Christmas stresses me out to the limit. One reason is money, I always worry we won't be able to afford everything for Christmas. So I came up with a solution that takes all the worry of not having enough money to cover everything at Christmas. I call it my savings pots.
C got a set of boxes given one year and never used them. So I took them and labeled then. I have one for Christmas, which I put $20 a week in there. So that means I put $1,040 a year in there to spend on Christmas. I take money out of there whenever I buy something for Christmas. It also helps that I shop year round for Christmas.
I then set up a Birthday pot. Again I put $20 a week in there. Now this pot takes a lot longer to work, as we have certain months of the year that have more birthdays in it than others. So for the first little while, I had to keep adding to the pot to cover the months when there were more birthdays then others. However two years later, I am finding that I always have money in that pot to cover every birthday.
I also have a special occasion pot where I put $10 a week into that. We have had a few special birthdays over the past couple of years, so this money was used for that.
I also put money into our ING account each week for our vacation fund.
Now this works for me, and its the first thing I do when I withdraw money from the bank each week, is put money into these pots. If you find those figures too high, why not start with $5 a week? To my mind even saving $100 towards Christmas is worthwhile.