Handmade GiftIf you are facing a holiday season that might be less than jolly because of facing financial woes, resolve to shift the focus this year away from what you can’t do to the things that are really important to you and your family.

In order to do this, schedule a family conference well in advance to agree on a holiday strategy. Many families have strong opinions about the holidays, therefore, it is important to set expectations as a group. Read our list of alternative holiday suggestions to get started.

Exchange Handmade Gifts

The options are limitless when you set out to create gifts for the people you love. Maybe you love to bake, so you make homemade bread and jam for each family member. They can enjoy your warm gift days after the holiday. If you are handy or crafty, use your skills to craft thoughtful gifts like jewelry or housewares.

Look to the Past

Let “family” be your theme this Christmas. Go through storage and gift others with treasured family heirlooms. Frame old pictures and make them new again for your siblings or parents. You can collect recipes and make a family recipe book for everyone. This is the perfect gift for younger family members that have recently left home.

Play Secret Santa

If yours is a large family, draw names and host a secret Santa. Make sure to write down rules and dollar limits for gifts. This is a great way to stay within your budget, as you only need to purchase one gift. Have the family sit together and open these gifts one at a time, with the recipient guessing about his/her “Santa.” Not only does everyone get a personalized gift, but they also get to enjoy the time together.

Give Instead of Receiving

Maybe as a family you decide to completely skip gifts this year in lieu of helping others. You can assemble care packages for soldiers or volunteer at a homeless shelter. This holiday could be the one where you focus on others, instead of filling your home with gifts. Helping others also provides an awesome opportunity to teach children the power of giving.

If the financial stress is becoming too much for your family, schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced and understanding attorneys. We can help make the new year better. Delight in your loved ones this holiday season — time spent together is the best gift.