Broke for the holidays: Make it fun, not expensive


You don't have to spend a lot of money to have a Merry Christmas or Happy Chanukah. When i was growing up my family didn't have a lot to spend on gifts and Chanukah is celebrated for eight days with a tradition of giving a gift each night.

So to keep things in budget, my mom used to find small gifts for each of us (I have two brothers) and hide one gift for each of us while we were at school. When we got home we'd have a treasure hunt to find the hidden gifts. We looked forward to going home each day to find our gifts. If we found someone else's gift the rule was to leave it where it was and not say anything.

By making gift giving fun, we didn't even think about the larger gifts we were missing out on. As we got older if we wanted a larger gift we did agree to give up the idea of one gift per day during Chanukah and instead got one large for the entire holiday.

Remember it's the traditions you set within in your family. If you need to stay on a tight budget this year, why not plan some free fun and small gifts. You can still show your love and celebrate the holidays without increasing your debt levels.