8 Inventive Ways to Make Christmas Special on a Budget

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Christmas celebrations can feel quite extravagant with the pressure of gift giving and food preps. Luckily, we prepared for you eight inventive ways to make Christmas memorable in 2022 on a budget! Plus, you'll save money and celebrate the Christmas season in ways you've never tried before!

8 Inexpensive Ways to Make Christmas Special

Our eight unique and low-cost tips guarantee you don’t have to stress out planning for Christmas on a tight budget. Let’s get into them!

Cultural Potluck Christmas Lunch or Dinner

This Christmas, there’s beauty in sharing your culture through meals with your mates and loved ones. On top of tasting new cuisines and learning about their Christmas traditions, you can save yourself from the stress and money on what to prepare.

Whether you live alone or with several people, ask around your circle if they want to celebrate Christmas the same way as you. That way, you can cut costs together and plan a meaningful Christmas potluck lunch or dinner.

Feel the Christmas spirit outdoors by having a free Christmas picnic by the beach or at free campsites. You can also check for your local park Christmas events that already provide lunch.

Improvised Christmas Desserts and Drinks

There’s always a low-cost spin on Aussie classic desserts and drinks. No one will whinge about it, and they’ll love whatever you make.


With only as little as three ingredients, you can make the classic Pavlova and other biscuit recipes to share. Christmas in summer is also the perfect excuse to chill chopped fruits for a healthy dessert.


Stock up on drinks as early as November with bulk discounts. You can also fancy up store-bought juice with some fruits for the kids or spike it for the adults.

Creative Gift Giving

There’s so much joy and creativity to have in gift-giving. It was especially giving personalised gifts that’ll brighten up your good mate’s face on Christmas Day.

Here are some sustainable and inexpensive ideas for gift-giving:

  • Handmade greeting cards
  • Homemade food gifts with three-ingredient recipes
  • Seedlings and small planters (for plant parents)
  • Visit op shops to find excellent condition second-hand items
  • Unused facilities you can re-gift to others
  • DIY arts and crafts

Christmas Gift Wrapper Alternatives

Just like DIY gifts, there are a few ways you can repurpose old items at home as Christmas wrappers. If you’re good at sewing, it’s the best time to put that skill to use for gift-giving.

Here are some of our ideas:

  • Sneaker boxes (sanitised) or old mobile phone boxes
  • Clothes or other fabric
  • Book pages or notebooks
  • Old mason glass jars (for food items)
  • Biscuit tin boxes

Kraft paper is also another economical alternative to luxurious Christmas wrappers. Top it up with ribbons from previous gifts, or tie it with yarn.

Budget Secret Santa Gifts

With the low-cost Christmas gift ideas above, you can set a budget for the Secret Santa gift exchange. It makes it fair for everyone to spend the same amount and doesn’t require overspending.

Seeing everyone’s idea of personalised gifts will make it even more fun. You can also shop online to find gift ideas within your means.

DIY Decorations

DIY Christmas decorations show off the personality of your home better than traditional ones. However, there’s no harm in spending just a few practical Christmas ornaments to liven up your space.

DIY Ribbons and Garlands

Get sewing with old tablecloths or flannos, turning them into ribbons and unique wreaths. Be crafty with old-school books for paper angels, gingerbread figures, or garlands.

DIY Christmas Wreath

If you have green fingers, create wreaths out of your garden’s beautiful native flowers and leaves. On the other hand, you can make a summer-themed Christmas wreath with washed-up shore items like seashells and branches.

Second-Hand Ornaments

An op shop is always a great place to find quirky ornaments. Perhaps you can scour through your neighbour’s yard donation box for old and fun decorations.

Christmas Lights Display and Festivals

Many people also like to celebrate Christmas outside of their homes. Some don’t even want to bother with Christmas preparations at all. So, with COVID-19 restrictions easing, people are again turning to Christmas lights displays and festivals.

Christmas Lights Display

Check out nearby suburb neighbourhoods hosting festive Christmas lights displays for all families to enjoy. Take pictures for free and grab some street food or drinks around.

Each local government and volunteer group also hosts its lights trail with art installations for a small fee.

Christmas Festivals

Bask in the festive spirit outdoors at your local Christmas festivals. With Christmas parades and concerts for a cause, it’s also a great time to befriend new people and make new memories.

City Fireworks Display

City fireworks displays are a spectacular and safe way to enjoy a fireworks show.

This way, you won’t have to spend too much on fireworks. Plus, you’ll be safe because you won’t handle any explosives.

If you want to, opt for sparklers instead and safely light them up in a vast open space at home.

Donating to Charities

As Christmas is the season of giving, what better way than to give to the less fortunate? Take some time to research charities and mission groups that host Christmas donations.

You can donate reasonably within your means, whether through cash or old items at home. The people you’re giving to will appreciate anything as long as they come from the heart.


With our eight inventive ways to make Christmas unique in 2022 on a budget, you don’t have to go into debt spending for Christmas.

Being on a budget means you can get creative with food, drinks, and decorations. Whether you’re going for a budget potluck or gift exchange, what matters most is seeing the joy on everyone’s faces.

If you’re not feeling festive indoors, there are many Christmas activities in town for you to check out. After all, what makes Christmas memorable is being in the presence of your loved ones.

Lastly, giving back to charities is one of the noble things you can do for others and yourself.

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