Photo Credit: Tookapic via Pixabay.com
When unwrapping gifts and cards, lots of re-useable materials are thrown away unnecessarily. I'm not saying you should keep everything but there are some things that are useful to keep, especially if you are creative. Here are some of them:
- Paper Gift Bags - If you have received any gifts in paper gift bags, ensure that you keep the gift bags and re-use them next Christmas (or for birthdays if they don't have a Christmas design on them). If they have a gift tag attached, just cut this off and attach a new one when re-using the gift bag.
- Attractive Packaging - Pictures can be cut out and used to make Christmas gift tags or cards. Even plain packaging can be re-used in card-making, scrapbooking, making collages or other creative activities.
- Christmas Catalogs or Gift Guides - So many catalogs and gift guides are published around Christmas. Make the best use of them by cutting out Christmas-themed images and greetings and using them in your creative pursuits.
- Ribbon - This can be used to make gift tags or cards.
- Christmas Cards - cut out pictures from Christmas cards and use them to make gift tags or new Christmas cards of your own design.
- Wrapping Paper - While some people iron and re-use wrapping paper, I don't tend to do this because most wrapping paper tends to be ripped and/or very crumpled once presents have been opened. If you find some wrapping paper in excellent condition, you could save it and re-use it.
Sort Through Christmas Decorations
If you have some decorations you haven't used this year, sort through them before taking down the decorations you have used. Ask yourself if you're ever going to use each of these unused decorations again. If not, give them away or donate them to charity.
When you're taking down your Christmas decorations, look at each item and get rid of anything that's broken or damaged. If there is a decoration that you know that you won't use again, give it away or donate it to charity.
Decide What to Do With Unwanted Presents
Almost everyone receives presents that they don't really need or want; items that are put to one side and never used. Look through all your Christmas presents and decide which items fall into this category. Then, decide whether you will:
- Re-gift them as either birthday or Christmas presents (but make a note of who gave you the presents so that you don't mistakenly re-gift them to the original giver!).
- Donate them to charity.
- Sell them online or at a garage sale.
Buy Cut-Price Christmas Items in the January Sales
The January sales are the ideal time to buy Christmas items at rock-bottom prices. Doing so will greatly reduce your Christmas spending at the end of the year. You can stock up on gifts, cards, wrapping paper, decorations and other items you'll need next Christmas. Store them all in one place so that you can find them when Christmas rolls around again.
Start Saving for Next Christmas
Whether you have a lot or a little money to spare, there are several ways of saving for next Christmas. You could, for example:
- Set up a separate Christmas savings account and pay in a regular amount of money each week or month.
- Set up a separate Christmas savings account and pay in variable amounts of money each week or month.
- Empty your spare change into a Christmas savings jar each evening.
Although many people don't like to think about next Christmas when this Christmas has just finished, in reality it is the ideal time to start preparing for next Christmas. If you get a head start on preparing for next Christmas, you'll save money and feel less stressed when Christmas gets closer.
What do you do in January to prepare for next Christmas?