How to Have a Big Christmas with a Small Budget

I truly believe that our children do not need massive amounts of presents for Christmas. I am a supporter of people only giving their children three presents (like Jesus received) or using the “something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read” philosophy. In fact, I had planned for us to only give Noah a few gifts each year. However, I must admit that I went a little overboard on him this year. I think it is natural for parents to want to give their children presents and for some people gifts is their love language. In the past though, David and I have worked with a very tight budget for Christmas. This has helped me learn how to get the most out of every dollar. Here are some suggestions for making your holiday season more budget friendly regardless of how many gifts you choose to give.

1. Make a List and Set a Budget.

Shopping off a list helps you to focus on getting your kids the things they truly need or want for Christmas. It also can help you keep up with all of the things you have already purchased if you start shopping early. Setting a budget is really important (especially if you start shopping early) because you may not realize how much you have actually spent if you do it a little bit at a time.

2. If You Need to Buy Something Anyways, Wrap it Up.

For example, David’s phone is no longer working so we are limping by until Christmas when he will receive a new phone. Perhaps you have little children who need diapers or a new pair of pants etc. While it may not be the most exciting thing they unwrap, kids honestly just love opening gifts. I am 100% the Mom in this picture and I have no shame.


Almost all of Noah’s gifts were purchased secondhand. This is not only better financially, but it is better for the environment. I went to the fall consignment sales and then put away gifts for Christmas. We also received hand-me-downs from my Grandmother who retired as a teacher (she gave him a table and I found chairs secondhand). The previous owners of this home even left a play kitchen downstairs that we cleaned up for Noah’s birthday. In the past, David and I have even done our Christmas shopping at the thrift store. I have also had really good luck finding toys and other things on Facebook Marketplace (including the push cart in this picture). There are so many wonderful options for purchasing secondhand, that between Christmas and his birthday Noah is only getting two things from us that were bought new.

4. Give Handmade Gifts

For Noah’s Birthday he received beautiful balancing blocks that were made by his Grandfather. The time and love that was put into the gift made it even more special. For Christmas, David and I hand painted little peg dolls and David is building him a learning tower. We also have given homemade jams and breads to family and friends as gifts.

5. Wait for Things to Go on Sale

There is absolutely no rush to go out and buy things full price. You could even head to Target or Walmart on Christmas Eve and buy gifts if you had to. For example, someone in my family wanted to buy Noah an anywhere chair from Pottery Barn for Christmas. We were in the store and she was ready to purchase it full price. I refused to let her get it, and on Black Friday I found the chair for almost 50% less. While I understand wanting to get all of your shopping knocked out , you will save money if you are patient.

There you have it, these are my tips for giving your children, or yourself, a great Christmas without spending a fortune.


#christmas #motherhood #gift #savings #budget

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About Courtney

Courtney lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband, David, and son, Noah. She works as a nurse and a Mom. Courtney is inspired by Montessori practices, sustainability and minimalism.

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