Every year our frugal family has a fun time with our Christmas bake off. We have enjoyed this night for so many years. My kids used to love the bake off’s we watched on tv. so one Christmas for our advent activities they asked if we can have one. Well, it was so much fun it stuck. This is such a fun, easy way to spend time and enjoy some Christmas fun.
It is also the best way to get a lot of baking done that is on the list. The best part is the bake off fits into the budget. Our bakeoff isn’t some over priced activity that we have to pay to enjoy. Home is where the heart is, and the fun begins.
Frugal Family Bake Off Planning
The planning stage of a frugal family bake off are part of my December advent planning. First, I decide on who we will invite, and at what time. The kids take a vote and remind me of who I may have forgotten to invite. Usually, we only invite immediate family and grandparents. My oldest son and his new wife are always invited also. Next, I let the kids decide what type of activities we will do that night.
We do not spend a lot of money on this bake off, it is really more about learning, memory making and family time. As I shop for ingredients I do buy paper plates, napkins, cups and silverware. In addition to that I purchase sprite and Hawaiian punch to drink. Dinner is replaced with some easy snacks such as popcorn, pretzels and chips.
Bake off Selections
Our bake off selections are easy desserts that the kids can manage. This year we made chocolate cupcakes with buttercream icing, Christmas bark, and chocolate covered peppermint sticks dipped in chocolate. My youngest son who is nine wanted to make sugar cookies, so we made up a batch of those. Unfortunately, we did not get to finish them because I forgot the dough has to be refrigerated for two hours. Needless to say, we are just going to save those for Santa cookies.
One part of the bake off that I enjoy is the ability to sit back and admire my kids each year. They grow and change so much. It is nice to see the seeds sown of independence, math, critical thinking and maturing as they prepare for our frugal family night of tasty treats. My 15 year old son can do his own entire dish without any help, and clean up. Baking with them has always been a tradition and I am so glad that I overcame my desire to get stuff done quicker. Powering through a cookie recipe is not easy with an active little boy. Seeing all of them grow in this area warms my heart.
Family Caroling and Songs
Next on our agenda is the frugal family caroling. This year the boys’ decided to do Deck The Halls in Latin. So the last few weeks of school we practiced two stanza’s in Latin. Likewise, they played simultaneously on the guitar as we sang. My youngest son plays the Ukulele. He also learned how to play this Christmas carol and we had a great time.
My second oldest son played the piano for us the first time through, and I am not great at singing so this was very helpful. Ideally, there is usually someone who can carry a tune but not in our family. It was fun nonetheless. My twelve year old played his electric guitar for a few stanza’s, then my 15 year old played Jingle Bell Rock on his guitar. I’m not one to go out caroling, but in our home we had so much Christmas sprite and fun singing these carols.
Fun Games and Book Reading
Finally, as we drank our advent tea for the evening and played Dreidel I read the story of Hanukkah. Each year I try to read some different traditions as a family. This one book in particular was from last year, but I really like the story of how Hanukkah began so we read it again. Our advent tea time is always special.
Let me conclude with this thought. Pour into your children. They do grow up, and so many of the traditions that we do at Christmas time stem from the slow winter season. It is a beautiful time to slow the pace and enjoy the blessings of a wonderful family. Being a frugal family is easy when you have this much fun.
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