Christmas 2011: Strategies to Succeed

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Twas 10 weeks before Christmas, credit card companies are reeling
Parents did not budget again and their debt will hit ceilings.
Will they pay crazy fees to buy gifts for their kin
Or be smart, use coupons, follow Maven of Savin’

OK, so I am not a poet, but I wanted to start the holiday season with some strategies simplify Christmas and avoid paying WAY TOO MUCH during your holiday shopping this year.

The first thing I cannot stress enough is Don’t Buy Stuff you Cannot Afford.  I know it seems obvious, but seriously – the holidays are about family, not about material goods.  I will be posting lots of deals, but that does not mean you need to buy them all.  A deal is not a deal if you cannot afford it.  You may save $100 on an item, but if you are charging them to credit cards with high interest rates, you may end up paying more in the end.  Do not use credit cards to finance your holidays – it is not worth it in the end.

Also, beware of Layaway as well – make sure you understand the terms and fees associated with it to determine if it is the right thing for you.  Sometimes the fees end up being more than the interest on a credit card.

We have cut way back at our house in an effort to save money, but also teach out children the meaning of Christmas and the value of a gift.  Christmas’s of the past had so many gifts, some remained untouched for months after Christmas morning.  It was unnecessary and wasteful so we have moved to the “WANT, NEED, WEAR, READ” method and the kids really enjoy it.

I highly suggest you budget and keep a list handy of the gifts you need.  Even if it is not specific, at least have the names handy so you can cross them off as you grab their gifts.  Here are a few resources that may help:

There are many tools out there, or create your own, just make sure you create some sort of PLAN.

In the coming weeks I will strive to bring you all the great deals on the must have holiday items – keep an eye out for this tree to mark if I think it is a good holiday gift idea, but please keep the following in mind:

  • Some deals are time sensitive and may not be available for long so make sure to check facebook and twitter for the most up to date information.  Prices can change by the minute.  Or download the Maven of Savin toolbar to see the latest Holiday deals right in your browser.
  • I am an affiliate for a lot of stores (you will see my disclosure policy linked on the posts), but I will only post deals that I think are good.  I appreciate when you use my links as they support the up keep of this site, but please do not feel you need to.
  • If a deal is time sensitive and I do not know or have the time to research, I may post but clearly state that I do not know if this is a great deal, so please use your own judgement.  I am human and I cannot possible know everything about everything.  So please let me know when you find a great deal or if what I posted is not a great deal – nicely please – LOL!

You will see the above button on my sidebar and you can click on it anytime to see all the latest Christmas deals.  I will also begin to spy out the Black Friday Deals as we do every year.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE have a plan and do not dig yourself in a financial hole this season.  You can still have a fulfilling holiday without a bunch of meaningless STUFF.


  1. Thank you so much for posting this! My husband and I have decided and explained to our children that we will be doing this method this year for Christmas. We are really trying to teach our kids that Christmas is about giving and not recieving. I look forward to your deals that you find! :)

    • You are welcome! I need to make my list now so I do not go overboard, but the kids really do enjoy it much more when there is less. It is so overwhelming sometimes and that is not what the holidays are about. Of course there is always the discussion of how much Santa brings – LOL!

  2. This year I started early! I put a little extra (and by little I mean $5) in the budget for my weekly budget at drug stores so that if I saw a good deal on something then I could just buy it then instead of waiting until November and December to buy gifts. This has worked out great for me! I grabbed a lot of clearance items here and there and wha-la, Santa is done shopping for my 3 year old and my three nieces. Now all I have left to do is find some deals on photo wall calendars like I do every year! The adults are also getting health and beauty baskets this year too! No putting Christmas on credit cards this year!

  3. So Lynn,
    Do your children make each other Christmas gifts? I would like to incorporate that into this but I have no clue where to go for ideas? Also, my husband and I have decided that everyone that usually buys for our children for Christmas that they have to also do the want, need, wear, read, so then were not stuck bringing home more items then what we need! Thanks again for this idea! My kids are so excited!

    • Amie – I have been stuck on the making things for each other too – especially since I am NOT CRAFTY AT ALL and my kids are such different ages – 3, 8, 13… BUT I am going to try this year. I am actually looking for some ideas and plan on having a crafty blogger do a guest post.

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