Although it’s tempting to spend, spend, spend during the holidays, it’s not always the wisest use of your money. You’ll likely feel the hit when the bills come in January — but cheer up! There are numerous options for affordable holiday activities that are fun. Read on!
- Go on a holiday lights tour. Pile everyone in the car, turn up the holiday tunes and head out for a tour of a local neighborhood that’s famous for its holiday decorations, whether elegant or tacky. Many local TV stations will broadcast the locations of some of the more enthusiastically decorated homes.
- Make wreaths. Wreaths are both fun to make and add a welcome breath of cheer to your home. Take the kids outside for a winter scavenger hunt to gather evergreen branches, holly, pinecones, berries and anything else nature creates that your kids find lovely. Attach the greens to a foam ring and let the kids decorate the wreaths with the items from the scavenger hunt as well as with bows and ornaments.
3. Have a Christmas movie night. Pick out a few of the family’s favorite holiday movies, pop some corn, brew up some hot cocoa and let the night begin! Of course, this doesn’t have to be just one night, especially if the family has many favorite movies.
- Bake Christmas cookies. Mmmm! Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh baked cookies? Children of all ages can help with the cooking and decorating. Younger kids can add pre-measured ingredients and stir the bowl, while older kids can easily take on more “real baking” tasks. Everyone can help decorate and, of course, everyone can help lick the batter bowl! Check out our stress-free tips for holiday baking.
- Go caroling. Although it might seem like a passé tradition, some families still go caroling—much to the delight of their neighbors. Rehearse three or four tunes until everyone knows them by heart. Don’t worry if it’s all a bit out of tune. The recipients will be delighted with the show!
- Attend a Christmas concert. Check out the events calendar in your local newspaper or on your local TV station’s website. You’ll find plenty of free or inexpensive holiday concerts, Christmas pageants and other types of performances on many different days of the week and at different times. Schools and churches are especially likely to host these events and welcome the public to attend.
- Play in the snow. If you live in colder climes, take a family afternoon to play in the snow. Make snow angels, go sledding, make a personalized snowman (or woman), build a snow fort or have a snowball fight. Afterwards, warm up with some hot cider and a cookie.
- Volunteer. There are unlimited opportunities for giving during the holiday season. Rather than simply giving money, give your time. Your family can, for example, volunteer at homeless shelters, visit the sick or elderly that are lonely at hospitals or in care homes, or volunteer at a food bank or church. Serving others is a great way to develop great feelings and wonderful memories as well as instill the true meaning of Christmas into your children.
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