By Maria Rosado . Social Services Agency


Budget-Friendly Ways to Create Holiday Memories


The holidays can be a wonderful, but stressful time for many families. Trying to create that holiday magic on a budget can be daunting. If you are feeling financial stress, know you are not alone. According to a November 2022 U.S. News & World Report survey, 69% of consumers in the United States plan to spend less on gifts this year than in previous years. With a little bit of creativity and effort, you can create new family memo-ries and experiences while staying within your budget. This year, keep the holiday magic alive in your home.


Focus on Experiences

Most children won’t remember the presents they received, but they will remember how they felt. Treasured memories are not contingent on the quantity or price of gifts. Memories are precious because of the quality time you spend with your kids. Remember, children need and want parental connections — present parents.


Reinventing Traditions

Family traditions are important, especially around the holidays. While you may want to preserve some traditions in memory of loved ones gone, it’s OK to change some to suit your current financial situation. Many families enjoy bak-ing and decorating cookies and other sweet treats. Consider hosting a cookie exchange party. Guests get to experi-ence new goodies while sharing in each other’s company and talent.


Quality Time

The holiday season is the perfect time to make lasting memories with your family. Get outdoors and explore trails or walk around your neighborhood at night to view light displays. Watch holiday movies together while snacking on your favorite treat. Make ornaments from supplies gathered around the house.


Foster Attitudes of Gratitude

Talk about gratefulness with the kids and focus on giving. If you host a cookie exchange, make sure you set aside extra treats to give to friends and neighbors. Volunteer to serve meals at the local homeless shelter or help prepare and distribute food boxes to those in need. Teaching your child the value of giving now has the potential to positively impact the rest of their lives.