No money for Christmas?

After some of the financial challenges of this year it seems like there going to be more people who don’t have much cash for Christmas gifts this year. If you are in a tight spot this year and want to have a debt-free Christmas, then we need to get a little creative.

Get some Christmas money from Ebay

You still have time to sell off unwanted stuff on Ebay before Christmas. Believe it or not, you really can make a few hundred bucks pretty easily by selling stuff around the house. I wrote a full article on how to sell stuff on Ebay.

Decorating for Christmas without much money

I was in the local thrift store the other day and I saw all kinds of Christmas decorations that were NEW and still in the box at super cheap prices. We are just about overflowing with Christmas lights and ornaments, so I didn’t dare buy anymore. But, it is an idea that I will keep in mind.

Make your Christmas decorations

Some of my favorite decorations are natural ones! The beauty of this is that they are often the cheapest as well!

Last year I made my own Christmas wreath from chopping off the lower branches of our fresh-cut tree. They also make great centerpieces if you put them in a vase or on the mantle of the fireplace.

Pinecones are also a great inexpensive decoration. You can place them on shelves, fill a vase, use them as ornaments, spraypaint them festive colors, the list goes on and on.

Remember popcorn strings? You know, you just run a needle and thread through a bunch of popcorn then hang it on the tree. Just keep it away from the dogs 😉 .

Christmas gift-giving without much money

If you are strapped on cash this year I have your solution. For guys give them food. For girls write them a long letter telling them how much you care. I am kind of joking, but not too much. I will always be happy with a batch of fresh homemade cookies as a gift!

Other “I don’t have any money for Christmas” gift ideas

Have everyone in your family make gifts. If everyone is doing it, it minimizes the “peer pressure” that Christmas sometimes brings. It doesn’t have to be a craft, you can make just about anything. Just Google it and you will probably find a video of someone showing you how to make whatever it is.

Give away things you already have. I am obviously not suggesting that you give away the junk that you don’t want. But if you have something that is of value that someone else will want, why not? Use it as an opportunity to pass along something that is valuable to you.

Cook your recipient dinner. Rather than buying a gift certificate to a restaurant, why not give them your hospitality instead?

Ready to Quit Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck?

Just click to join 225,000+ others and take our FREE email course to better manage your money, pay off debt, and save! And get FREE access to our money-saving workshop ($29 value)!

Related Articles:

  1. Jan

    Ah! Popcorn strings!! How about decorated sugar cookies on your tree?? We did the popcorn strings and cookies one year when I was a teen. What fun!!! Just remember, if you have an animal they may be tempted to help themselves to a cookie!!! Our boxer did not….but she did sit in front of the tree and drool…she wanted one so bad!!!

  2. Nicki

    I’m thinking about doing popcorn strings this year too! We’ve done a lot of homemade things already. Another great idea are cookies in a jar, where you have all the dry ingredients for a batch of cookies layered in a mason jar.

  3. [email protected]

    You can also give time. Offer homemeade coupons for baby sitting, yard work, help taking down THEIR Christmas lights, back rubs (these are always popular), or house cleaning.

    For the little ones, they almost always appreciate someone playing with them more than gifts. A child is just as happy with 3 gifts as with 30, so long as you get down in the floor and play with them.

  4. Stephen Miracle

    great article.

    I have been worried crazy trying to figure out how I am going to scrounge up enough money for presents. Then you mention eBay and it made me think, “that is an excellent idea”.

    keep up the good work 🙂

  5. Cinder

    Husband out of work going to be homeless! Just had 20 yr anv. on my b-day Dec. 18th. If anyone can help us we have 3 teenage children 2 boys ages 17 & 19 is disabled. 1 girl 14 yrs old. It has been hard to keep food and bills on.I have numerious health problems. Any help would be a god sent.
    Happy Holidays!
    I family in need this christmas!
    May God bless you!

    • murry

      Hi my family and I are in simular problem one coice i found is check for food bangs in your area . ask at churches for help with bills like rent heat or eltric . We also found a thing called starting points there helping us with cristmass presents for my 12 year old . Call toys for tots they can also help out talk with your childrens school they may even have some ideias thats where we started .also if you have a program through your uninploymint office we do here .



