- Apr 16, 2018
When Christmas arrives, it brings with it good tidings, warm feelings… and financial stress! As much as we love the holiday season, financial stress is very much a part of it. Participating in the festivities requires a significant financial outlay. Now, just to be clear, money isn’t, and shouldn’t, be the end-all, be-all of the season. But there are some realities we need to face. It’s good to have money during Christmas, both for ourselves, and to share in the form of gifts.
With that said, I’ve compiled a list of ways to make some extra cash this Christmas. In keeping with the holiday spirit, I made sure these money-making activities were both fun and lucrative. Without further ado, let’s get to it!
1. Get seasonal work as a Santa or Elf
Don’t laugh; I made good money one Christmas as Santa for a local children’s hospital. I got paid well, but it was also a great feeling spreading the jolly holiday spirit… and isn’t what the season is all about?
I made a great Santa, and I’m not even chubby (at least that’s what I tell myself!). Make sure to get a Santa costume with ample padding, if you don’t have a suitable build. The beard will cover your face, and give it a much fuller appearance.
Once you get a costume, the next step is to promote your services. You can use the following as a platform for your promotions:
Always reliable. Plus it’s free and has great reach!
Community bulletin boards
This is old-school, but don’t overlook it. People hiring Christmas characters tend to go for locals. So try community bulletin boards to promote your business.
2. Reply to letters as Santas
Who says you can only be Santa physically? In addition to moonlighting as Santa, you can also answer letters as him. You can offer this service to parents who would like personalized letters from Santa sent to their kids.
3. Hold an online garage sale
By the time the holiday season rolls in, there’s a big chance we’ve accumulated lots of junk over the year. Whether it’s outdated clothing, or redundant appliances or furniture, most of us have extra stuff to sell. Now would be a good time to let them go, and earn a few bucks in the process.
Since we’re usually busy during these times, selling the stuff online saves you time and effort. No need to sit in front of open garage for hours on end.
The key is to be brutal with your selection. Do you really need that tenth pair of pants? When was the last time you used that blender? Ask questions like these, and answer them honestly, when deciding what to let go of.
Once you’ve gathered enough items, take clear photos and write accurate descriptions. I can’t emphasize clarity and accuracy enough, since people can’t physically inspect the items.
Once you’re done with that, you can sell your items on:
If you’re tech-savvy, you can even make your own online shop using an e-commerce site like Shopify or WooCommerce.
4. Make and sell your own crafts and products
People are big on artisanal, handmade stuff these days. If you have a special skill or hobby, like making soap or carving small wooden ornaments, the season presents the perfect time to sell your wares. People will be actively searching for home-made stuff.
You can sell your stuff on Craigslist, Facebook, and eBay , but there are sites specifically for selling crafts. They are:
You can also try selling at local flea markets, which gives you a chance to interact with your customers directly.
5. Create corporate gifts
Everyone gives gifts on Christmas, and that includes companies. Usually, companies give gifts in the form of corporate giveaways like branded pens or thumb drives.
If you’ve got some design skills, you can pitch your services to companies. But make sure you do this month's in advance because companies are usually closing their books come December
6. Help people decorate
Everyone loves a nicely-decorated home, but may not have the time (or creativity) to do so. If you’ve got good taste, try offering your decorating services to people. Start with friends or neighbors first, then gradually expand your market.
You could also maintain a Facebook or Instagram page as a sort of portfolio of your work. Just make sure you ask your clients for permission before sharing photos of their homes online!
7. Start a catering service
If you have a passion for cooking and serving food, you may want to look into this. If people are too busy to decorate their homes, chances are they’ll be too busy to cook large meals. While nothing beats a home cooked meal, you have a great opportunity to make sure people sit down to a great Christmas meal.
Once you’ve gained some experience you can offer your services to companies holding Christmas parties. They key is to start small, and move up.
Also, you’ll need to invest in utensils (some of which hopefully you have already) and promotional items like brochures and a simple website. But once your business takes off, it’ll all be worth it.
8. Cook up some treats
Handmade gifts are great, but food and treats are truly next-level. Everybody loves food, so this is usually a fail-safe gift. Of course, this would mean you have to know how to cook holiday-appropriate foods like cakes, cookies, and other pastries.
Advertise your cooking services the same way you would your catering service, and watch the orders come in. I suggest creating a menu to help you manage your inventory better.
9. Make hand-lettered notes and Christmas cards
If you have lovely handwriting or even actual calligraphy skills, here’s some good news: people are looking for ways to personalize their gifts, and are willing to pay for your services. And a handwritten note or card is a surefire way to make the recipient feel special.
10. Offer sewing or embroidering services
On the topic of handmade, customized gifts, monogrammed items such as towels, table napkins, or clothing would make great gifts. If you have the suitable skills, look into this, and hopefully, you make a few extra bucks during the holiday season.
11. Run errands, or become a personal shopper
It’s a busy, busy season. But if you’re willing to hire out your time to other busy people, you could be in for a lucrative Christmas.
One of the best services you can give people is personal shopping. You can either buy stuff based on a list the client gives you, or (if you’ve built a deep trust with them) actually pick stuff out based on the personalities of the recipients and client’s budget.
If personal shopping is too next-level, you could always just run errands for neighbors like getting groceries or picking up the kids from school. This is a great way to earn, but you’re also providing an essential service to others.
12. Wrap and deliver gifts for cash
If clients need additional help after you’ve shopped for them, you can offer to wrap and deliver their gifts.
Think of this as an integrated service. You’ll be taking a lot of worry off their minds while making lots of people happy. Be sure you factor in holiday traffic and charge accordingly (I suggest charging by the hour).
I’ve tried many of these, and have earned quite a bit of extra cash (especially from the food-related ones) so I’d call these legit!
Christmas can be a financially stressful time, so keep it together, work hard, and you’ll definitely be able to lessen the financial burden.
This is my review based on my own holiday experiences. Now it’s your turn to share. Do you have other holiday money-making methods? How did it go?
Let’s hear your stories!