Feeling Poor At Christmas?

The Simple Things Can Make A Frugal Christmas A Real Special Time

As someone who currently is on a small budget at Christmas, I know what it’s like to feel poor at Christmas. This feeling changed this year.

I understand how many people feel, who have little or nothing (financially speaking), and how this can bring up feelings of longing, envy, jealousy and resentment, but it doesn’t have to always be this way.

I know how tough it can be staring into glittery shop windows, watching people who dine out, go to parties, spend extreme amounts of cash on family and friends and how it can cut you to the core inside.

This post is for anyone who may be feeling poor this Christmas.

There are many different ways of feeling poor. 

We can feel poor financially and materially, poor of health, poor of company, poor of well-being. 

All equally challenging to say the least. 

But I know from experience that this time of year not only brings up feelings of loneliness, but it also affects a lot of people financially and can determine how they feel about how much money they do or don’t have, and how they feel that reflects on who they are. 

The way society is set up is to encourage spending lots, getting all the new top gadgets, for the mountain of gifts to increase each year. 

This reminds me of the movie ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’, where Harry lives in the cupboard under the stairs. His cousin Dudley screams because he has 1 fewer presents than previous years for his birthday and society is no different, encouraging this too.

How we experience Christmas can change. We can bring the real magic back to this seasonal holiday without feeling lack, or making ourselves feel bad for not having enough.

Bringing The Magic Back & Releasing The Need For The Pain Of Envy

The next time you feel the flood of envy or jealousy, allow yourself to feel the feeling fully. This is the first step on the pathway to inner peace. Do not try to resist it; sit for a moment and breathe into it, find that compassionate place within you where you are safe, where you can allow yourself to care for that suffering part of you.

When you have felt this, 5 minutes to begin with, allow yourself to ponder on these ideas.

  • What you see in others may be an illusion.
  • What a rich man or woman shows on the outside may not mean they feel rich inside. A millionaire can be empty inside yet have an abundance of material wealth and appearance on the outside.
  • Many people over-indulge to distract from feeling those challenging emotions that you just allowed yourself the compassion to feel.

Experiencing The Magic Again

  • Even if you are not Christian you can attend many free carol services and choirs in your local churches and cathedrals. This has helped me really feel the magic of this holiday. On Christmas Eve I will be attending my first ever Midnight Mass. I am not Christian so I was unsure about this, but a friend assured me that all are welcome and that it can be a beautiful introduction to the Christmas festivities.
  • Bake cakes, cookies, fill your home with spices and orange peel scents. Make Christmas about the feeling, not the gifts, the soul of Christmas, not the material side.
  • If you have children go on a red berry holly hunt. Go collecting from nearby bushes or go for a walk in nature (being careful not to take too much), collect pine cones and greenery for your home. Add dashes of natural colour to your house, room, bedsit or flat. Anything left over can be made into beautiful candle holders. If you have enough you can make wreaths and lovely household crafts. Speak to your children about the story of Christmas or if you prefer, talk about the Winter Solstice; talk about the return of the light. After Christmas lunch, instead of watching television, go on a long walk to walk off the Christmas food and meet lots of people on the way all wanting to wish you Merry Christmas (people tend to do this lots on walks on Christmas Day). Check out HERE for ways to bring the magic in if you have children and are having a frugal Christmas this year. 
  • On Christmas day if you have nothing or little to open remember this is not what Christmas is about. Embrace the sacredness of the day, light candles. If you have company, enjoy the connections you have. I have recently become a ‘Classic FM’ fan and I listen to the classical channel on the radio. This is full of beautiful traditional carols and is very magical to listen to. Embrace the moment.
  • If you feel a longing or lonely, play music, meditate, give yourself space to find your own inner resources inside. You can also go to Christmas Day services. If you are able, make connections even if these connections are on-line with others who are also alone this Christmas. Volunteer if this feels right for you in soup kitchens and for the homeless. Helping others opens the heart and can make this time extra special.
And lastly remember, this is one day of your life. Begin now making the conscious decision to become more present in your daily life. Begin to accept what is and find the gift in that, no matter how hard it is, there is always a gift even if it is simply breathing more easily by being present with yourself.
Once you embrace the present moment you will find your life becomes more fully alive.
Lighting candles can make this a sacred time,
and without money Christmas needn’t be poor.

