Hey guys! So since we are on a bit more of a budget this year I thought it would be fun to do a post on things you can do to celebrate the holiday season without spending a fortune. So often I feel like we all can fall trap to needing to get and do all the things to feel like we fit in and aren’t missing out on Christmas. We rightfully want to give our kids the best possible Christmas experience. We want them to feel as much magic as possible through the season. But I’m telling you right now, a massive credit card bill will reverse that magic on December 26.
Magic doesn’t have to cost.
Your kids want your presence over your presents. Guaranteed.
My kids are both so little that we haven’t really started any traditions with them yet. Elijah is just starting to understand who Santa is and all of the Christmas stuff. This list is things that I’m wanting to do, some things that we have done, and just some ideas!
This post contains affiliate links.
Christmas cookies – make and decorate cookies! Don’t aim for perfection here. Get messy and let your kids be creative and have fun!
Hot cocoa and a movie – make it special with candy canes and cinnamon sticks or just the classic marshmallows! Elijah hates chocolate (I know – how?!) so I am going to try apple cider or hot almond milk with a syrup in it for him.
Go to a Christmas tree lot – even if you aren’t getting a tree, you can get garland or a wreath! Also, ask for trimmings! These make awesome décor!
Christmas dance party – Blast some Christmas music and dance around your living room in your pjs!
Lights drive! Take a drive to see houses all decorated for Christmas. Head to the mountains.
Take a drive up to the mountains after it has snowed to play in the snow. We used to do this a lot as kids. Growing up in PHX there wasn’t a whole lot of snow so we would drive up to Flagstaff and just play in the snow. There are always free sledding hills near ski areas.
Play photoshoot! Even if all you have is your phone! Do this on your mountain snow visit. Do it in your house in cozy clothes and Christmas décor. Get a couple of disposable cameras and let your kids go to town too! Or for free let them go to town with your phone taking photos outdoors!
Head to old town wherever you are. Maybe this is a southwest thing, but there seems to be an old town fill in the blank city every where. And they are always decorated so cute for Christmas. You can window shop, get cocoa or coffee, or stop in for lunch or a drink.
Paper crafting. Get a pad of holiday themed scrapbook paper and make trees and wreaths and Santa beards and elf hats, etc. Pinterest is a great resource here! Most of the time you just need the paper and scissors! I’m making a Christmas countdown chain with Elijah this week! It doesn’t matter if they are perfect either! Just have fun creating!
Gingerbread house – Kits aren’t that expensive and are such a fun activity! We found a Paw Patrol one at At Home for $13. I was going to link a few for you, but I think you can find these cheaper if you hit a store like At Home, Marshalls, or the grocery store.
Advent calendars – We have one that is a felt tree that the kids can put a felt ornament on every day. This one is cheaper though and the same idea. You could get cheap books from thrift stores or garage sales and do a book a day too!
Make a felt tree – Get some felt in various colors and cut out a tree. ornaments, garland, and a star for the top. Attach the tree to the wall with tape or command strips. The kids can decorate and redecorate their tree over and over.
Do you have any other ideas? Let me know in the comments so I can add them to the list!