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How to plan a thrifty Christmas in July

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You don’t need to escape to your nearest log cabin in the woods to celebrate Christmas in July. Simply get your nearest and dearest together at home for a festive feel good time.

However, even when hosting at home, the costs can quickly add up, so here are some handy tips to help you organise a low-cost, fuss-free event that everyone will cherish. 

Food and drinks

Christmas in July is the time to indulge in festive dishes that are just too hot to eat in summer, and that starts with a proper roast dinner. Wack the oven on and get the turkey roasting (and don’t forget the gravy boat)! Make it a ‘potluck party’ and ask each guest or group to contribute something. Get friends to volunteer a dish well in advance so there’s no surprises or panic buying/cooking.

Decorations

You may be tempted to go all-out and glitz up the whole house, or you may want to keep it simple and reuse or make your own decorations. It could be a fun opportunity to get your kids involved in crafting some festive decorations.

Our favourite DIY decoration are bon-bons. Here are the steps to make your own:

  1. Make a collection of your favourite jokes or riddles and print.

  2. Fashion your own paper crowns – make them as simple or fancy as you please.

  3. Slip both the crown and joke into a toilet roll.

  4. Cover in colourful paper and tie each end with string or an elastic band - job done.  

Make the most of the cooler climate and encourage all guests to wear their ‘finest’ Christmas jumpers, again, reuse what everyone already has, or, make it a competition for the best festive outfit sourced from op-shops.

Music

The ‘icing on the cake Christmas pudding’ is the festive music, after all, it’s not Christmas until you’ve heard Michael Bublé sing. 

Preparing the playlist can’t be missed off the planning checklist (compilating could take days!). Why not add the playlist to your guest delegation list for someone who has great taste in cheesy tunes?! 

Gifts

According to Gumtree research, roughly 70% of Aussies receive unwanted presents at Christmas. Don’t let Christmas in July contribute to this concerning figure. Either skip gifting altogether, or if you have skilful guests, consider hand-made gifts, such as pottery, soap, bath salts, or something edible.  

If you do decide to go down the homemade route, you can put a rough price limit in place on materials/ingredients, just in case. 

Start planning for the real deal

Don’t be alarmed – but Christmas Day is now less than 170 days away. And that means it’s not too early to start planning. Have the family Christmas you’ve always dreamed of and make the day stress (and debt)-free by getting your finances in order now. 

Start putting a small amount of money away with each pay cheque, and by the time Santa comes down the chimney, you’ll have a nice chunk of money saved that you didn’t even miss. 

To avoid temptation, put your savings in a dedicated account that you can’t access. One of the best kept secrets is a Christmas Club Account, it’s like a purpose-built jam jar with restricted access, so you can’t access your savings until it’s Christmas shopping time.

One of the most important things about a Gateway Christmas Club Account is there’s no account keeping fees, learn more about the benefits of a Christmas Club Account. 

 

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