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Christmas is just around the corner. Most Filipinos are already planning how to spend their vacation. Some have even started singing their favourite Christmas carols. Christmas in the Philippines is special. In fact, the season spans at least three months, starting in early in September until the misty dawns of December and even extends until the first few days of January.

 

It is a fact that not everyone can afford a very extravagant Christmas; enjoying a warm and cosy fireplace on a foreign land, watching a lovely view of the snowy Alps on your lavish cabin on a hilltop, sipping bubbling champagne and eating a piece of Belgian chocolate. No, I guess not everybody has the luxury to engage in all those alluring activities that only the rich and famous can enjoy especially if one is on a very tight budget.

 

 

 

Celebrating Christmas does not generally mean having a grand feast. It means being with family and friends, laughing at every funny conversation and singing Christmas songs together with all the people we can fit inside the sitting room. This is what Christmas is all about! It’s having fun and making good memories with the people we love.

With the economy in turmoil and consumer confidence at an all-time low, it’s most likely that Filipinos are putting Christmas on a budget this year.

Here are some tips to help you save some money on gifts and other holiday expenses:

Make a shopping list: Write down all the items you expect to have to buy for the holidays, including gifts, decorations or food for parties and family gatherings. Be specific about who you plan on buying for and what you plan on buying for them. Having a list will allow you to snag items as they go on sale, and it will keep you from procrastinating till the last minute.

Start early: This may be the best tip for saving money on gifts this year. It is expected that retailers will be offering bargains and discounts far earlier this year than in previous years. Starting early will help you plan better and make sure that you don’t miss out on any of those deep discounts that we are expected to see from retailers.

Set a budget: Do this both for the gifts you plan on buying and all the extras as well. This will be especially helpful when you’re shopping for gifts since it’s easy to get excited and go overboard on gifts. Write down everyone you want to buy for this year and set a specific dollar amount for each person. You’ll be surprised at how much this will help eliminate overspending.

Shop around: Retailers are expected to offer deep discounts this year, so it will pay to do your homework to make sure you’re getting the best deal available. Also, check the in-store prices to the online prices; some stores offer different prices based on how/where you buy the item.

Don’t forget the decorations: When you’re making your Christmas budget, don’t forget all the decorations and supplies that go into making Christmas special. In addition to gifts, you’ll need holiday cards, decorations, party supplies, food, cleaning supplies, and other miscellaneous items. A good idea to consider for next year is to stock up on decorations and wrapping paper right after the holidays when everything is on sale.

Food: It’s not about having the most expensive food at the table. It’s about delighting at the moment you prepared it and served it to those people you cherish. Just take note of some foods that are not only affordable but very easy to prepare. Just make sure to buy your kids’ favourite candies as desserts as well.

Decorations: Again, you don’t have to buy new ones every Christmas, you can use the decorations you had last years like the Christmas lights, Christmas tree, and all those Christmas ornaments! Just store them properly after every Christmas, and they’re good to go the next time around. But if in any case that some ornaments are no longer reusable then you can simply make your own! There are a lot of patterns for easy Christmas crafts to choose from on the internet.

Presents: Although Christmas is not literally about the gifts, many people tend to look forward to their yearly Christmas presents. You can either make your own Christmas gift or buy gifts ahead of time when there’s a perfect opportunity like during garage sales or from the local mall perhaps.

As you can see, you don’t need to have a massive budget for Christmas. You can use ornaments from last year, you can buy gifts in advance, and you can even prepare the world’s most simple, affordable yet very delectable meal. What’s more important is that we celebrate it with all the people we love because nothing beats “Love” as a present after all.

 

 

 

 

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