Surviving the Holidays on a Budget

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The holidays are here! Are you ready? Or are you feeling a little anxious about your holiday budget and how much you will spend this Christmas?

Many of us have had Christmases (or are having one this year) when the budget for gifts is either tiny or non-existent. I remember quite a few of those Christmases when my children were all little. Because of those years, I try to remember each year how it felt back then to have no Christmas budget – which reminds me to make the most of the budget I have to work with now. There have been years I’ve gone over my budget (and paid for it in the New Year) and years when I’ve done a great job staying within my limit.

Tips for Surviving Christmas on a Budget

If you’re experiencing one of those years when there’s just not much of a gift-buying budget, I’d love to encourage you by sharing a few tips I’ve learned myself or from others over the years.

Stick to the Four Gift Rule

Most of us love giving gifts to our kids! It makes us feel happy to see them happy. But many families go way over the top with gift-giving at Christmas. Often, that means we’ve spent an entire paycheck (or more than one!) on buying gifts that our children will enjoy for a short time, but we’ll suffer financially for weeks or months because of spending too much. Or it could mean using a credit card to pay for gifts that we really can’t afford. But when the credit card bill arrives in January, there’s no way to ignore it! But the holidays don’t have to be about spending money we don’t have!

One way to combat the temptation to spend too much is by adopting the four gift rule. This simply means buying 4 gifts for each child – something each child wants, something he/she needs, something to wear, and something to read. This also works for parents who like to buy the same number of gifts for each child.

If Santa is part of your Christmas holiday, you’ll need to decide if one or more of the presents will be from Santa or if Santa will bring an additional gift or two for each child. This may vary based on your budget. If you have money to spend on additional gifts besides the ones they want, need, wear, and read, you could have Santa bring a gift or two in addition to those. If the budget is too small, Santa could give each child a gift included in the want, need, wear, or read category.

Give Experiences Instead of Stuff

As homeschool parents, we often find ourselves spending a significant portion of our homeschool budget on things like museum passes, zoo passes, gymnastics, baseball, or other sports and community learning opportunities. As much as I try to find opportunities to homeschool for free, these experiences and memberships always add up.

One thing you might consider is packaging some of these opportunities as part of your holiday gifting process.

For example, if you have a child who wants to take piano lessons, you can print a pretty piano lessons “gift certificate” to wrap and have this gift serve as the “something you need” (or “something you want”) gift for that child. This gift may have been something you would have given the child anyway, but that doesn’t diminish its value. 

Many parents struggle with giving experiences on Christmas because they aren’t sure how to package them, and they don’t want their kids to miss out on the joy of unwrapping gifts on Christmas morning. But this doesn’t have to be a problem! Get creative with how you package things like vouchers by including colorful brochures to the places the memberships cover, create your own certificates, or pair these vouchers or certificates with small trinkets from the dollar store. Put it together and wrap it in a box with some confetti or tissue paper to be unwrapped on Christmas morning.

Be Crafty

A great way to save money on your Christmas budget is to eliminate excess store-bought gifts for teachers, Sunday school volunteers, the mailman, neighbors, and others. You may want to dedicate a day to baking Christmas cookies to give to them instead of buying gifts for them. Simply make one (or two or three!) of your favorite kinds of Christmas cookies to put on paper plates with pretty bows and give away. These will be some of the most treasured gifts because the recipients will know you put time and effort into making cookies just for them!

If you’re not a baker, have your kids spend some time hand-drawing or hand-writing cards and pictures for these people instead.

Eliminate the Excess

Now you can call me a grinch for this one, but you may want to consider not doing Christmas stockings. It can cost a lot of money to buy lots of little trinkets and gadgets to fill up those stockings! And, if you’re like me, you usually spend your budgeted money and then remember you didn’t get stocking stuffers!

Another option is to get sensible, practical things for your family members’ stockings – things you could have ended up buying anyway. I usually buy things like chapstick, fingernail clippers, small tubes of lotion, and some candy to go in our stockings. These are all things I would have bought anyway, and they are things my family members will actually use, so I haven’t wasted money or spent more than I would have spent anyway.

If there is anything in your life that you find to be “excessive” at the holidays, give yourself permission to cut it from the routine. You don’t need to continue doing something because it’s a “tradition.” You have the power to choose what you want to continue in your family and what you don’t. Maybe that thing is stockings. Maybe it’s going to see the Nutcracker every year. Maybe it’s spending the money on dinner out on Christmas Eve. Just let it go if it doesn’t bring you joy or if it strains the Christmas budget.

