Christmas spending: 4 ways to do it differently

Days are getting shorter, we are more and more cocooning more and more inside and Christmas is almost here again. It’s a wonderful time of the year, but also a time of spending excessively. And us Dutch, we apparently are still quite modest with our spending at the end of the year! On average, each household spends around 455 Euros on public holidays related items. The big spenders can be found (as expected) in the United States. They spend on average 920 euros on Christmas, whereas the average in Western Europe is 604 euros (source: metro).

But all that spending, is that really necessary? Are we better off by spending so much? I’ve written about this before: I don’t think so. And I feel that more and more people agree with me. There are circulating good initiatives and insights on the internet, which I gladly put in order for you here:

1. The 4 gift Christmas challenge

This ‘four Christmas gift challenge’ I found on the Money Saving Sisters. Instead of giving oh so many gifts to your kids, you challenge yourself to give ‘only’ four things:

  1. something they like
  2. something they need
  3. something to do
  4. something to read

I think it’s a nice idea. And, as Chrystie wrote on her blog, often children don’t even remember what they got. With four items they will probably manage.

2. Give attention instead of stuff

We know. Just check yourself. What you did as a child think to be the most important thing you could get from your parents? And yet … When you look at this video and it’s so ‘right in your face’, it can still be an eye-opener. Beautiful.

3. Give something you no longer use

This fantastic idea is from my BFF. This year she had a very special gift wish for her birthday: she asked something the giver no longer uses / wears / reads, rather than something new. I can only see nothing but advantages:

  • you still have the pleasure of giving
  • the item is reused / revived
  • you don’t spend money
  • your own home lost another item which was just lying around aimlessly

To be the only person who does this within a family or group of friends might come across as a bit weird. So just agree all together on this. It’s a great idea, don’t you think?

4. Spend local/on small businesses

This type of images have been circulating for several years on the Internet. You understand that as a small business owner I completely agree ;-) I’m curious what you think of this. Maybe you have some other ideas on how to do things differently this year? I’d love to hear it!

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