ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

My large family Christmas celebrations on a tight budget

Updated on February 23, 2014

Family Xmas celebrations are memorable events

Source

With three (almost adult . . . ) kids, brother, sister, parents, five stepbrothers and sisters and an assorted extended family, my Christmas gift buying and family celebrations have been on a tight budget for many years now. Planning and preparing my festive celebrations and budgeting my finances can be a little stressful at times, but I think I've got it down to a fine art now.

Celebrate Xmas on a budget

Christmas shopping can be great fun!
Christmas shopping can be great fun! | Source
Baskets of sugar glazed fruits are easy to prepare and make great personal gifts
Baskets of sugar glazed fruits are easy to prepare and make great personal gifts | Source
Trinkets and jewelry make great stocking fillers and can be picked up at markets or craft fairs
Trinkets and jewelry make great stocking fillers and can be picked up at markets or craft fairs | Source

Budgeting for gifts for family and friends

Most people appreciate the care that's been given when handmade gifts are presented. In the past I've given pen and ink drawings to adult members of my family as Christmas gifts and I know my mum particularly liked the drawing I did of her Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Susie, it's still hanging on the wall in her hallway!

It does take a lot of time to prepare and present gifts of this nature, though. Another handmade gift idea that I went for big time when I was a singleton was baskets of candied and sugar-glazed fruits. I just needed to source a variety of different sized baskets, cellophane, pretty ribbons and fruits and then prepare the glazed fruits. There's a video at the foot of the page showing just how to do this.

The baskets did look lovely, though I'm not sure this gift went down so very well with some family members!

For Christmas this year, I'm contemplating making Scottish shortbread, peppermint creams and handmade truffles and giving them as token gifts to members of my extended family when I visit over the festive period. Small paper or card gift boxes will hold a handful of these sweet treats and they'll make an ideal small present for people I don't see often. Certainly, anybody that does arts, handiwork, baking or crafts regularly should consider giving personal and handmade gifts at Christmas as I've always found gifts that I've made are appreciated far more.


Buying Gifts

When it comes to buying gifts for my kids and family, I do start to shop around for presents in September or October. Many stores offer discounts at certain times (see the 20% discount on nightwear in the image shown below) or gift vouchers to customers spending above a set amount, like Argos seem to do every year here in the UK.

I also look out for three for two deals in stores, though I've bought clothing gifts for my kids before and been disappointed to find they've never been worn so there are problems when buying clothes for teenagers. I'll never forget the beautiful suede and fur designer jacket I bought for a bargain price ten years or so ago for my eldest daughter, it was never worn and just stayed in her wardrobe!

I keep an eye on homeware and personal products arriving in my local Aldi, they don't stay on shelves for long and if there's anything suitable for family gifts I buy it as soon as it arrives.

I also look round local markets and crafts fairs for budget buys or unusual trinkets. I've found some bargains for my kids' stockings on markets like mobile phone covers, items of underwear or small pieces of jewellery.

Last year I managed to find some stylish knitwear on a market in the Costa del Sol and surprisingly my daughters liked the items too!

Shop round for daily discounts

Source

Local market

Local markets can be great sources for inexpensive gifts
Local markets can be great sources for inexpensive gifts | Source

Popular Xmas budgeting ideas

What's the best way to handle gift buying when on a tight budget?

See results

Budget Christmas gifts

How do you manage to provide thoughtful gifts for close family and friends?

Do you craft your own presents?

Do you shop around for the best deals in local stores and markets?

Vote in the poll to show the most personal and best gifts for people you love.

Shop round for great deals on Xmas foods

Source

Budgeting for Xmas food and gift purchases

Just like my Christmas gifts, I start buying my festive food and drink early. I did order a hamper for Christmas some years ago, but was quite disappointed with the food provided.

Now I tend to stock my Christmas food cupboards from a range of outlets. This year I've managed to buy two large tins of chocolates for £8, a variety of tinned foods including lumpfish caviar (which my kids have never tried and it's really cheap from my local supermarket), some frozen desserts and snacks, discounted boxes of chocolates from a local news retailer and have stocked up on mince pies and some bottles of alcohol on offer at supermarkets. I always opt for cava now instead of champagne, it's so much cheaper and tastes virtually the same, especially when it's in a Bucks Fizz. The only trouble with buying mince pies early is that my son is addicted to them, so they're unlikely to make it to Christmas!

I used to order fresh meat and luxury desserts from M&S every year, but now find the variety of continental meats, fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh or frozen specialty Christmas meats and desserts on offer at my local Aldi are not only great for my budget but also fairly high quality. For 2013 we'll be eating goose, turkey and gammon or pork as our main meats. A friend is giving me a few slices of goose breast to try out as I've never had it before. The unsmoked gammon joint on sale in Aldi for 2013 is a little like a reconstituted piece of meat (I know because I bought it on 14 December!), so I will probably buy a better piece of gammon from another store.

I've made my own Christmas pudding and two Christmas cakes, although they probably worked out more expensive than buying from stores the quality will be much higher.

There's no point spending loads of money on Christmas shopping in the run up to the holiday, in my opinion, here in the UK the major food stores are only closed for a day and it's so stressful running round filling trolleys with goodies and waiting in massive queues to pay.

Planning and organizing my Christmas celebrations well in advance helps me budget for the festive season and it also lifts my spirits over the dull autumn and winter months as I get out and about around local shopping centers and markets regularly. The other positive aspect of course is that I don't have to spend hours in traffic jams or pushing my way through hordes of Christmas shoppers for my festive goodies.

How to sugar glaze fruits

Sugar glazed fruits

Sugar glazing fruits is a simple process and merely involves coating fresh fruits with the sugared glaze. The glaze adds a crystal-iced appearance to the fruits, making them look like they're covered in winter frosts. Simply package your glazed fruits in a wicker basket, cover with cellophane and tie with a bright bow and you'll give a Christmas gift that looks great and is sure to be appreciated..

Another of My Articles on Hubpages that You May Like

© 2013 Dawn Denmar

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Dawn Denmar1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dawn Denmar 

      2 years ago from United Kingdom

      :)

      Thank you!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      You have very sound suggestions around gift buying.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)