Enjoy the Season

Whatever you do, don’t let budget woes get you down. I know it can be hard to accept when you are the mom and you feel pressure to make everything magical, but at the end of the day, all your family really needs is each other. Give yourself some grace and enjoy the Christmas season without stressing over spending too much money! You’ll treasure the happy memories and time together much more than anything you could have bought.

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  1. This is a lovely thing for you to do! This year we have $0 for a Christmas budget, so winning would mean a lot. You have sound advice in your article. Thanks!

  2. We do the 4 gift as well. One thing they have been wanting, an outfit they would like, tickets or passes for an experience and a set of books we think they will enjoy. Though I still do lots of crafting things with my kids which has to go in the holiday budgets.

    Thank you for the chance to join this raffle and the encouragement to post a comment. I have really enjoyed some of the comments.

  3. This would be such a blessing! We started 3 gifts a few years ago. This year, with older teens, it’s college textbooks, homeschool materials, and a small trip as a family. Making memories is a huge focus for our family. Many blessings to you~

  4. This would go a long way towards helping my family. My husband lost his job at the end of September – thankfully we had a bit of savings to get us through October. He started a temp job first week of November, and then he came down with a high fever. Now he’s in the hospital with a raging infection and possible liver damage. He definitely won’t be home in time for Thanksgiving. And at the moment we have no income. We have 4 kids I homeschool, 1 is a preschooler, 1 is special needs, and the other 2 are gifted. At this moment we are just hoping we don’t lose our apartment. Being homeless for Christmas sucks.

  5. This is such a generous giveaway! Winning this money would really help take a little stress off of my husband this holiday season. We live on a very tight budget year round.

  6. Winning this would really help our family out, we have had so many unexpected bills lately that we just keep getting behind. We had committed as a family to helping out others this Holiday Season but sadly that might be stretch for us to do.

  7. I almost did not comment–others have a much greater need for $500 than I. If I were to win, I would love to be able to split it between my two kids to help with college costs or baseball costs, especially since it doesn’t look like we will be able to go on a family vacation next summer.

  8. thank you for the tips and chance to win the holidays are really hard for me because as a low income family with one adult disabled I usually feel like a complete failure for my kids because I can never do as much as I feel like they deserve

  9. This would help us pay rent and give my family gifts for Christmas. Since both me and my husband lost our jobs last month money has been tight. Winning this could relieve tons of stress this holiday season. Especially with another baby on the way due December 1st.

  10. Thank you to everyone involved with this incredible opportunity!!

    Holidays are generally stressful, with tying to find the funds to cover just the normal living expenses.
    We are all inundated with commercials and pressures to buy things we can not afford or even really need for that matter. This year I am going to decorate, but not to the level of hurting myself, ( i am disabled), or taking that time away for truly enjoying these holidays.
    Making crafts with my granddaughter and baking goodies will fill my time and heart this year. I will pass those grateful and fulfilled feelings on to all.
    If i were fortunate enough to win 500.00 dollars, it would be put to use on necessities first, the extra would then be given to my two daughters as gifts.
    Thank you most sincerely for this opportunity!
    Happy and safe Holidays to everyone.
    Gratefully yours,

  11. Could really use this for the holidays. It’s been a really rough year.
    Happy holidays to everyone have a very blessed season

  12. I think the 4 gift rule is a great idea, but I don’t know if I would ever be able to get down to that few! I love seeing them open their gifts. Thank you and everyone else for this opportunity!

  13. Thank you for the chance to win the cash. It will help as we have a lot of maintenance projects to do on our house 🙂

  14. Love the tips! I decided last year to change to the 4 gift rule this year. I love it! & The money would greatly help this single mama support my boys, especially with the financial issues we have faced in recent months. Even having the opportunity to enter is amazing!

  15. These are fantastic ideas and I look forward to putting them to good use! Thank you for this opportunity to bless a family in need this Christmas! I know it would definitely be a blessing to ours!

