Christmas is almost here and as usual, the festive frenzy is hitting fever pitch with each passing day. The economy has been tough on retailers this year, but it hasn’t stopped them from rolling out their annual high budget advertising campaigns . Turn on your television, and there they are. Christmas ads. In your inbox, on the radio, on every billboard where you live. There’s no avoiding retailers tempting you to spend your money.
However, more people are beginning to see through the futility of buying material gifts every Christmas. Most of the gifts you shelled out for last year are long forgotten, or even in the bin! What’s worse is that many of us will end up racking up considerable debt just to fund our gift buying. Although there is nothing wrong with buying gifts for loved ones every now and then, there are other ways of spreading Christmas cheer without hitting the high street.
Here are meaningful things you can do over Christmas to leave lasting memories:
- Instead of buying and exchanging gifts, why not spend the money on tickets for an experience you can all enjoy. Sports events, concerts, musicals, plays, or whatever you can think of. A gift like this can be shared between whoever gives the gift and who receives it. And being together is the essence of Christmas.
- Another alternative to spending your Christmas budget on presents could be to take your family on holiday over the festive period. Instead of staying indoors like everyone else and spending money on food, gifts and decorations, take the family somewhere special. Your gift will be the memories of a wonderful holiday, and this will be appreciated more if going on a vacation is a rare opportunity. Planning a trip has never been easier with the resources available online.
- Christmas is a time of giving. Why not embrace that sentiment and volunteer for those who are less fortunate that you. Charities such as Crisis and the Salvation Army are always looking for volunteers to help carry out their vital work. Get everyone involved in providing the less fortunate with a truly memorable Christmas. If you lack the free time to be able to make yourself available over the festive period, many of the aforementioned organisations require donations in order for them to carry out the vital work they undertake. Knowing you’ve helped someone in their time of need is more valuable than any material gift.
- Enrol to be taught something. Buying a gift for your teenager is great but what about giving them a fully paid instrument learning experience? What about swimming? A new iPhone lasts a year or two, but learning a skill will last a lifetime.
- Why not get creative and make your Christmas cards by hand this year? With the average household spending nearly £20 on cards and postage every year, you can save money and make a much more meaningful gesture by personalising your greetings cards and hand delivering them, where possible. There are loads of handy guides online to help you get started, and when you’re making your cards, why not get the family involved and do it together?
Christmas is not always just about exchanging gifts. It’s about taking the time to let others know we care about them. Showing that we care doesn’t have to take the form of buying a physical gift. In getting a little creative, you can show you love someone this festive period in a way that doesn’t involve shelling out your money on the high street.