Santa Clause Sleigh Wreath
Kids Holiday Decorating and
Saving Money During the Holidays

DIY home decorating is fun in itself … but having your children create their own decorations is pure joy for everyone! I remember looking at the store prices for wreaths and, remembering my budget, started looking into making my own wreath. When I mentioned this to the kids, they exclaimed in complete excitement that they would make one. (Sorry about the five reindeer. Because of all the holiday errands, they couldn't complete all seven). Doesn't matter though. I still think this is the greatest holiday wreath I ever hung.

Are you feeling the financial pressure of the holidays yet! I create a budget every year, allowing myself to go a little over, but always wind up going too much over-budget. This year though I made a better plan and stuck with it and would like to share with your a few ideas so you may keep within your budget too.

• Create DIY decorations and gifts. The kids were a great help in this. In addition to the sweet wreath above and a few other decorations, they created gifts to give to family and friends. They loved making them and the recipients appreciated the extra personal touch.

• Use Cash Only—I only used cash for the purchases that I made. When you use cash, you are able to keep better track of how much you are spending. I'll make a list and stick to it and I don't succumb to those Christmas bargains.

• Have some good old-fashioned family time. Create holiday arts and crafts, watch movies with some hot cocoa and homemade cookies, go caroling around your neighborhood to spread some holiday cheer.

• Teach the true meaning of Christmas. As parents we want to make our children happy, but we know buying them "everything" that they ask for isn't the answer. This year, I wanted to give my children a Merry Christmas and also teach them the true meaning of Christmas. So this year, we had a set limit of how many present we would give them and take the additional money that we were going to spend on gifts and donate it to charity.

Teach meaning through gratitude. This year, we are volunteering as a family by making some homemade holiday treats and handing them out to our elderly neighbors.

What are some ways you are sticking to your holiday budget?

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