loved ones, there are a few simple solutions to making this holiday a little less stressful financially.

Christmas causes many to feel joy about the meaning of the holiday, gathering with family and exchanging gifts. Christmas shopping has become a national pastime for many, as lists are formed, sales sought and crowds expected. When money is tight, the holidays invoke more stress than fun, and the fear of adding to an already overburdened credit card makes some people dread the season. You shouldn’t spend more than you can afford, but understanding the percentage of income that many people spend on Christmas gifts can be helpful.

I like to plan my Christmas gifts in the late summer months.  This helps me not only save money but save sanity.  I save money because I have all year to look for those specific items and it saves my sanity because my family is not stressed about what to get someone.

Make a list of everyone you’ll need to buy for.  Start thinking of things you want for each person.  In our family we get one big gift for each kid.  That doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a lot of money but its one thing they will really enjoy.  We do a gift for them to share, a gift for them to give someone else and stockings.  Stockings have a mixture of fun things and necessities like socks, candy, toiletries, etc.

Palm Wax Natural Scent Candle – 4” Enjoy the soothing power of candles with these 100% palm wax candles infused with pure plant-based essential oils. Waxes are 100% natural and biodegradable; no paraffin wax and virtually soot-free. Your choice of personalization is deeply carved into each candle.

Buy gifts just for the children. Whether you choose to buy gifts just for kids under eighteen or under twelve, you can save a lot of money by not having to buy the adult’s presents.

Kids’ Critter Notes Inspire young writers with our colorful notes. Choose a critter design and ink color and personalize with a first name. Makes a great gift for the young writer.

Children’s Stationery Encourage young writers with their own stationery. These adorable letter sheets are lined for writing ease.

Donate to a charity, instead of buying everyone gifts. On Christmas, gather around the table with your loved ones and explain which charity you chose and why it means so much to you. Anyone can do this, and you can each share a story about the gifts you chose for the child or family.

Set a limit on the price of each gift. If you have a lot of people to buy for, you can require that everyone buy a gift under a certain amount. You can always find cool gifts at thrift stores and flea markets.

Buy themed gift baskets for families, it’s my favorite way of gift-giving. It’s so simple and affordable to just to buy a gift basket for each family. For example, a movie-themed gift basket one year complete with pajamas, movies, and popcorn for the whole family can keep on giving enjoyment all year long.

Family Memo These memos are perfect for notes to the teacher or anyone else you correspond with as a family. Your last name is printed at the top of the sheet, with each family member’s name printed across the bottom. Choose from traditional Block format or the more modern Script and Block combo format.

Antique Initial Shipping Labels An exquisite antique-inspired initial adorns these colorful shipping labels.

Is there someone in your family that has a lot of stuff?  For those people I get the same thing every year. Buy everyone a gift card. Along the lines of setting a price limit for gifts, if you’re one of those people who are never satisfied with your Christmas gifts or never know what to buy anyone, gift cards are an easy solution.

Credit Card Case This chic credit card holder makes a great alternative to a bulky wallet. Fashioned in sleek Black leatherette, this case features an engraved brushed silver plate and eight double-sided slots for credit cards, IDs and miscellaneous documents.

Cash gifts are often the most appreciated kind because the recipient can use the money for anything he has had his eye on. The recipient can also combine a few cash gifts to get one large item that each individual gift giver could not have afforded to purchase and give. When you give someone money instead of an item, present it creatively so the person still gets to go through the process of opening and receiving a gift.

Personalized stationery is an excellent gift for family, friends and teachers.

Bold Bordered Postcards Send your quick hellos and short reminders on these boldly bordered postcards with matching personalization.

Chandelier Notes Understated elegance in bold colors! An elegant chandelier adorns the front of these fold notes in your choice of colors. Notes have a White interior writing surface.

You can be crafty and decide to make all or some of your gifts.  If you want to make them, try to find neat and unique ideas. You can always check online simple gifts that made easy and inexpensive.  Also if you’re making gifts, make all you can as soon as you can.  No one likes to get their gifts days/weeks/months late.

Stocking stuffers are traditionally small, fairly inexpensive gifts hidden inside stockings before Christmas. Some families may exchange stocking gifts before Christmas itself. In either case, as an alternative to store-bought gifts, there are plenty of stocking stuffer ideas that anyone can fashion at home in a short amount of time and on a tight budget.

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