Can’t Afford Christmas

Dear Sara,

I have three kids ages five, seven and nine. They see all of the things advertised for Christmas and hear about what their friends are asking for for Christmas and think that they should have these things as well. We don’t have a lot of money and can’t afford all of these expensive things. Christmas has gotten way too commercial. What can I do to have a nice family Christmas without spending a ton of money?

Dear Jessica,

Your kids may have some idea about your financial situation but have a family talk about what you can afford. Why don’t you try making memories instead of giving expensive gifts. Kids like to help decorate the tree. Maybe they could make some ornaments for the tree and put their name and the year on them. It’s fun to look back later and say “Oh we made these when we were little.

It’s always fun for kids to help make cookies and decorate them. If you are really brave they could invite a friend and have a cookie decorating party.

The real reason for Christmas is the birth of Jesus. How we have gotten so far away from that is a mystery. Help your kids celebrate that. You may not be able to rein in the commercialism but you can try.

Good luck.

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