Christmas Festive
Photo Credit: On File

Planning Christmas early is great for reducing festive stress and costs – These are our tips for making Christmas easy this year!


South Africa (22 November 2022) – The festive season can bring a few stresses with it, from dealing with the usual family drama to trying to manage your money in the most responsible way. So we thought we could ease some of those stresses by providing a little guide of affordable tips and tricks to avoid that Christmas stress this year.

Here are some affordable Christmas tips that will make the entire season less stressful and get everyone involved.

Meal Deligation

Having family over for lunch or dinner? Create a WhatsApp group for all attending and agree on a budget; if every person is happy to spend R200.00, then you can easily make a big lunch. But any amount will work if smart shopping is applied.

Delegate the responsibilities of food, have one family member do a meat dish (such as gammon, roast chicken, roast beef, lamb or fish) to the value of the agreed budget, then delegate sides, desserts, Christmas Crackers, drinks, and the likes amongst everyone. This way, you can ensure everything is covered and for very little money.

It is also a great way to make sure granny makes your favourite super spiked trifle or your aunt brings her very best malva pud! In our home, its granny’s pavlova that wins every year!

White Elephant Christmas

Another daunting task is having to buy gifts for every person attending your Christmas event. Even if you stick to a small amount, when you have ten or more guests, it adds up. That is why the White Elephant Christmas works so well.

Tell each guest they need to bring a gift to the value of R100.00 or whatever the agreed budget is. They should wrap it but not label it. When they arrive, the gift can be placed in the pile under the tree.

After lunch has finished, everyone comes together to play the White Elephant Christmas game.

In a hat, place pieces of paper with numbers 1 to the exact amount of guests (say you invited 12 people, you would have numbers up to 12) on them. Then allow each guest to reach in and select a number.

The person that has number 1 gets to pick any gift from the pile first. They then open it in front of everyone. The person with number 2 gets to select the second gift, again opening it in front of everyone.

This is where it gets fun, the person who was the second can choose to keep the gift they opened, or they can swap it with the first person’s gift. This continues until everyone has opened a gift and either kept it or swapped it.

Then, the person who got to pick the very first gift gets the final swap as they didn’t get a swap in the beginning.

The game always ends in laughter and is brilliant fun for all involved. Each person gets to go home with a gift and a good memory.

If you want more in-depth rules, you can find them here.

Below are some examples of easy gifts to buy.

  • Pool Float
  • Box of Chocolates
  • Wine
  • Joke Gifts
  • Cooking Gadgets
  • Board Games
  • A Nice Plant
  • A Shopping Voucher
  • Bath Goodies

Basically, anything that you think people will steal from each other when the game gets going is a good idea!

Give family charitable gifts or buy local!

Instead of buying things off a list that can be found in every supermarket, support local artisans and crafters. These people have bills that need paying. As they say why help a CEO buy another big mansion when you can help a parent pay their school fees instead? By supporting local small businesses, you also guarantee your gift is unique.

Or if your loved one has a big heart, support a charity in their honour. You can virtually adopt a wild animal, feed shelter animals for the month or sponsor a student through school.

The options are endless when it comes to giving back to people and organisations in need.

Shop specials now

Instead of purchasing everything you need in December, slowly buy items for your Christmas feast beforehand. Need pantry items, booze and meats? Those can all be stored away in the freezer or garage.

The best way to buy smart is to plan your menu now. That way, you can build your shopping list and tick things off as you go.

Planning and prepping is the way to go!

So there you have it! Do you have any great tips on how to make the festive season more affordable? We would love to hear them.

Sources: GTG Interview
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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