Tip 1: No toy stores. Small children like a LOT of Christmas presents to open but that doesn’t mean they have to come from expensive toy stores. They will quickly reach the age where they start requesting brand names. In the meantime, you can get a ton of new stuff for them to play with at dollar stores and closeout stores. Just make sure the toys are age-appropriate or you’ll be spending Christmas in the emergency room.
Tip 2: Don’t buy gifts for people you don’t like. This is your hard-earned money we’re talking about. You don’t like [fill in the blank] 364 days of the year, so why are you buying him/her a Christmas present. Merry Christmas will suffice.
Tip 3. Set limits on gift-giving. Dear Mr. & Mrs. Generosity, I know your third cousin’s family enjoys getting gifts from you every Christmas, but you’re not a bad person if you pare down your expenses and buy gifts for fewer people. Many large families pull names and some only buy gifts for immediate family. You may be closer to your third cousin than your siblings, but you understand what I mean.
Tip 4. Give love on Christmas Day. Johnny Gill is right. The season is about the birth of Jesus Christ, love, and all that good stuff. Try this with your family. Give out warm hugs, say Merry Christmas and I love you, then run when they find out you didn’t buy them anything!
Tip 5. Don’t believe the media hype. If your Christmas resembles anything like the elaborate celebrations in commercials, PLEASE invite me over. Television tries to make us believe that the more we spend, the happier we’ll be. Those folks are paid to look happy and that stuff is not real.
I know what you’re thinking. I’m Scrooge. Bah! Humbug. Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!