Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday, and I look forward to the holiday season each and every year. Just a few short years ago, I lit a candle on the first real menorah I had ever seen, and that was the first year I’d ever celebrated Hanukkah. My Fiance’s family is Jewish on his father’s side, which means they grew up celebrating Hanukkah. While it’s not the same sort of celebration as it was when they were still kids, they do still celebrate. Last year, the Fiance and I bought our first menorah and just like that we became a dual holiday couple!
When you’re celebrating both Hanukkah and Christmas, the holidays are twice as fun but can also be twice the price. I’m going to show you how to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas WITHOUT blowing your holiday budget.
How to Celebrate Both Hanukkah and Christmas Without Blowing Your Holiday Budget
Buying eight gifts (one for each of the eight days of Hanukkah) AND buying gifts to put under the tree can create a financial strain no matter your budget. Even though Hanukkah is one of the most well known Jewish holidays, it’s actually not the biggest Jewish holiday. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be just as special or as fun as Christmas! Christmas and Hanukkah is not about the presents, but let’s face it, it’s an exciting part of the experience.
Rather than buying eight big gifts for Hanukkah, instead focus on eight smaller and more meaningful gifts. Shop at the dollar store, $5 and under bins at Target, or even stores like Five Below. You can find smaller gifts your family will love without the expensive price tag.
Just because you found ways to save money on your Hanukkah presents, doesn’t mean you can go nuts on Christmas (unless you’ve budgeted for just that of course!) There is a really great list I found that is considered the “Minimalist Christmas Gift List,” and really focuses on giving a few meaningful gifts. Consider using this list to help you limit the amount of gifts you buy this year, and stay on budget. Here’s the list:
- Something they want
- Something they need
- Something to wear
- Something to read
- Something to make
- Something to eat
- And one more thing
Hosting the holidays is not cheap. Whether we mean to or not, the host usually ends up paying the bulk of the expenses. If you are hosting one holiday in your home, try to go elsewhere for the other. Sometimes Hanukkah and Christmas even fall on the same day. In this case, try to have a mixed-religious celebration or pick one holiday to “go big” and alternate each year. For us, Christmas is a much bigger deal in our household. So we choose to instead forego the presents for Hanukkah and put our focus on the other aspects of the holiday.
There aren’t many Hanukkah decorations out there, but they do exist. Personally, we chose to forego a lot of the Hanukkah decorations and focused on getting our own menorah last year. Instead of trying to separate the holiday decor, why not combine them! If you’re a holiday nut like me, you probably started putting up your decorations the minute Thanksgiving dinner was over. Add some Jewish-themed ornaments to your tree, add Hanukkah window clings to your home, and go for a more color-neutral holiday wreath.
How we celebrate both holidays
As I mentioned earlier, we focus the majority of our holiday budget to Christmas. We forego doubling on decorations for Hanukkah and Christmas, and instead try to combine the two rather than just choosing one over the other. For Christmas, we gift each other one present and put a two gift max on family and friends. When possible, we try to focus on giving experiences rather than physical gifts, and we plan our budget to accommodate these gifts a year in advance. We don’t exchange gifts on Hanukkah, but we do get Hanukkah gifts for my Fiance’s grandparents since they only celebrate Hanukkah.
Adding another holiday to our budget didn’t impact it as much as I thought it would. It is possible to celebrate both holidays frugally and still enjoy the holiday season.
Do you celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas?