Chuck Bentley: How to Have a Meaningful Christmas on a Budget

Chuck Bentley

To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can #AskChuck @AskCrown your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity.

Dear Chuck,

My parents moved in with us this year. We have two children in high school and a college student who has moved home to finish school. Our budget is tight but we want to be able to have a meaningful Christmas without going into debt. Your help is appreciated.

Dreaming of a Great Christmas

Dear Dreaming,

You’re one of a growing number of those who have children AND parents under your roof. The good news is, you CAN make Christmas meaningful for the whole family and avoid going into debt.

In 1940, approximately one-fourth of Americans lived with three or more generations in one home. This declined after WWII, but a Pew Researchreport reveals that the number of multigenerational homes are increasing.

The key to celebrating well is to plan early and ignore the world’s take on Christmas. The example we, as parents, set for our children is enormous. Many of my sweetest memories cost nothing.

Budget Friendly Christmas Tips

Love, affirmation, joy and hope can be given without going into debt. So, gather the family and discuss everyone’s favorite traditions, record them for reference, and get to work. Be sure to shop without your credit card if you fear you will not be able to pay the balance in full when you get the statement in January!

I asked my wife, Ann, to help me with some of her best ideas for any family as she is the pro in our home at making Christmas meaningful without overspending. Here you go!

1. Decorations

If you decorate, allow each generation to express themselves. Life is short – enjoy one another. Make this memorable with special food and music. Share the history of special ornaments and decorations. Your parents may have stories that are new to you!

2. Food

Collect your recipes, make your menus, and plan your grocery shopping list. Shop sales and freeze ahead when possible. Bake cookies together. And, try mocha punch. It’s an unhealthy favorite at our house!

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Source: Christian Post