Is it Possible to Have an Incredible Yet Frugal Christmas Celebration?

Kendra —

This has got to be one of the most refreshing and “releasing” and reminding things I have read on your site (and I have been around here for awhile, lurking of course!)

Thank you for posting it. I am certain I never would have stumbled upon such a thing. I was truly convicted. I thought of Jesus’ first miracle of the wedding at Cana and how it was revelry and delight for all and when he was asked to help provide more, he didn’t rail against all who were enjoying and indulging, he performed a miracle to make a party go better! Seriously? For his first miracle? More excellent libations for the celebration!? It really made me think.

My question comes when we don’t have much (any) extra money at any time of the year, much less Christmas, and it is hard to know how to make a “glorious tree” and all those presents and everything that she talks about when it seems out of possibility financially…

And here was my answer:


I love your observation about the wedding at Cana; it’s one I hadn’t thought of before.

Your question is excellent and one I know many can relate to. Here’s what I’m thinking: What would make this year a bigger celebration for your family? Could it be planning a special breakfast, with some treat you rarely have? For us it’s homemade cinnamon rolls, homemade corned beef hash courtesy of Dad, scrambled eggs, biscuits, and gravy. This is the only day of the year we indulge in a breakfast this way, particularly because Easter always falls on Sunday and we can’t produce such a feast before church.

In fact, you can go back before Christmas morning. Lighting candles every Sunday of advent, reading from Luke, a special dessert each Sunday night leading up to Christmas (and by special I don’t mean extravagant- cookies one night, ice cream another, etc…), paper snowflakes on the windows, Christmas music every day and a time to dance with joy, caroling to the neighbors, A Charlie Brown Christmas, driving around to see the lights…

Make the opening of the presents, even if there’s one per person, a delight. Do it lottery-style, or have each person share something encouraging about the one opening the present at the moment. Open them sloooowly, and ooh and aah.

Real Christmas trees are expensive, and when we had no money I brought a big branch inside (we lived in San Francisco so I really had to search to find one!), “planted” it in a pot with dirt and moss on top, then hung ornaments on the branches. It was cool! If you have silver or gold spray paint, you could spray the branches first.

Invite friends and family over and potluck. We have a barn party every year the day after Thanksgiving and we serve big trays of cookies but ask everyone to bring a chair and a mug. Then we offer coffee and cider, both of which I use coupons to buy in the months before the party. I buy all paper goods the year before on clearance.

We take a day off from school in December and watch Little Women. It’s just a tradition I started and now as my older boys aren’t so interested, I tell them it’s optional (but they tend to hang around…) I make popcorn and hot cocoa, and it’s a memory made.

I’m not super creative, and I’m sure others can offer even better ideas. I hope this is helpful, though.


So, my creative readers, what other ideas can you offer Naomi?