A simple frugal Christmas what does it mean?

This can mean ease, enjoying the moment, seeing what really is important, what money can never buy, peace of mind, a more serene heart.
This is not poor. 
You are not poor.
There is richness in you as you look within.
Have a truly blessed Christmas and an even more blessed moment!
More interesting articles on similar topics below


Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin, author of ‘When Everyone Shines But You’ is a dedicated writer and blogger who fearlessly explores life’s deepest questions. Faced with a decade of profound anxiety and grief following the loss of her father and her best friend Michael, Kelly embarked on a transformative journey guided by mindfulness, and she hasn’t looked back since. Through her insightful writing, engaging podcasts, and inspiring You Tube channel Kelly empowers others to unearth the hidden treasures within their pain, embracing the profound truth that they are ‘enough’ exactly as they are.

Find me on: Web | Twitter/X | Instagram | Facebook


  1. December 16, 2013 / 6:32 pm

    very well said, hope you have a great Christmas 🙂

  2. December 16, 2013 / 6:54 pm

    thanks Andy, you too!

  3. December 17, 2013 / 6:50 am

    I've opted out of Yule/Christmas a lot in the past few years due to either homelessness or unemployment, it makes me a little sad as I miss the gifts, the food, and I hate being alone. BUT the advantage of being pagan is that a short walk outdoors reminds me what it's about, and of course I enjoy the fact I'm not getting myself into debt to keep-up with the Joneses!

    I remember this won't last forever, hopefully this time next year I'll be having a 'proper' Yule/Christmas with my new husband 🙂

    I hope you have a good Christmas/Yule/etc.

  4. December 17, 2013 / 9:59 am

    Hi there, yes totally understand this. Last year I did not really celebrate, no gifts, no Christmas dinner and I was blessed to embrace Yule and so me and my housemate went for a walk in nature and all was well. Nature is the greatest gift to me. Sending you lots of love and blessings this Yule and may next year be a 'proper' Yule for you.


  5. December 17, 2013 / 12:05 pm

    Making presents for others, and making them with a lot of thought can make Christmas special. two years ago I made prayer scarves and put special wishes hopes and prayers into every stitch

  6. December 17, 2013 / 2:15 pm

    oh Daydreamer, that is absolutely beautiful! I love that idea. I have a friend who makes dreamcatchers, I made all my gifts last year but unfortunately have been too busy this Christmas, hopefully easier next year. Oh that is just wonderful! Thank you for sharing.

  7. December 17, 2013 / 5:06 pm

    Kelly, like you, I was a bit too busy this year But throughout the year I have been making a variety of "aura mandala" hats and have given one to a friend with a birthday this week and the idea with these is that you can make a hat to match or reinforce or supplement someones natural aura. This one is called Neptune Rainbow which was the name of the yarn I used. By next Christmas I should have lots ready!

  8. December 17, 2013 / 5:16 pm

    oh wow, these are stunning do you have a website? What a unique idea.

  9. December 17, 2013 / 6:47 pm

    No website Kelly but I have photographed quite a few pieces of my work and have a small portfolio saved on a yarn crafts website. I ought to do something with a website … one day. You might like this one called "Healing Greens"

  10. December 17, 2013 / 6:52 pm

    that is beautiful! Well if you do get set up let me know, happy to put it in my sidebar free of charge. Like to support new entrepreneurs. You can contact me on contact form above. There are a lot of free websites out there and I know etsy is great for selling this sort of beautiful and unique crafts. Good luck!

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