  7. Nikki

    ALL I want for Christmas, is for my kids to HAVE Christmas, but it doesn’t look like it’s gonna happen this year. How do I tell my little boy there isn’t a Santa Claus? Because even though he understands I don’t have the money to buy him anything, he still expects “santa” to bring him something. It just breaks my heart. 🙁

  8. crystal sparks

    Christmas is always tuff for everyone. I don’t need to receive anything and I can cry for the day. One year I just asked my son to come home for Christmas and he walked up to the door 10 am Christmas morning. That was my Christmas present. I was just happy to have my family together for the day.
    Gifts are not want you can wrap. But here is a few ideas, make your cookies, make those famous brownies or fudge. But for clothes, go to your helping hands and there is always some piece of clothing almost new. take it home wash it, iron it, or starch it. make it look and smell new (no fabric softener. Its not the value its the thought. Keep smiling and the day will be over soon enough. Merry Christmas to All.

  9. JB

    Thank you for the ideas. It is encouraging to our family that others out there strive to remain debt free. It is definitely not easy in today’s economy and my heart goes out to those who are jobless and without income, food, or rent money right now. Keep praying and seeking out organizations that can help (Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, local church groups, etc.). I am learning that God’s grace is sufficient and He provides us “daily bread” one day at a time, like manna in the desert.
    In the past, my husband and I have given out family gifts-like a homemade blanket, cookie plates, handmade ornaments from sculpi, or cards made from recycled material. Also, instead of sending out Christmas cards, hand delivery or email may be cheaper options for some.
    I like the ideas of repurposing things we already have…perhaps it is a good book that we can pass on to a friend, a piece of jewelry that we don’t wear very much that someone else might appreciate, a family heirloom that could be passed on to someone younger in our family, a homemade picture frame made out of cardboard and covered with cloth or some unique collage, perhaps starting a family recipe book would be another gift, which someone could type up, print, and distribute.

    Thanks for the encouragement to strive to keep Christmas gifts off of plastic. I heard a lady say that in her family, each person receives 3 gifts-like the wise men gave to Jesus when they visited him-interesting thought. Good reminder to use self control when shopping for those we love. And like someone else mentioned-sometimes the greatest gift we can give is our presence. God bless everyone.

  10. mary chlebanowski

    i’m seek help for christmas present for my 2 13 yr old son due to i lost my job an can’t get nothing for the kids and having a hard fining help with bills coming single morther and can’t get christmas present for under our christmas tree i well be grateful if i can get help to put a smile on these children face and see some christmas present under the tree

  11. Teresa

    Alot of cities have the Salvation Army Angel Tree program…see if you can sign up to be recipients for your children of one of these programs. People take an ‘Angel’ tag off a tree that is placed in malls, doctor offices and other public places, and buy the specific gifts on them for the kids in need that year. Then the parents get to go to a designated location to pick out the donated gifts for their children for Christmas. I think it’s a wonderful program…call your local Salvation Army or Social Services offices for more info.

  12. Deboria

    I’m ashamed as I sit here reading your blogs and hearing the cries of your heart. You see, all week I have been saddened in my heart because I am alone and have no money for Christmas. All I can do is sit here with the memories of Christmas’ past and cry. My daughter is grown and has her own family now and I have been praying for God to help me to feeling the true meaning of Christmas without money.
    In the past I have had big Christmas and small. One year we even gave gifts from our own stuff and I remember that year as one of the warmest.
    I know it’s hard when you have children. There were several of those when I was a single mom for many years and I would just weep but they always turned out nice because we were together.
    There are a lot of resources out in your community and call your local church.
    You can do things with them like go light searching and a local Christmas show.

    Remember that it’s the celebration of the birth of Jesus which we can celelbrate every day. May God bless you all.

  13. Kenny

    I just found out from my wife that we are running short on money and can’t buy one thing for Christmas. When I thought it might look good it turned out we had enough for bills. Cold winter on the way and myself out of work with know prospects of a good job in site. I know it should be about other things but I fell so depressed. We try and never get a break and all we want is just a little one. How bad is it going to get? With the US the way it is I feel like we should have been the US of A and that is all. We didn’t need to stick our nose in others business and if they wanted help, others would have seen it as well. We should have been a nation with in a nation supporting ourselves and not seeing our jobs go over seas. I am sorry if this is so negative but lets face it. You srill don’t feel better when you don’t know from week to week where you are going to be at night.

  14. If you are worrying where to get money for Christmas, then you must stop worrying now. Check out some stuff in your place and see if it can still sold in ebay or in a garage sale. There are many ways that you can try.
    Or if you want to earn more money, then look for part time jobs online. Online is the best working place now.

  15. Phyllis

    I ran into a lady that was making all her co-workers a “sewing kit in a jar” to
    keep in their desk drawer. She glued a pin cushion on top of a baby food jar and inside put needles, basic thread colors, safety pins, etc. Nice easy gift to make and share, also very inexpensive.

