Monday, November 5, 2012

Save Money - Join The No More Christmas Crap Campaign

Two years ago I came to a realization that I could both save money and make Christmas a little bit less commercial by refraining from buying anymore Christmas crap (decorations, cards, wrapping materials). It definitely takes some creativity to continue this campaign on year 3. See the original post HERE.

The original campaign guidelines:
1. Use up what I have
2. Recycle
3. Get creative when I run low or run out by using alternatives we already have

Today I have expanded the guidelines and am opening up the campaign for anyone who wants to join.

The No More Christmas Crap Guidelines:

1. Save your money strictly for gifts and food items for the Christmas entertaining season. This also means if you want to buy Christmas crap for another person as a gift - it is permitted. I am not crafty so generally buy presents or gift cards. If you make gifts you would be permitted to buy supplies under this guideline.

2. If you feel you must buy some Christmas decorations - they should be obtained free (freecycle, nature, family) or purchased second hand at garage sales or thrift stores to pay a fraction of retail cost. Our local thrift stores have a great selection of decorations, lights, and even Christmas bows, wrapping and bags. Nature is also a great supplier - leaves, branches, shells, driftwood, get your CREATIVE on. Here on Vancouver Island we have wild holly which I intend to cut and bring indoors to make the season more festive.

3. After Christmas each year recycle wrappings, bows, baubles, baskets, and ribbons for use the following year. Re-make Christmas cards into gift tags. Re-use all gift bags. Obviously if this is your first year you will have to plan to do this. The easiest way is the day you open presents get a fresh garbage bag, gather all the wrappings and put them in one bag. Stash it somewhere safe until you can sort it after Christmas when you have time - no food garbage allowed in this bag. See last year's post HERE on what I have been able to recycle.

Throughout the year save ribbon, packing materials, boxes, wrapping paper and bags for use. I have practised this for three years now and have no intent on buying any more NEW wrapping paper or bows EVER! If you are consciously thinking ahead on saving these items, you will be surprised at what you end up with at the end of the year. On your first year of the campaign try and use up what you have - or buy at thrift stores.

4. You are permitted to attend Christmas related functions - even when they cost money. Last year to get a Christmas fix hubby and I took my stepdaughter to Edmonton's Festival of Trees (photo above is from that day). It was beautiful. I felt absolutely no need to buy anything there afterwards nor rush out and try and copy. Christmas at our house is mishmash of items collected over a lifetime. We all enjoyed the day - this Campaign is not about being Scrooge, just about taking some of the commercialization out of Christmas.

5. If you just completely fall in love with something Christmas related - make it known to those who are buying you gifts as receiving Christmas crap as a gift is allowed.

6. If you get invited to a Christmas party that you need a dressy outfit for - use what you already have, borrow something from a friend or family member, or buy it second hand at a thrift store or consignment store. Save your money!

7. The Out. If one hopes of complying with this campaign there has to be at least one GET OUT OF JAIL FREE card. If you must - you are permitted to buy one single new item valued at less than $15 CAD. Last year - I bought 50 holiday themed paper napkins as had a very large family to feed and don't have enough cloth napkins. This cost me $2.99. This year I am likely to buy the same thing. This might also include a package of reduced wrapping paper after Christmas for next year's campaign or that special something handmade off of ETSY.

Prior to the campaign I was always frugal at Christmas but since the campaign have saved at least $100 over the past two years by using these guidelines. If you like the campaign but want to tweak it for yourself - by all means do!

Please post your name below - at anytime - to join up. Don't feel guilty if you already have bought a stash of Christmas crap this year - the campaign starts TODAY forward!

Joining The Thrifty Home's Penny Pinching Party to Spread the word.


  1. I'm joining your campaign CC!

    1. Our money will only spent on food/money
    2. My little thrifted Christmas tin is all I'm going to add to our decorations this year.
    3. I always turn my cards into present tags or hand them back to be recylced at a thrift shop.
    4. I save wrapping paper to reuse.

    I'll put a link to this challenge on my blog too!

    Sft x

  2. Great idea!! Can I partially join? :)

    1. I always reuse gift bags, tissue and ribbon.
    2. Old cards usually become decorations or tags.
    3. This year I'm wrapping everything in reused brown butcher type paper.
    4. Our gift budget is way lower than ever before (I'm making most gifts again this year).

    I can't promise anything on decorations though :( as we've decided to start changing up our style. On the bright side - I plan on making most of our "new style" decorations!

    1. Of course! You can make the no more Christmas Crap campaign into whatever works for you. I am uncrafty so have to buy more gifts than you. Our gift budget is reduced as well - it sounds like a common thing this year. Welcome!

  3. I'm definitely in! I used to be the queen of Christmas crap but no more. gave our big tree to son along with most of the decs and ornaments and have only a few special decs purchased on our travels which fit beautifully on our minimalist tree (a painted tree branch!). Present list is small, cards go only to friends interstate so I think I am all good to go!!!

  4. So glad you are joining up! Welcome!

  5. I'm totally on board! Last year I purged a lot of holiday crap. I sold some of the more valuable stuff on Ebay and gave away quite a lot of miscellaneous decorations, garland, etc. I'm getting ready to go through what's left and weed it out some more. I use the Sunday comics for wrapping paper. We don't buy many gifts and what little we do buy is purchased online, so we stay away from the shiny malls.

    1. Excellent! If my stash of recycled wrap runs out the free newspaper we get is next.

  6. I purchase one new ornament for each of my sons and for myself from Ten Thousand Villages as everything goes to help people trying to help themselves. Otherwise everything including gifts will be handmade from the stash or recycled.

    1. Ten Thousand Villages is one of my favorite stores! I love looking for unique gifts there - we don't have one in my new home town though. Wecome!

  7. Oh man this is me. I will not buy anymore Christmas stuff ever. I have so much already. Big waste of money.

  8. I'll give your challenge a go too! It's very sensible because there is just far too much unnecessary, unenvironmentally-friendly, waste of money aspects to Christmas.

    I can imagine that I'll need to use the "wildcard" for the christmas decorations because I don't have so much... (I just bought my first tree last year)... but let's see. There's plenty of nice inspiration online and I already have my own (albeit not sooo frugal...) alternative to wrapping paper worked out... watch this space ;)