By heaps

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So Christmas is over for another year. I hope everyone had an amazing day and is now looking forward to a great new year!  Whilst the happy memories of Christmas are still fresh in your minds, perhaps it is time to start thinking about next Christmas and how you can make it a little less painful for your bank account.
Nothing dampens the Christmas spirit like a hefty bill waiting for you at the end of your celebrations, so here are a few tips for surviving the world’s most feared and loved day of the year.

1. Secret Santa
When there is a large number of people to buy for, a secret Santa is a great idea.  In most family and friend circles, at least half of the people involved in gift     buying will have financial concerns surrounding Christmas. By buying for one you can pour a little more into the gift without any underlying feeling of guilt.     Quality over quantity!

2. Re gift
At some point in your life you are bound to receive a gift or two that JUST isn’t right for you. Re gifting can be a touchy subject for some, but if the item in question would really be nothing more than a dust collector for you, isn’t it better  that it is passed on to a more loving home? If you are a believer in the value of re gifting, just be sure that you make a note of who got if for you so that you don’t give it back to the original purchaser (or someone close to the purchaser).

3. Keep it cheap but thoughtful.
Although we would all love to be generous to the people we love, sometimes it just isn’t practical.  No matter how great an expensive gift may be, would the person you are buying it for really love it if they knew what it meant for your bank account?  Sometimes it’s a good idea to agree on a price limit before Christmas so that there is no pressure to spend more that you can practically afford.

4. Get creative
If you have the time and ability to create a gift, then go for it.  Gifts you make yourself can cost you next to nothing but be worth a lot to someone else.  If you are good at baking, sewing, painting or making mosaics then problem solved and savings made!

5. Share the host duties
You may love the idea of hosting the whole event, It’s a great way to show people how much they mean to you, but the reality may be that you bite off more than you can comfortably chew.  Asking other people to contribute would make the task a lot less daunting and much cheaper.  Generally, most people do like being asked for help – it makes them feel valuable.  Putting someone else in charge of the salad, desert or nibbles can make all the difference.

Always keep in mind that cost is inversely proportional to time – the more time you allow yourself for preparation, the less it will end up costing you.

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