Sometimes, the holidays don’t come at a time that is good for you financially. Several years ago, our funds were very low. We were still recovering from when I had lost my job (the first time) due to downsizing. We had two young children and we wanted to make the holiday special for them. With a little planning, I think we managed very well.

Some things we tried to make holiday financial cutbacks invisible to the kids:

  • Stuff mommy and daddy’s stocking with tissue paper – they never pay attention to yours anyway
  • Gift those necessary items we would buy ourselves anyway – coffee, new socks, winter gloves, shaving cream
  • Check out those special holiday items that stores practically give away – shower gel, lotion, chocolate, candy canes
  • Cut most of the holiday baking – the kids only really notice the cut outs that they decorate anyway
  • Keep any gifts we received from friends for opening on Christmas day or rewrap them so they can be opened in front of the kids

Still get caught by the questioning youngster? After all of our planning, we did. My daughter noticed that mommy and daddy didn’t get many presents and asked why. I told her that it was my Christmas wish that she have a happy Christmas, so I had gotten everything that I had asked for.

If you are in this situation, I’m sorry. It’s never fun to struggle financially. But, it is especially hard during the holidays when young children are involved. Maybe some of our ideas can help you?

Remember, being with family and friends are what the holidays are all about. Far away from family and friends? Then it’s about being close as a family with your children. I know it’s hard to get young ones to understand that, but what a great time to teach that lesson. It’s something that we continually try to remind ourselves and our children.