Hello Frugal Friends! I hope this post will encourage you as we continue on through this holiday season! Today we are going to focus on doing Holiday Festivities as simply, and inexpensive as possible!
It’s so easy to spend a lot during the holidays, isn’t it? Not only can you spend a ton on gifts and decorations, but you can also find yourself spending a ton on holiday festivities! I would love to take Liam on a ride on the Polar Express or drive through fancy light displays, but it just isn’t in our budget! You know what? That is okay! Christmas is all about our Savior and celebrating with family and loved ones. We can do that, without spending all the extra cash! Here are some ideas! :)
The Mini-Van Express
I saw this cute idea on pinterest! Guess what? It was a major hit with my little guy! Like the Polar Express, have the kids get in their Jammies and “head to bed”. Right when they get into bed, they find their ticket to the “Mini-Van Express”. Want to make this even more fun? Pop some popcorn and make some hot cocoa! My little guy has become obsessed with hot chocolate this holiday season! It is such a special treat and adds to the “magic”. You can go to a special light display or simply just drive through neighborhoods and look at all the light displays! Peanut boy was totally fascinated by a free light display at our local park. Again, doesn’t have to cost anything and can be tons of fun! Get your free printable ticket courtesy of Confessions of a Homeschooler!
Cities all over the country have some kind of festival, display, parade, or other holiday fun. In our town, they do a special nighttime Christmas parade a couple of weeks before Christmas. Thousands of people from all over come to see it. The best part? Doesn’t cost a thing! Other towns near us did similar events, like the lighting of the town tree, cookies decorating, writing letters to Santa, etc. All free events and fun for the whole family!
Want to visit Santa without paying an arm and a leg? We did the Santa picture a couple of times in the past. We are still back and forth on deciding to do the whole “Santa thing”, in an effort to keep Christ at the Center. Either way, there are a ton of other ways to see Santa without having to pay $20 or more for a keepsake picture! A popular one that was local to us was Breakfast with Santa. I remember having this at school as well. It’s usually only a few dollars per person and a meal is included! Santa also usually will make appearances at chain grocery stores on certain days, local events, etc. A majority of the time, you get a “free photo with Santa”. Be sure to take your camera or cell phone! Hey, you could always visit your mall Santa without having to purchase a photo package! Just be courteous if they ask you not to take your own pictures.
Attending Christmas Service
This is one of our favorite things to do at Christmas. Obviously, trying to put Christ at the Center, Christmas services play a big role in that! We love remembering the reason for the season and worshiping together as a family. You can attend several different holiday services throughout the month. Many churches put on Nativity Plays as well. These are a lot of fun too and “free entertainment”.
Having a Birthday Party for Jesus
One of our favorite things to do with our little guy is throwing a birthday party for Jesus! Our church started the tradition by providing each child a box with cake mix, frosting, candles, and some fun party decorations. We decorate, bake the cake, and sing “Happy Birthday” and blow out the candles! Even if you were to purchase everything yourself, you could spend less than $5 at the dollar store for everything!
Watch Christmas Movies
We love watching Christmas movies! We basically start the day after Halloween. We usually add something fun to it, like holiday cookies, popcorn, hot chocolate, or homemade pizza to make it more special. We only have a few that we own, so we mostly watch the free ones on our local channels or on our netflix account. Our little guy doesn’t mind. He prefers to watch his favorites over and over again, anyways! Youtube has some as well, like Charlie Brown, Frosty, Rudolph, etc. You could even see if family and friends own some you don’t and share and trade throughout the season without having to rent or buy them yourself!
Read Christmas Books
We love to read! Some of our favorite books are the Nativity Story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Night Before Christmas, and Elmo’s Christmas Story. All were purchased on consignment, so we didn’t spend any more than a couple of dollars on each one. The Dollar Tree and Goodwill have several or you could always borrow some from the library!
Making Christmas Treats
I am not good at homemade baked goods. I have tried and failed on multiple occasions. My Peanut boy is at the fun age where he LOVES to help! Something we have found we like to do together is make cookies. We also enjoy eating them :) I just purchase a small package of cookies and we usually bake them and enjoy them with a Christmas movie. It only costs a couple of dollars, we have fun, and we are making memories! Some ways I save even more is by using coupons or iBotta to get cash back on my purchase! You could make all sorts of fun things besides cookies, and even give them as gifts! [More on that in another post!]
Something we do every Christmas Eve after church is eat Chinese food! If you have ever seen A Christmas Story, you get why! We have our favorite place that just so happens to always have coupons! It’s one thing we really splurge on like that during the holidays. Even then, our splurge for our family of 3 is less than $15. The best part? We don’t have to cook dinner! On a super tight budget? You could always put together a Christmas themed meal. You could do homemade Santa pizza or have a Grinch themed menu complete with Roast Beast! Again, make it a tradition and it is much more meaningful, no matter how little you spend!
Well, that is just a few ideas of ways we spend the holidays together. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but just making a concious effort to spend time together as a family creates lasting lifetime memories and traditions! Happy day Frugal Friends.