Christmas on a Zero Dollar Budget


How do you make the Christmas gift exchange interesting and fun when your kids have become adults or almost adults? Especially when most of them are still students or are on a very tight budget? I know the usual – everyone draws a name, but sometimes that can get kind of get dull. Everyone opens their one present…that they asked for…and are expecting. You might as well just buy a present for yourself and call it a day.

Well, I got this idea last year and I ran it past my family – including grandparents – and they went for it! I proposed that every member of the the family give a gift to every other person in the family. That’s right, a present for everyone. Only here’s the clincher: it HAS to fall under one of these four categories.


The thing that is so great about this is that there is no pressure on one single person to make another single person’s Christmas dreams come true. It’s also fun to see what people come up with. So I held my breath and hoped for the best. Turns out it was one of the most fun gift exchanges we’ve had in a few years, it actually took several hours. AND my family had a great time and asked if we could do it again next year.

So, you ask, what were some of the most memorable presents? Well, my dad got everyone a small bible with their names engraved on it – so cool! There were books from personal bookcases, thrift stores, and some new. But the most popular gifts were coffee mugs and scarfs. So when I opened this up (the very last gift to be opened) we all had a good laugh!


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