The original campaign guidelines:
1. Use up what I have
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.