  16. I love getting crafty for the holidays!! And I would love to win this Christmas Blessing for our family… our family has gone through a LOT lately! I am a single mother of a 12 year old boy and for the past two years have been taking care of my Mother, too, who was just diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few months ago. This spurred my recent move to NC (about a week ago!) so that I can have help from my sister. I left behind my photography career and clients and friends but have so much faith for the future. It is scary but I am thankful for my family and excited about the holidays!!! <3

  17. It’s getting harder and harder to think of things to get my children. They’re 5, 9, 11. We don’t do video games, or much of electronics, we don’t own a tv. We try to get something useful and practical. The olders are getting too old for toys, besides legos,they never really played with much toys anyways. We don’t have family room, or play room to store anything big, so whatever we get, usually ends up all over the house

  18. I can’t even imagine what a blessing this would be to my family. It would alleviate the extra money we always have to spend during the holidays. We have 3 birthdays in December also….mine, my husbands, and my daughter’s. My other daughter has a birthday in January. Money is really tight during the holidays although they are the best times too. It would be a true blessing to us to win!! Thank you for the opportunity.

  19. Those are some great ideas for saving for Christmas. In our house we do a lot of different stuff so that the kids have a lot of memories and traditions. I also make sure to spend a lot of time on charity work and teaching my children to be so thankful and always gives those who need help the extra hand. We like to make homemade gingerbread house, Christmas cards, Santa letters, home Christmas decor, we make our own stockings each year, we are part of Boy Scouts of America and we each have our roles in our troup. So we visit nursing homes, shop for a childrens shelter and we help run a fundraiser that collects food for those in need. The season keeps us busy and keeps us constantly giving with smiles on our faces <3 Thank you for taking the time to post the blogs because they really do help to inspire some of us when we most need that extra little something.

  20. This would help our family in a big way right now – money is tight because our old van finally gave up the ghost 🙂

  21. You shared some very practical ideas. We had a Christmas a few years ago where we could not afford to buy ANY presents. We had lost our business and were in the process of losing our home. There was NO extra money. We spent Christmas Eve watching a Christmas movie about the birth of Christ, and on Christmas day, we opened a few gifts that other family members sent in the mail.

    Following that experience, we stuck to a slim Christmas budget. I sometimes struggle because I feel that I do not have the money to spend on other people that I would like to spend on them. SO, I try to do what you suggested and buy “experiences” or just spend time with the people who are special to me. Even going out for a coffee drink or dessert can be a meaningful gift. Some of my family members appreciate a simple phone call.

    Thanks again for the great ideas!

  22. Thank you for a chance to make my daughter’s Christmas a little better. My daughter and I had to stay on a shelter this year as a result of a domestic violence incident. We left our bad situation in May. My ex husband will not pay child support until the courts officially order it and they are taking their sweet time. I’m a preschool teacher who has followed your web blog for years. Even if I don’t win, I thank you for the generosity you have to help others in need at the holidays….
    Thanks from the bottom of my heart.

  23. I love all of the tips in this blog! And thank you for this chance to win. $500 would be most beneficial in us being able to finish paying off our debts and allowing us to have more financial freedom to be more generous!

  24. This would definitely help pay for our Christmas flight home! We serve in a church plant 800 miles from our families, and this is the last Christmas my mother-in-law will be in her own home. And to top it off, we’re expecting our third child! These suggestions for more frugal gift-giving are great, thank you!

  25. Thank you for the tips and the chance to win some money that would come extra handy with taking care of the kiddos and their needs!

  26. Thank you so much for the chance to win! This would definitely help with the holidays. We are a family of five and sometimes we’re scraping to get by.

  27. We’ve had a lot of medical expenses this year, so winning this giveaway would be a huge blessing to us. We would definitely pay it forward!

  28. Thank you for offering this giveaway! It would be immensely helpful to win this budget boost. We have four kids, two of them starting college in the fall, and money is very tight.

  29. This last year has been a nightmare for us. A little extra money would go a long way in helping repair fire damage or pay off bills.

  30. God has truly taught our family the real meaning of Christmas. We know we will not be able to participate in the gift-giving portion of Christmas this year. In January of 2016, I had a simple stomach surgery. I was put back in the hospital in February for a revision surgery to correct the first surgery. I was put back in the hospital in March to correct February’s surgery. I left the hospital in March with permanent nerve damage in my left leg due to an issue during surgery. My husband is retired and works part-time as an Uber driver due to cartilage in both hips eroded and in need of a double hip operation. We help to care for my adult special needs son who has been unable to gain residential housing. The lists are long and the costs are high. So, we are all staying together sharing a basement. We have 5 grandchildren and we know we have nothing to give them but what God has instilled in us. We will teach them the true meaning of Christmas, with or without a gift. We would love to win the contest to add a little extra love under the tree, but we have made peace with the fact that it may not happen. I saw this email and thought I would try to win but if not, we will be just as happy for the family that does win. We try not to look that far ahead anymore because it’s a challenge to survive day by day but we do it with a smile. My stepdaughter and my granddaughter are temporarily staying with us so we are living the ‘sardine-packed’ existence. She is expecting to deliver our 5th grandchild on November 21st (Dr. planned delivery date). I am homeschooling my oldest granddaughter (9 yrs. old). It’s my first time homeschooling and it’s equally challenging and rewarding but I have fallen in love with it and it’s the best decision I could make for her. Thank you Only Passionate Curiosity for your website! It has been an amazing asset in my effort to help my granddaughter.

