One of the best parts of the holiday season is that there seem to always be parties going on, especially for Christmas! However sometimes participating in these Christmas extravaganzas can get to be a little bit on the expensive side. As two college students with a limited budget, we know that contributing money towards gifts can be a little bit much! However there are still ways to have a great time with friends celebrating the holidays without breaking the bank. Here are our tips!
- Host a Secret Santa or White Elephant gift exchange
Rather than spending money on each of your friends, instead suggest to your group that you do a Secret Santa. This ensures everyone gets a gift and you can set a price limit on the amount each person can spend! If there are members of your group that don’t know each as well and don’t feel comfortable buying a present for someone they aren’t really acquainted with, try a White Elephant exchange. For these, each person brings a gift within the given price range. Upon arrival all the gifts go in a large bag and, when the time comes, everyone draws a gift. They can either choose to keep their gift or trade with one person who has drawn already.
- Have a cookie exchange
As fun as it is to have a holiday dinner with friends that can get quite expensive after buying all the food—especially if there’s a turkey! A cookie exchange is a great option because it gets everyone together for yummy holiday food without burning a hole in your wallet! Each person brings one type of cookie and everyone takes some of each. It ensures a ton of treats for everyone! We recommend having each person saying what type of treat they’ll be bringing ahead of time to make sure there’s variety.
- Go Christmas caroling
As dorky as it sounds, going Christmas caroling is one of the easiest (and most fun) ways to celebrate the holidays! If you live in a suburban neighborhood just gather up a group of friends and head out. Make sure you get together for some hot chocolate and cookies at the end of the night to tie up a fun holiday experience!
- Have a movie marathon
There are countless great holiday movies out there, so why not watch all of them? Get your friends together and have a Christmas movie marathon! Each person can bring some kind of snack or treat (we recommend this Reindeer Chow courtesy of Pinterest) and, of course, make lots of hot chocolate. Set up camp in front of the TV with some blankets and comfy pillows, make sure everyone is wearing their Christmas PJs and enjoy! Don’t forget to wear your fuzzy socks!
- Make your own ugly Christmas sweater
One of the best part of the holidays is getting to wear an ugly sweater without judgment from anyone, however they can get to be a little bit on the pricey side. Get your friends together and have everyone bring an old sweater they don’t wear anymore. Use fabric paint, glitter glue, felt and whatever else you can think of (or find) and create the perfect ugly holiday sweater! Here are some of our favorites!
There you have it! Our favorite ways to celebrate on a budget. The most important thing to a successful celebration is making sure all of your friends are there with you—because that’s what the holidays are all about.
What are your favorite budget savvy ways to celebrate Christmas? Let us know in the comments!