  16. Jana

    In reading the above comments, I read everything from asking for help to great ideas. This Christmas there will be no gifts under the tree for our daughters. My husband is terminally ill and I can not work because I have my own disability and I am his caregiver (for which i get no help). However, no I am not asking for anything from anyone. I ask but one thing and that is from God and that is to let me have another day with my husband of over 30 yrs. We have a home tho small, we have food, tho not the fanciest of meals, we have 2 healthy girls who are our joy. My gifts, I have given to our girls as well to my husband is love my loyality my strength and my courage to take on another day with a happy heart with love for each of them. Be it meds for my husband or a hug as my girls head out the door, they all have my time, each pill handed, each embrace is theirs given without hesitation and with all the love I hold. This year the girls know we have no money for material gifts really. No “Santa” will come to our door, but they know come Christmas morning, a hot breakfast will be waiting for them with parents who love them beyond reason. My girls are 20 and 21 and live at home. They work part time jobs to pay for their needs so they don’t come to us knowing we have no money to give even for something as simple as a soda. When I spoke to them the other day on Christmas, the following day they spoke to me.. these words I heard from our girls..”Mom, we got it covered for Christmas. Dad wants presents under the tree, he will have them. (As a recent doc visit, we do not know how long we will have him.) Don’t expect nothing fancy and probably dollar store items, but there will be presents for Dad to see come Christmas morning.” Hearing this made my heart grow 100 times over. They did not think of themselves, not friends, not extended family, but of their father’s wish for presents under a tree. It was my gift from them to know we have raised them to care for others in a loving way and to be unselfish and to give of themselves without being asked and especially to understand what family means. So that will be my Christmas present, when I see my husband’s (their Dad’s) eyes light up as he wakes up to presents under a tree then learning it was his children who placed them there because they care and they love him so. I wish everyone a loving and safe Christmas this year. Give of yourself and of your heart, a smile to a child or a hand shake to a stranger. Say hello to an unknown person as they walk pass you, say thank you to the person giving you customer service. Help the mom who has her hands full with kids at a store as well as a bag of groceries as she is trying to open the door to head out. Stop to allow an elder person go before you. Simply be kind to another and all else will follow.

  17. Teen Works Charitable Organization

    Teen Works Charitable Organization educate, creates and provide employment opportunities for teenagers. This year the organization was unable to help with funding projects. Our mission is to help teenagers that live in disadvantage communities to fulfill educational and employment goals for teenagers. Teen Works Charitable Organization is asking you for a donation to continue our services.
    SEND DONATION TO: Teen Works Charitable Organization 2608 Brownsville Rd., Brentwood, PA 15227,

    • SHIRLEY Thompson

      I am tired of trying, since my husband passed away with cancer, and left with with a 11 yr old son and living on seviors benifits, and 63 yrs old person it is not easy ,hope happiness for all GOD BLESS ALL

  18. karen

    I wish to get a job before Feb. I’ve gone on so many interview.. almost homeless, with two kids. And nothing under the tree this year. I’ll go out tomorrow and see if I can find something at the dollar store. God give me strength.

  19. susan

    I work for a company that I hear about people you are not able to pay there bills but a lot for them just bought a new car and because I have no face they yell at me because they did check out things before they bought it. Then there are those you lost their job and cann’t make their payment and I feel bad for them. I have worked all my life and have been able to help out some of those in need. Now I find that my husband and I are having problems making ends meet I work seven days a week and my husband is a truck driver that makes less then me and he is gone all time. I want so much to go back to being able to help people and not worring about me and mine, I have never been a person who asked for help but I’m getting very close. just not sure how to handle this and wish i could be a secret santa for people in need. my thoughts for the day.

  20. Cindy

    Thank you to the wife of the terminally ill husband for posting your comments. Right now, my husband and I are at complete odds, the kids are grown and out, and the only way I think I can survive Christmas is to pretend that this is the last one, and act accordingly. I don’t know what to actually DO, because it seems like getting out of his way is the best gift. And the kids may or may not be willing to juggle their own schedules.

  21. gina

    Thank you to everyone. I don’t know quite what to say. I really felt alone and helpless. We lost our farm, I’m looking at this months bills and don’t know how to make ends meet, I’m embarrassed, but keep trying because I don’t know what else to do. It really puts things in perspective when you think you have nothing, and realize you have so much. Love and prayers to all of you.

  22. Ben

    Simple really we are doing Christmas this year. Some people cant afford to do any thing ,Because or choices some one else made .End of that.