It’s no secret that Christmas is a magical time of year – the festive food, the thoughtful gifts, and celebrating with friends and family. But can you do Christmas on a budget? We’ve done the research so you don’t have to. Here are our top tips to help you spread the cost of Christmas this year.
Start a Christmas kitty
Sick of forking out for the Christmas turkey every year? Get the family to chip in with a group fund, or start putting away spare change to help the budget go further this Christmas. Some banking apps will let you round up the pennies when purchasing and will store it in a pot for a rainy day – or you can use apps like Splitwise to share the burden and keep on top of spending for big family get togethers.
Write a shopping list
It might seem like an obvious suggestion but stop yourself from panic-buying and over-spending by taking time to write out a shopping list for any gifts you need to buy. Use your notes app on your phone so you can add to it on the go, or use old fashioned pen and paper if that helps you think better!
Writing your list early means you have a plan of action to conquer the Christmas chaos, so you can start ticking off a couple of items each time you hit the shops and spread the cost of Christmas over a few pay days.
Plan your shopping trips
Save on fuel and help the planet by shopping smart. Getting started on your shopping early can help ease the cost of the occasion a little, whether that’s by picking up some bits for the Christmas dinner and keeping them in your freezer, or by crossing some gifts off the list with sales such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Closer to the big day, avoid the Christmas rush by shopping at quieter times if you can – we recommend arriving at Silverburn before 1pm or after 3pm – and make each visit count by bringing your shopping list and deciding which shops you’ll hit.
If you’re travelling by public transport, we’re just a 15-minute walk from Priesthill & Darnley station. And plenty of First Bus routes stop outside the mall: 3, X8, 10, 49 and 57, to be exact!
This isn’t just an exercise for the office – Secret Santa is a great way to spread the cost of Christmas amongst the family, too. If you have lots of aunties, uncles and cousins to buy for, why not pick names out of a hat and each choose an extra special gift for just one person? You can set a budget that suits the group, while at the same time cutting down on presents that might not see the light of day once December ends. You can even spice things up with a theme, or get competitive and see who can find the funniest gift.
You can find online secret Santa generators that do all the hard work for you, so no one has to be in charge of organising. The hardest part will be keeping it a secret!
5 Christmas gift ideas on a budget
1. Christmas hamper gifts
We’re kicking off the gift list with a good old fashioned Christmas hamper. Who doesn’t love a festive hamper bursting with goodies?
You can keep it on the simple side or go as luxurious as your Christmas gift budget allows. For the cheese lover, why not gather together their favourite cheeses, chutneys and crackers from M&S into one tasty parcel? Or opt for a small bottle of their favourite tipple along with some seasonal treats. A sweetie hamper makes a perfect gift for the kids (or grown ups with a sweet tooth!).
Pick up a hamper basket kit from The Works for as little as £4, or cover a shoe box in some festive paper and you’ve got yourself a hamper! Wrap it up with some Christmas ribbon and you’re good to go.
2. Homemade gifts
Sometimes the most thoughtful gift of all is one that you’ve put time and effort into by making it yourself. If you’re gifting to grandparents, aunties and uncles, keep the kids busy with some festive baking. Or, make a gift that will last and create Christmas tree ornaments or plates with teeny hand prints that will be treasured for years to come. Head to The Works to pick up all the arts and crafts you need for your homemade gifts.
3. Practical gifts
With the weather quickly cooling down already, everyone needs some more cosy clothes. If you’re stuck for ideas or you want to get something practical that will make a real difference, why not gift some winter essentials?
Fluffy socks, hot water bottles and lounge wear will keep loved ones cosy this Christmas – you’ll be spoilt for choice with Boux Avenue, Next, and H&M stocking up on cosy Christmas bits. Household items like plush throws and draught excluders will help to keep out the nippy winter chill.
4. Experience gifts
Make the festive feeling last even longer with a special experience they can look forward to, and spread the cost of Christmas by booking a fun day out in advance that you can enjoy together later. Why not make your own homemade voucher, pop it in a Christmas card and whisk your mum and dad to see a festive film at Cineworld Silverburn on you? Or get the kids excited and load up a voucher for Fun Street so they can burn off some energy during the holidays.
For something a little different, treat that special someone to a Pure Spa experience – whether that’s a pre-made pamper box or a voucher for a spa treatment of their choice.
If you’re trying to make your budget go a little further, look out for activities you can book in advance and pay for on the day – that way, you’ll have a few more pay days before they cash in their gift.
5. Gift cards
This brings us to our final gift suggestion – gift cards! Give them a gift they’ll love this year, and let them choose something they really want. A gift card can turn into just about anything, like a week’s worth of delicious festive coffees to get them through cold winter mornings. Or a top-up of their favourite make-up, skincare or beauty products that only they could choose.
At Silverburn, our gift cards last for a whole year, so the recipient can hold onto their gift until they find the perfect treat. And if you’re working with a small budget, a gift card can be put towards a bigger purchase so they can treat themselves to something even more special.
Decorations on a budget
Finally, if you’re looking to add to your decorations this year, there are lots of ways to do so on a budget. It’s amazing what you find on Instagram and TikTok these days! Think green by reusing household items like newspaper to make origami stars for the tree, or use envelopes from Christmas cards to make colourful paper chains and snowflakes.
Or, if you’ve got oranges that are looking past it, why not dry them out in the oven or air fryer? String them up with twine along with a couple of cinnamon sticks and you’ll have a rustic festive garland. And, bonus, it’ll smell great!
So, there you have it – our top tips to help you spread the cost of Christmas this year, from gifts to decorations. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram channels to keep up to date with the latest events coming to Silverburn this Christmas – we hope you’ll join us for some festive fun!