  31. Wow! $500 would help us to put a down payment on a house this spring ? We are on an incredibly tight budget for Christmas this year because we are saving up to get our family into a forever home ❤️

  32. Wow! How generous! Thank you to you and all the other bloggers for such kind generosity! $500 is helpful any time of year, but especially at the holidays. Thank you again!

  33. Winning this would help us just enjoy the holiday more by not worrying so much about how much we were spending and if we still have enough to cover the bills. My husband is a pastor and works another full time job as well, but in the winter our bills get higher (we live where its COLD and have to pay heating bills). We really do budget, but it always seems something comes up. This would just help our family relax and enjoy the holiday season more!

  34. I would love to win this prize because I would use it to make our Christmas fabulous this year. I would love to surprise my family with lots of fun gifts this year.

  35. We’ve been doing the 4 gift rule- this will be the 4th year, makes things so much more fun, and easy. These are really great tips.

  36. We have a large family and $500 extra dollars in the Christmas budget would allow for some fun extras for our six kiddos. Otherwise, it will be a very simple Christmas this year and that would be okay too. Jesus is the true gift! Blessings to you!

  37. This was a great read. Thank you. It’s been a rough few years with only on income but we have been trying to make the best of it.

  38. We have emptied our emergency fund and savings paying for a three month run of bad luck — but thanks to Dave Ramsey’s program, we were able to pay cash for everything despite the high cost of living where we are stationed. But we hadn’t even gotten around to planning at all for Christmas because of everything that’s been happening.

    If we won $500, we could give our daughter a special experience for her last year in Japan, by taking her for a trip on the Shinkansen (she is obsessed with trains). That would be amazing for her, because she’s been in Japan for 6 years–she was only 2 when we left the States–and she is sad and anxious thinking about the coming move. I know that having something special to remember about her last holidays here would stay with her forever.

    Unless we are fortunate enough to win, we will plan to do the want/need/wear/read gifting for our daughter — that is such a wonderful idea! And of course we will do the things that are free (or nearly free), like going to see the nearest winter illuminations, and making all of our favorite holiday handmade giftables to bring the season to our friends and neighbors 🙂

  39. I recently left my regular full time job to stay home and homeschool. It was a big step and a big financial loss, but it is worth it in the end. We are doing Want, Wear, Read, Experience, and a Home made gift this year. I’m actually so excited, because I know everything that I need to get. A lot of my shopping is already done too.

  40. this year has been so rough. financially I don’t know how I am going to give my kids thanksgiving or Christmas

  41. These are wonferful ideas. I really like the idea of experiences. This would work for the classroom too! You have me really thinking now. This raffle is a wonderful and helpful idea!!

  42. This would help my family because we have seen it rough this year, I had a baby in April, and our truck broke down, we had to change the motor out in the truck, and it’s stayed down for 5 months. We are now trying to catch up on bills and everything from those 5 months since the truck was down.

  43. These tips are timely and useful. I don’t get into the commercial aspect of Christmas, but I do hit some of the sales to purchase what my family needs. Just trying to survive.. blessings…

  44. My kids love getting experiences but they miss having stuff to play with right away. Getting an item that can be used during the experience along with the gift certificate helps, or a really cool but inexpensive toy or craft supply.

  45. Excellent tips for making Christmas special and staying on budget. And, $ at Christmas would be a blessing to our family. Thanks for the giveaway:)

  46. I love the idea of giving experiences instead of stuff. We’ve gotten rid of so much through the years. We could sure use the Christmas money. My husband’s job got outsourced so now he’s on the job hunt just in time for Christmas. We are also having our 7th baby any day now.

