Simply put

Make your holidays bright

By Brenda Spiering, Editor,

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A mother and son enjoying winter.The holiday season is nearly here, a time of year to rejoice and celebrate with loved ones. It’s also a time of year that can be full of stress — both financial and otherwise. But there are smart ways to save and enjoy the holidays with less fuss.

From budget-savvy entertaining to creative gift-giving to remembering what matters most, here are some tips and tools for a brighter holiday season:

Creative budgeting
You can still pamper the ones you love this holiday season without ending up over your head in debt. It just takes a little planning and creativity:
Five smart ways to stretch your holiday budget

Frugal entertaining
Covering all the costs involved in entertaining can be a challenge. Watch Amrita Singh of the Frugalista Files share her budget-savvy tips on how to host a great holiday party without breaking the bank:
How to host a budget-savvy holiday party (Video)

Smart toy buying
Wondering what toys to buy this holiday season? Despite new safety regulations, choosing safe toys requires a little research and some common sense:
How to shop for safer toys

Financial gift-giving
The key to giving financial gifts that kids will appreciate is to make money lessons fun, with gifts such as picture books, board games and movies.
Giving the gift of financial literacy

Connecting with your family
Is it possible to keep time-honoured holiday traditions yet adapt to modern realities? Dave shares how his family reconciles time and distance:
Faraway togetherness for the holidays

Saving energy
While some people like to dream of a white Christmas, a “green” holiday – making energy-efficient seasonal choices – is good news for the planet and for your wallet.
Go green and save this holiday season

Planning for the future
If you’re lucky enough to have a job that makes you eligible for a year-end bonus, here are seven smart things to do with it:
How to make the most of your year-end bonus

Remembering what matters most
And finally, a note from Kevin Press to his six-year-old daughter, on three ways to make the holidays brighter:
Dear Grace: The three secrets of Christmas

Planning for the holidays More ways to make the season bright

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