Many of our Christmas celebrations are based on rich family traditions that guide everything from what we eat to when we open gifts and where we worship.
Keeping up these traditions can be expensive at a time when our hard-earned dollars are already stretched to the limit.
Now is the time to rethink our traditions and only celebrate those that we truly enjoy and still hold meaning.
How can you remove some of the stress and expenses from your Christmas traditions? Sophie Gray makes some suggestions in her article, "Eat Well, Spend Less: Christmas."
Think about who is coming this year. Activities and foods that were fun with young children may not be enjoyable or practical with college kids and their friends.
Update recipes to take advantage of seasonal produce. You can enjoy the rich, spicy flavors of Christmas apart from the dreaded fruitcake.
Prepare as much of your menu ahead of time as possible. This gives you more time to spend with your loved ones and relieves some of the pressure on Christmas Day.
Don’t get stuck in the kitchen. Ask family members to prepare the meal with you and spend time cooking together and sharing family recipes.
Be willing to depart from tradition and do things differently this year to save time and money.
Buying key ingredients on sale.
Asking family members to share expenses or contribute their favorite dish to the meal.
Serving only the dishes that everyone loves.
Selecting a wine that fits your budget and buy a case with a friend to split the cost.
Stretching your wine dollars by serving a punch or Sangria.
Choosing side dishes based on seasonal produce.
This year enjoy a budget-friendly Christmas that is full of tradition, family memories and delicious food.