Christmas, a time that’s full of joy and happiness, can be tough on your wallet.
The good news is that there are some great opportunities to earn extra money during Christmas, and have some fun while you’re at it.
No, Santa is not going to give you free money for Christmas, but with a little commitment you can use the following ideas to give your wallet a Christmas present this year…
1. Family Photos
A lot of advertising to do with Christmas usually have pictures of happy, smiling families enjoying themselves and having fun.
Take photos of the family playing in the snow, opening Christmas presents, or smiling around a Christmas tree, and then upload the photos onto stock photo websites like Fotolia or iStockphoto.
Sites to use:
2. Run Errands
Christmas is a busy time for everyone, and some chores may be left unattended as people rush around preparing for the holidays.
You could approach your relatives, friends, or neighbors and offer to run their errands and do their chores like yard work, shoveling snow, walking their dog, and so on for a fee.
Do a good job and the word will spread. Soon you’ll be busy earning some good money.
3. Reply to Santa’s Letters
Children often write letters to Santa Claus around Christmas time.
You could write replies to these letters from Santa using Santa stationery.
To make the letter from Santa more personalized, ask their parents to fill out a form giving information like the child’s name, their pet’s name, good things they have done that year, and so on.
4. Make Special Christmas Treats or Cookies
You could use your own recipe or your customer’s recipe.
Make sure you charge enough to cover any extra costs in case you don’t get the customer’s recipe right the first time around and you have to try again.
You could charge by the dozen when using your own recipe.
Where possible, try and provide a delivery service, so that you can earn more.
5. Corporate Gifts
Companies generally give their valued customers and employees gifts during the festive season.
You could create corporate gifts or hampers that are personalized and unique, but not too costly since companies have Christmas budgets too.
6. Put up Christmas Decorations
You could decorate homes during the festive season for busy people who don’t have the time to do it themselves.
You could decorate their Christmas tree or certain rooms in the house.
If you keep photographs of the homes you decorated in previous years, you could add them to a scrapbook, or make a brochure, to give people an idea of how good your decorations are.
You could charge people by the hour or per room.
7. Catering Services
One of the most time consuming activities during Christmas is having to cook, but if cooking is your passion, you could offer catering services so that hosts can enjoy more time with their guests instead of being in the kitchen.
Make sure you market yourself properly.
Many Christmas parties are held well ahead of Christmas Day, so have your advertising sorted out early with ample time for people to book your catering services.
You could organize tasting sessions where people can sample your food before they decide on a menu for their parties.
You can even offer to cook at their homes and hire additional staff if required.
8. Have an Online Garage Sale
Soon after Halloween is a great time to sell items using an online sale website or auction service.
It’s the same concept as an offline garage sale.
When selling online, make sure you take photos that show off the item well and write a clear description of the item, including whether the item is brand new or used, so that people know exactly what they are buying from you.
You could even make a professional looking website for free on Tumbler and simply list all your stuff with pictures. Add a PayPal button to the site (PayPal has instruction on how to do it in just a few steps), so people can pay you online.
Or you could use sites like eBay to sell your stuff.
Sites to use:
- Tumblr (to make a simple website to list your items on)
- Facebook (Facebook has online yard and garage sale groups for almost every city. Find a local one and you are set)
9. Make Your Own Products to Sell
You could make lovely soaps or candles and present them in beautifully decorated boxes. If you have a flair for working with wood, create wooden toys like whistles, toy trains, or even children’s furniture.
Offer your handmade items for sale at country fairs, flea markets, or sell them online.
You can also use your skills to create Halloween costumes and related goodies. Check out this post for more Halloween money making ideas.
Resources / Sites to use:
10. Mail Christmas Cards
Even though e-greetings are quick and easy, some people would still prefer to send out Christmas cards in the mail, but don’t really have the time to do it themselves.
If you are good at calligraphy, you can make some money writing out Christmas and New Year cards and mailing them out on time.
11. Sew, Knit or Embroider Personalized Gifts
People like things that are made especially for them. Monogrammed towels and linen, scarves and mittens, or personalized chef’s hats and aprons are just a few examples of how you can turn your abilities into a few extra dollars.
12. Become a Personal Shopper
Here is a perfect Christmas job. Shops are extremely crowded with people doing their Christmas shopping, and buying gifts can be a real hassle as well as take up a lot of time. You could help people by doing their shopping for them.
Your charges would be based on the number of hours you spent shopping and distance to the shops.
13. Sell Crafts
Some people prefer giving gifts that are not commercially produced by the thousands. If you are creative, you could sell handmade items in local craft fairs. You can provide samples for people to look at before placing an order with you.
If you have a large range of items to sell, you could also sell gift certificates so that the recipient of the certificate can choose their own gift. If you can make extra items, you can gift these to your family and friends for Christmas.
If you know how to make a Christmas tree, you could create different ones for different tastes, or better yet, offer customized Christmas trees.
Sites to use:
14. Gift-wrapping Service
Some people may find gift-wrapping a chore, so you can step in and offer to do it for them for a fee.
You can charge per package or per hour.
You could also provide additional services like picking up or delivering the gifts.
15. Decorating Services
You could decorate Christmas trees or put up lights around the exterior of the house.
People may also need you to come in and take down the decorations as part of the service.
Make sure to charge accordingly. While you’ll be using the customer’s decorations, you may need to supply your own equipment, such as a ladder or tools.
How to Promote Your Services
As you can see, I added a few sites you can use for some of the items on the list.
For the rest, there are some common sites and places that you can use to promote them.
Here are a few ideas:
Resources / Sites to use:
- Craigslist (to put up a free ad promoting your business)
- Bulletin Boards of local departments stores (to put up an ad telling people about your service. This would work great on bulletin boards of stores like Walmart where a lot of people actually buy their holiday gift wrapping stuff.)
- Flea Markets
According to The U.S. Census Bureau retailers sold over $27 billion during the last holiday season.
Let me translate that for you: “People spend a lot of money during Christmas!”, and that makes Christmas a season for entrepreneurs.
By making some extra money using these methods, Christmas no longer needs to put a hole in your wallet or max out your credit card.