Give Only Homemade Gifts
Consider giving simple homemade ornaments or baked goods this year instead of store-bought items. To cut the cost of materials, choose one item you can duplicate for multiple recipients, and buy the supplies in bulk.
Set a Per Person Spending Limit
Along with your extended family, decide on a spending limit for all of your holiday gifts this year. It can actually be a lot of fun to see what you can get while staying within a $10-$15 spending limit!
Pull Names Out of a Hat
Instead of purchasing gifts for all of your extended family members, agree to put each person's name in a hat and have each family member draw a name and purchase a gift only for that person. (Just make sure that you do this before any of your family members start their holiday shopping!)
Stick With a Theme
Consider choosing one theme for all the gifts you give. For example, give each person a book you or your children have really enjoyed. Choosing a theme that has personal meaning built-in will help you select thoughtful, meaningful gifts without spending a lot of money.
Buy Stocking Stuffers Only
Another way to cut holiday spending is to purchase only stocking stuffer-type items for each person on your list. This is a nice way to show your appreciation and acknowledge each person while also staying within your spending limits.
Donate to Charity
Skip gift-giving altogether and donate a portion of what you would have spent to your favorite charity. You can let would-be recipients know of your decision by enclosing some information about the charity organization in your holiday cards.
Take a Year Off
Finally, another option to help you cut holiday spending is to take a year off from giving gifts to coworkers, teachers, and extended family members. Consider sending a thoughtfully written card instead, expressing your gratitude for that person's place in your life. In addition, opt out of any group gifts or exchanges at the office so that you can stay within your holiday budget.