Christmas is right around the corner and with news of relaxation of coronavirus restrictions between the 23rd and 27th December, millions of families across the UK may be preparing to embrace their loved ones, perhaps for the first time in months.
2020 has impacted every aspect of life and many, undoubtedly, will still be suffering from hardship and the consequences of the pandemic.
One of the most significant implications of the virus has been the economic turmoil and financial insecurity for people in the UK and around the world. With this in mind, some families may be forced to sacrifice some of the luxuries of the festive period and look for more affordable ways to enjoy Christmas with their loved ones.
If this is true for your family or you are looking to focus on spending quality time with your loved ones for less, here are some things to consider.
Expensive presents aren’t a necessity
Christmas is the season of gift-giving and this is ultimately the highlight of the holiday for some people. But, if you’re strapped for cash this year then rest assured that expensive presents are not a necessity.
Putting a smile on someone’s face or showing your affection doesn’t have to cost a fortune! Cheaper gifts can often be more thoughtful than spending money for the sake of it, especially if you can find something that they will use or appreciate.
Alternatively, homemade gifts are a great way to show someone you care. Perhaps consider a secret Santa with your friends and family rather than everyone buying presents for each other – this can be a good way to spread the Christmas spirit while being more sustainable with your money. More than ever, this year should be remembered for the quality time spent together rather than who got the best present.
Try to avoid waste
Christmas is also synonymous with eating and drinking exorbitant amounts, but unfortunately, the festive period contributes significantly to food waste levels in the UK. While food waste is a massive shame for societal and environmental reasons, it is also a waste of your money.
If you are on a budget this year, then consider how much food you actually need rather than buying blindly. You should still treat yourself and your loved ones after what has been a tough year but be considerate with your spending and use your leftovers wisely. There is always someone less fortunate out there that might appreciate a hot meal!
Last-minute buying can be expensive and cause you undue stress at a time when you should be excited to spend time with your friends and family.
Buying presents in advance will ensure you have enough time to get the best price and will allow plenty of time for the item to arrive in the post if you buy it online. The same goes for travel plans during the Christmas period – if you plan to travel to see others then buy your tickets early to get the best deal.
Wherever and with whoever you spend your Christmas this year, remember the opportunity you have to appreciate your loved ones in a year when everyone has sacrificed so much. Even if money is tight, it shouldn’t dampen the festive spirit and the appreciation you have for one another.