Christmas is right around the corner and you can celebrate the holiday without facing financial stress.

Christmas is right around the corner and you can celebrate the holiday without facing financial stress.

One of the biggest things you can do to get ready the for holiday season is plan ahead. I have been planning for Christmas 2012 since shortly after Christmas last year. I purchased Christmas cards, wrapping paper, Christmas food containers and even a small Christmas tree when they went on clearance last year. This helps cut costs. If you do not do this already, I would encourage you to check out the after Christmas sales this year.

One of the most important things to do during the holidays is to make a budget and stick to it. I would encourage you to start planning your Christmas meals now. I know that several area sales circulars are offering discounts on holiday food items. Make sure you stay on top of your circulars during the upcoming weeks so that you can save money on your holiday meal.

If you want to do something nice for your neighbors and do not have a lot of funds, I would suggest hosting a party. Have your neighbors bring cookies and an appetizer and invite them over for a night of fun. One of my family's favorite parties is family game night. We did this as a child and have carried this tradition on today with my own family. We bring out our board games, offer up simple snacks and have lots of fun with the neighbors. It provides memories that have lasted me a lifetime.

Do not be afraid to get creative this holiday season. Our family loves making homemade desserts and homemade gifts for Christmas presents. This not only cut costs, but helps get my children involved in the gift-giving process because they can assist in the making of the gifts. There are countless websites that give you great gift ideas.
If you do not have the funds to purchase Christmas items, give the gift of time. A great idea for a holiday gift is a coupon book. Make a coupon book on activities you can do to help the person you are giving them to.

Christmas does not have to be a financial strain on your budget. Planning and creativity can keep your holidays enjoyable and not financially stressful.

Do you have frugal tips? Email them to localnews2005