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Christmas is Around the Corner


merry christmasI have been amazed at the number of my Facebook friends who are already decorating for Christmas. I am really looking forward to doing just that, but will definitely wait until after Thanksgiving. It will be really new for us as we got rid of my of our Christmas stuff with the exception of a few personal things. We don’t even have a tree! (Last year we spent Christmas in Georgia and Texas so didn’t do anything in regards to decorating.) With that being said, the decorations are not the point of this point.

I’ve already purchased/made presents for all my Texas family and will ship them right before Thanksgiving. The total cost for those 6 presents was less than $50 – 3 brothers, 1 sister and my parents. The money came from my discretionary spending (I get $20 per week from the allowance line item) so it is not in my budget, as will the remainder of my presents. My kids will purchase presents from their allowance or money they earn.

However, the Christmas holiday is a minefield for those of us who do not always make the wisest financial decisions. I am wanting to stop the madness and work with a budget.

Christmas Tips and Tricks

Here’s what I’ve come with up so far as I start planning.

  1. Purchase tree from Boy Scout troop (my little cousin is a boy scout and his dad will deliver it for free.)
  2. Homemade decorations from Pinterest boards. (I’ve got a ton of crafty stuff so I believe this will be free using supplies we have on hand.)  The only exception is lights, we don’t have any for the tree.
  3. Presents for my kids – a book, a game/toy/crafty item and a clothing item for each child. I would also add a stuffed stocking and a personal gift. (This is where I really need a budget!)
  4. We are eliminating candy this year, but typically that would be my go to cheap present.
  5. I also need to limit who I buy presents for as I love giving gifts…don’t we all.  I am going to sit down soon and make a list. Then I must stick to it.

How do you keep Christmas under control? What tips and tricks can you give me to stay on the right track financially?


Follow a single mom's journey to be DEBT FREE while managing this crazy life's conflicted choices with regards to kids, pets, homeschooling days and self-employment!
The sorrow and joys of this roller-coaster overwhelm her at times, but she is committed to this course.
Hope plans to dig out of debt using any resource possible including her small business EPOH, her blog and any other resource that comes to mind!

Latest posts by Hope (see all)


  • Reply Jean |

    Have you talked to your siblings about not exchanging gifts any more? My siblings (and spouses) went from drawing names, to a white elephant, and now nothing since we haven’t been together for Christmas in several years. We’re all adults, and we don’t really need anything. Makes things easier – and cheaper.

    In addition to using things on hand to make gifts, baked goods are always a hit. You can buy ingredients when they’re on sale & you have a coupon to make it budget-friendly.

    Give yourself a spending limit for each kid. Take cash when you shop to keep from overspending.

    Since you like to give gifts, think outside the box. The best gift you can give someone is your time. Give someone a coupon for a coffee date, or even buy some note cards at the dollar store and send some handwritten, heartfelt notes. There are always cheap & free activities to attend; we have Cheap Seats ($10) to the local theater, which would be a great outing.

    The holidays can be a slippery slope when it comes to spending, so at least you are aware of your need to be budget conscious. Just put the safeguards in place to keep yourself in check.

    • Reply Walnut |

      I hope they do. The writers here spend a lot of time and effort telling their story.

        • Reply Laura |

          That might be why she’s posting regularly again but I think the bloggers should have been paid all along so it doesn’t bother me.

      • Reply Katie |

        The owners are making money off this blog, the writers should be paid. They are carrying it. Seriously, it’s disgusting to me that they wouldn’t be, and if either Hope or Ashley wanted to develop their own blog,I would follow them. They both have invested a ton of time in this, handled a lot of criticism and are both in need of the income. C’mon new owners, do the right thing.

      • Reply Anna |

        Apologies that came off wrong. I WANT Ashley and Hope to be paid, I was just curious and wanted transparency.

  • Reply revdrmd |

    The Admin of the Blog discussed the question you raised about compensation in this post https://www.bloggingawaydebt.com/2017/08/handing-off-blogging-away-debt-looking-writer/

    I wonder if those questioning Hope’s recent increase in posting have considered that it is easier to post to a blog about getting out of debt when one has a job and can make steps towards that goal. Hope was very honest and vulnerable in sharing her story during less positive times. I am thankful that things are going so much better for her and applaud her commitment to her children.

    Having said that these are the ideas that I have about giving during the Christmas season.

    For work, I purchase small gifts or make something for my co-workers during the time we are off of work for the holidays. I do not know if I will do that this year since our department increased from 5 to 15. I purchase gifts online on Christmas day when savings are great. I go to the nearby shops the day after Christmas to purchase gifts bags and wrapping paper for the gifts. It works out well to give after the holidays since many of my colleagues are off work before the holiday but not after the holidays.

    My family lives in another state and we don’t really share gifts anymore. Admittedly it was harder on me since I am single and really liked getting gifts from someone. Now if I give them anything, I send a calendar with photos of my life on each month.

    I try to focus on the meaning of the holiday and the true Gift of Christmas. I do participate in our ladies Christmas ornament exchange each year and try to share Christmas cookies and bread with those that I consider good friends. I give gift cards with gifts of candy to my special friends. That way they can enjoy two treats on me. The gift cards are for small amounts to buy a treat at one of their favorite places in the area.

    • Reply Lucy |

      Thanks for the link, revdrmd. It was very enlightening! I only recently started reading this blog again and was always under the assumption that the bloggers were compensated. As a blogger myself, there is no way I’d be writing for someone else (especially with the new owner’s requirements!)…or at least not for free! If Hope and Ashley are not being compensated, they should start their own blogs. I love the personal aspect of their journeys. They would do well blogging on their own.

  • Reply Ashley |

    Hope, just wanted to say THANKS for this post! Good inspiration for me to make homemade gifts this year (and only for immediate family) in an effort to reduce gift costs!

So, what do you think ?