Low cost family ideas for the twelve days of Christmas comes from the necessity to cut back. This Christmas doesn’t have to break the bank to still be enjoyed. One thing that we have done is decided to choose our top activities. We may not be able to do all of the things now, inflation is high, groceries are high and it is winter so the utilities are also more expensive. Keeping all of this in perspective doesn’t need to send us into a tailspin of worry.
This list of ideas will keep your family happy and busy for the final countdown into Christmas. As you are making your list of must do’s keep expenses in mind. What you want to spend money on verses what you are spending money is important. Our Christmas tree was out of the budget this year, but due to the drought I knew that prices were going to be higher. The picking out of our Christmas tree is a big tradition in our family so I kept that in and eliminated a few of the other items we do. Make sure to include the kids in the decision. They definitely know what they like to do for the holidays’ .
Edible Holiday Activities
First on the list is a bake off. For several years’ now we have had a family bake off and it is so much fun. The kids’ pick something they want to make, we shop for the ingredients, and bake. Each one of them make their own special dish. All of our immediate family and the grandparents’ join us in the evening to test out the baked goods. The best dessert wins the prize for the year. This event has so much fun. For the gift I purchase something small at the Dollar Tree for the winner.
Another fun activity is a cooke exchange. Invite over some friends, and ask them to bring a batch of cookies. Using food instead of gifts lowers the stress level of buying a gift, wrapping it and the whole exchange. After this fun holiday party everyone will have a lot of cookies for Santa.
Elfing is another way to bless someone you know. But the best part is they don’t know. Each year we choose a neighbor or church member to bless with some yummy goodies. The kids’ and I bake some things, make them a blanket and take it to leave on their porch. No notes or anything, just a random act of kindness. Every year the kids and I look forward to this tradition.
Low Cost Crafting Ideas
Another way to add in some holiday fun is with various daily crafts. This year items have been much more expensive, so instead of making lots of crafts we sized down to a few favorite crafts. We hit the sales at Michaels’ and bought two mailboxes to decorate for Santa and a paintable mug. I really like what they picked out because not only will it be fun, but they can be used for many years’.
Making ornaments is another low cost way to have fun crafting. Purchase some felt and make a template. The kids’ will have a blast decorating the tree.
In addition to crafting would be making homemade tree decorations. One of the best ways to do that is with popcorn. We haven’t done this one in awhile, but when we did it was fun. I think the kids ate more than we strung that year. Cutting up and baking orange slices to dry and hang on the tree as decor is elegant, and teaches the kids to make easy ornaments.
Low Cost Holiday Light Nights
One of our favorite ways to spend the cold nights close to the holiday is viewing lights. Around our town they now have extravagant lights that you can view with a purchase. We have done those a few times because they are pay by the car not the person. Another way to spend the night adoring lights is viewing the neighborhoods close to you. We have a website that updates good light displays’ to view in our town. A fun way to do this would be to fix some hot cocoa in a thermos, grab some cups and let the kids jump in the van. I used to print out polar express tickets and they loved that too.
For many years’ one of our low cost ways to view lights is through the local zoo. They host a grand Christmas at the Zoo event. All of the zoo is open and decorated with lights. The animals are sometimes out if you visit early enough. Anyway, the kids have always looked forward to this and it is included in our membership.
My last two ideas are one’s that have become a fun tradition for me . The first is a nightly tea advent. We try all kinds of different teas in an an advent box made for each day of December. As we sit around before bed I fix the tea and we read Santa letters from history. It is so simple, but a fun activity the kids’ love. I have to admit hearing the old Santa letter can be funny.
Finally, for advent I can’t leave out church on Christmas Eve. Hearing about how our Savior was born puts a perspective in each family member’s heart. Make sure to add that in on the last night of advent. I hope that you can take away some fun holiday activities for your family this year. For more tips on how to live frugally in the suburbs sign up for my newsletter.