  47. Right now our two vehicles have no working heat. We’re making it work because life doesn’t stop when you’re inconvenienced. However, we live in MI, so every day we’re closer to freezing temps that turn our inconvenience into a danger for our family. For us, the $500 would go directly to repairs to have frost free windows to see & warm fingers and toes.
    Thank you for the chance!

  48. My unemployment has run out, we had to move unexpectedly to a smaller place with higher rent and I was wondering how we would get anything for the holidays. This would truly be a blessing.

    1. My husband downsized jobs because Kelloggs closed distributorships 🙁 This would help us out alot .and with threeof our hcildren in the army and all of them coming home this would really help.

  49. I read your blog every chance I can. It has been such a godsend. I have been homeschooling my 3 sons for 4 years, the oldest of which just started college this year. My middle son is now the only one that homeschools because the youngest, 8 years old, decided it was time to go to “real school” as he puts it. Turns out, he was learning more than he thought in my “not real” homeschool (lol) because he is 2 grade levels ahead in just about everything and his teachers tell me they wish they had a whole class full of him. He is a sweetheart and has very good manners. My middle son was diagnosed with a learning difference years ago and public school was crushing his interest in learning so my late husband and I started homeschooling him, the other two boys just kind of happened though. We live in an Urban area that isn’t known to value education at the high school level so thats how my oldest son, now college freshman, came to homeschool. My youngest grew into it. He homeschooled kindergarten, first and second grades. As I said before, he is on a 5th grade level now. My husband sadly, passed away this year from hodgkins lymphoma and while we are getting the day to day back in order, the savings suffered a devastating blow so that $500 would truly be a blessing.

    I wish everyone a very happy holiday season and a blessed new year ahead.

  50. If I won I would be so happy and probably a bit flabbergasted. Good luck to all. This is so great and awesome thank you so much. I love to gift and I like to hike.

  51. This would really help us bounce back from some financial setbacks….car engine, busted water pipes, broken fridge. It would also help us to give back and help adopt a family for Christmas.

  52. This would be incredible. I am a working single homeschool mom. My hours were cut at work which of course decreased my income but it increased my medical insurance payment . I’m trying to balance everything so I can still hs my 10 year old. This would help but gifts for my daughter and family, who are so supportive and helpful with us homeschooling. Regardless of if I win or not, thank you for all you do and for this opportunity

  53. This money would help in so many ways. We could use it to buy a museum membership, buy some Christmas gifts (using your awesome 4 gift rule idea), or take our first mini family vacation as a family of 5.

  54. What an amazing gift to be able to pay this forward to a couple readers! We truly love paying it forward especially around this time of year. This would bless our family with the funds to purchase a hands on curriculum we have had our eyes on this past year. Thank you for the opportunity!

  55. What an amazing gift to be able to pay this forward to a couple readers! We truly love paying it forward especially around this time of year. This would bless our family with the funds to purchase a hands on curriculum we have had our eyes on this past year. Thank you for the opportunity!

  56. Wow this is amazing! We would be so grateful to win this for our three young boys! Hoping to gift them with a winter week of art camp!

  57. This would be so helpful this year. Getting ready to retire from the military, braces and new windows in our first home. Thank you for doing this!

  58. Your gift would be a huge blessing for our family. I would use it to catch up on our mortgage. It has been a tough year at our house, but we have pulled together and lifted each other up. Soon we will be starting a new year with bright beginnings!

  59. This would be amazing to win, with two kids and my chemotherapy treatment, I’m unable to afford any of their wants. This would help me give them one of their wants.

  60. This would bless my family by helping us buy gifts for the kids. We’ve had many life changes this year and the extra money wouldn’t help a lot.

  61. These are great ideas. This year we aren’t really doing gifts for our kids. My daughter is sick, and her treatments are taking every spare penny we have.

  62. Truly amazing. This could benefit so many in these incredibly hard times. Love this post. Going to adpot the “want, need, wear, read” rule. My kids will love it.

  63. Thank you for the opportunity! We live pretty simply so that I can only work part-time and be home with the kids and home school them. Winning this contest would help so much to relax and enjoy the holiday without stressing over money!

