Sticking to a holiday budget doesn’t have to put a damper on the season. In fact, it can inspire you to come up with creative new ways to express your love.
After all, it’s really easy to just go buy someone a gift. However, it’s a lot tougher to come up with something truly thoughtful that doesn’t require a lot of money. Putting in that extra effort is romantic.
Here are one dozen ideas for celebrating your love without compromising your holiday budget.
1. Create Your Own Coupon Book
First, get out some paper and markers. Then use them to make a series of coupons to give to your lover. Each one should be an item that you can do for your partner, such as giving them a backrub. These are things they can redeem throughout the year, making the holiday love last longer than just the season. Some popular coupon ideas include breakfast in bed, doing all of the household chores, and having a date night of their choosing. However, you should personalize your coupons to your own relationship.
2. Challenge One Another to a Spending Limit
For example, agree that you will each get each other a gift that totals no more than ten dollars. Take the time to hunt for something that expresses your love and care but doesn’t cost more than the budget. It’s fun to see what you can come up with.
3. Cook a Homemade Meal
If you’re smart with your kitchen budget, then you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a nice meal at home. Set the table, dim the lights, and share some uninterrupted mealtime together. Sometimes the nicest thing at this busy time of year is just to be quiet at home with one another.
4. Enjoy a Free Holiday Date
What holiday events are happening in your area? Christmas tree lightings, group caroling, and walking through the neighborhoods with the best holiday decorations are just a few things you can do together without spending any money at all. In fact, start a tradition of doing one of these things. Each year it will become even more special than before.
5. Handmade Art Piece
Get creative and make art for your loved one. You don’t have to be a skilled painter; it’s the thought that counts. Use whatever medium feels most comfortable. Frame it for an added touch. You might want to check your local thrift store for frames so that you can stay within your holiday budget.
6. Write a Letter or Poem
If visual art isn’t your thing then maybe words are your gift. If so, you can write a poem or letter to your loved one. The more personal, the more sentimental, the better.
7. Share a Special Photograph
These days it is so common to keep our images on our electronic devices. It’s convenient, but it’s not very special. Therefore, you elevate things quite a bit when you actually print out a special photo. You offer a tangible gift of a shared memory.
8. Volunteer Together
Life feels better when we give to others who are less fortunate than ourselves. Instead of focusing on gifts for each other this year, commit to helping others together. Set aside time to volunteer at one or two places that touch each of your hearts.
9. Jar of Compliments
Take an old jar. Decorate it using paint, glue, markers, paper, etc. Then fill it with scraps of paper, each of which has an honest and true compliment for your partner. Anytime they’re feeling down, they can reach in the jar and get an instant boost of self-esteem and love.
10. Create a Playlist
Gone are the days of mixed tapes, but you can still evoke that old sentiment when you carefully craft a playlist for your partner. Choose songs that mean something special to the two of you – from concerts that you’ve been to, road trips you’ve taken, and songs that you’ve danced to in the past.
11. Use Your Credit Card Rewards to Increase Your Holiday Budget
Is there something you really want to buy for your partner, but you don’t want to break your holiday budget? Check if you have any credit card rewards points that you can cash in. Likewise, some shops have trade-ins, or you might have some old gift cards that you never used. Search out all of that virtual cash and use it to get a gift. You might even use your airline miles to take a terrific holiday trip together!
12. Heartfelt Words
Sometimes the best gift you can offer is the gift of your conversation. Set aside time during the holidays to talk with one another. Share what you have loved about the past year. Make goals together for the new year. Discuss what you most appreciate about being together right now in the present moment.
Of course, as wonderful as the holidays are, they also bring up a lot of challenges. Therapy can help you navigate the ups and downs of the season together. Learn more about my services here.