Real Question: No Ho Ho Money, Honey

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Hi Danielle and Tracy,

I hope you can help me with this. We are getting married within a year and obviously have so many expenses that come with that. We want to still give gifts at Christmas but don’t know how to tell our loved ones that we are, for lack of a better word, ‘spent’. Thoughts?

Not Made of Money, Honey


Hi Honey,
First off, I feel ya. I enjoy making those I love feel spoiled at Christmas time. But when you are in the midst of planning that perfect wedding celebration, your funds for other things become limited. Spending a lot of money doesn’t have to be the main focus of Christmas giving, though. Here is a quick list of a few economical gifts you can bestow upon your friends and family this holiday season.

Parents: You know those beautiful engagement images you have from your wonderful photographer? Use your favourite one to create an ornament for Mom. It will commemorate the year you got engaged. Visit your Sunday Farmer’s Market craft fair to get one created locally. Don’t have your engagement session photographed yet? Take your parents out for breakfast at your favourite eggs benny spot on Christmas Eve. Parents would rather spend time with their children than have you buy them something materialistic. Even opt for scheduling in your whole family for a skate on an outdoor rink. Complete the evening with hot chocolate and Christmas movie watching. You could turn it into a family tradition. One last suggestion, take some favourite family photos and make your parents a calendar. It’s great to see what photo will be featured each month. Most of the time people forget that they even took those images and will love to see them back in their lives in a new way.

Besties: Your girls. Really, they just want wine. But even stock piling bottles of vino can break the bank. Instead, round up the girls and head out for half price wine at your favourite spot. Spending some time together is much needed over the Christmas season. Life gets busy and these moments become few and far between. Or, go for the smaller bottle of bubbly to gift and write her a little note about why you love having a glass of wine with her. Don’t have to get all gushy if that’s not your thing. However, make it from the heart.

Co-Workers: Get your bake on! Even if you are not a baker, you can find really easy recipes – look online or ask your baker friends what’s yummiest and easiest to make. Bring the goodies to work close to the holidays and you will be an office hit.

The Far-Away Friends: Not able to meet up with a favourite person before Christmas? Find all the images you have of the two of you and create an online slideshow. There are many free sites to do this on, even Facebook will create one for you.

The Guys: Ok, so your guys friends are not wanting wine under the tree. Instead make a ‘mixed tape’ of all the songs that remind you of all the fun, stupid and amazing times you have had together. This will not be full of Mariah Carey songs or all sappy. Put songs like ‘Whatever Didi Wants’ by NOFX to highlight the time you ‘borrowed’ your parents car and drove around all night. Make sure you add Garth Brooks ‘Standing Outside the Fire’, the song that you sang at the top of your lungs, on repeat, during your grade twelve camping trip. Don’t think your guy friends want a trip down memory lane? Go with a ‘bro’ gift basket. Grab some detailing items to clean his car or snag a bunch of his favourite candy. Either way he will love it.

We hope that we have helped you a little in figuring out how to spread Christmas cheer to all of those that you love while not breaking the bank. Weddings are pricey, leaving you with less moolah than normal at this time of year. Your friends and family will certainly understand if lavish gifts are not in the cards this year. If anything give something from the heart. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Even just having coffee with ones you care about can be the perfect present.


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