  64. Those are great tips for keeping the spirt of Christmas in check. Such an amazing opportunity for some lucky families. Thanks for the chance

  65. This would be a God send I have not worked since June 2016 due to illness I’ve been in and out of hospital I spent April and May of this year in hospital I have mass on my left adrenal gland I lost 6″of bowel I have severe chronic Crohns Disease every 8 weeks I go to cancer infusion center i get a 3 hr infusion wipes me out for couple days after. I feel horrible my son is paying all bills with his disability check couple bills are behind thank god they understand my son became disabled 7 yrs ago he had mini stroke at 23-year-old he has lupus and Fibromyolgia his right side was affected. I’m waiting on my appeal court date for disability. So this would be a god send. And you are wonderful people to do this for 2 families Bless You and Thank You

  66. I would love to win this not for myself, but for my brother’s family. We already do a lot of the things mentioned (including the four gift challenge and giving experiences rather than toys). My brother just found out that he has stage four lung Cancer that has spread to his adrenal gland. He cannot work and money has been REALLY tight for him. He was the sole bread winner in his family. I have helped as much as I can, but we are a one income family as well. This would be such a blessing for him as he currently is unsure how they will be able to provide a Christmas at all this year.

  67. This would be a great help to my family. We’ve hit a bit of bad luck recently. My husband lost his job and due to health reasons I am not able to work. I stay at home with the kids and homeschool them. Thanks for the opportunity. And bless you all.

  68. This giveaway would bless my family by helping me pay for the rest of the gifts I would like to purchase and it would help me throw my December girl her 7th birthday party! Thanks for the great giveaway

  69. My husband and I just had our first child in August six weeks before his due date. While we were mostly ready for him, there are still some things we need. This giveaway will allow us to provide everything we need for our son.

  70. As with so many other things as parents, we just want the best for our kids. Christmas often brings so much extra pressure to go big. These are great tips and ideas for keeping it reasonable. Thank you!

  71. I have always been crafty, learned it from my mom (a single mother battling cancer on disability money was tight)
    And i am a firm believer of experiences over stuff.
    This win would help get some necessities for our family.

  72. Great ideas, thank you! My husband is in school while I work as a teacher, so this would be a huge blessing for us!

  73. We have been doing the 4 gift categories for several years and LOVE how much it helps to keep holiday shopping intentional and meaningful. If we won the $500, we would use it to go towards our planned “experience” gift over New Years as a family (a weekend getaway!)

  74. This would be such a blessing for us, you have an idea from your story above but… that phrase you have no idea keeps coming to mind. Life is stressful right now and I have barely been able to think about the holidays on top of it. Thank you. And thank you to all the other bloggers participating.

  75. I can’t begin to tell you how $500 would bless our family of 6 kids…every little bit helps. I was blessed by the suggestions that you gave to us in your blog. Thanks for the tips!

  76. I love this idea-eliminate unnecessary overspending and following it up with guilt! This would be a blessing to us with 4 kiddos to buy for this Christmas and 2 birthdays in December.

  77. Winning this giveaway would allow our family to bless a family of 16 that recently lost everything in a devastating house fire. This tragedy occurring about a year after the father started having unexplained seizures which left him unable to continue his 18 year truck driving career.

  78. I think it would be an amazing blessing because I’m disabled and unable to work and my husband has been unable to work for over a year now due to lyme. We have a very modest Christmas for my 6 year old and try to make gifts for family but its not easy. I like to make food for the homeless because it is our family tradition to help others less fortunate. Thank you for the chance.

  79. This is genius! Love the “want, need, wear, read, (Santa)” rule. I will ask the grandparents to contribute to this list so we can simplify and enjoy an experience together.

  80. Thank you for the opportunity to enter this giveaway! If I won it would be put towards the kids I tutor to get some items to help motivate them to keep trying! 🙂 I love the idea of the “4 present rule”! 🙂

  81. This would bless my family with an amazing magical Christmas celebration, because we would have the extra money to splurge and grant some serious Christmas wishes for the kids.

  82. We normally do a 2 gift Christmas – something they want and something they need, and limit it to $25 a kid. But if we won the $500, I would sign 3 of the kids up for the christian youth theatre classes they’ve been begging for.

  83. This money would be a blessing for our family. Every time we think we’re a little bit ahead, another bill knocks us 2 steps back. It’s going to be a tight tight Christmas.

  84. What a blessing! Would use the money to buy a new lap top. This is our first year to homeschool and we are so excited!

  85. What great ideas. I have been trying to cut down on holidays and maybe with these ideas I finally can. I especially appreciate the tips on how to gift experiences. Thanks!

  86. This giveaway will bless my family by providing gas and food money to drive the 18 hours to visit with our families for the holidays.

  87. I love these ideas, Heather, great tips and things to keep in perspective. It’s easy to let the holidays get stressful, especially over the cost. Thanks!

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