It’s possible to have a happier Christmas without spending a lot of money. There are some great free things to do for Christmas, or at least very cheap.
Originally posts: Dec. 1, 2011
Think back to last Christmas, what do you remember making you the happiest? Is it the gifts you got? I’m going to guess it isn’t. My favorite memories from last Christmas are the homemade waffles and mimosas we had at my parents on Christmas morning, the trip my husband and I took before Christmas, and the NBA Thunder game my family went to after Christmas with my family.
Sure I got a lot of nice gifts and I enjoyed them and I still am enjoying them but those weren’t the best part of Christmas and I would have still had a happy Christmas will many fewer gifts, but without the time with my family and friends, it would have been a sad and lonely Christmas.
Some of these things cost a lot of money but there are many things we’ve done over the years that cost nothing or very little that I enjoyed just as much. When I was little my favorite thing was waking up early with my brother. It was still dark out and we’d sneak into the living room and open our stockings and play with our new things while waiting for our parents. It never mattered what was in the stockings it was just the magic of Christmas and the time together before things got busy.
We often go into debt to pay for things around the holidays, instead, we should focus on the important things, spending time together and giving to others. These are some things you can do to have a happier Christmas without spending a lot of money.
Cheap or Free Things to do for Christmas
Watch Your Favorite Christmas Movie Together
Growing up my family always watched It’s a Wonderful Life shortly after putting up the tree. My husband and I still make it out there some years to watch it.
My husband and I also watch a lot of Christmas movies throughout the season, often I bake some cookies or something for us to have with the movie. We always watch the first Harry Potter while we put up the Christmas tree, this year I made Butterbeer (the drink in Harry Potter) to have during the movie.
Check out 15 Perfectly Paired Christmas Movies and Treats for some fun ideas of treats to make that pair well with your favorite Christmas movies.
My husband and I like to make gingerbread cookies each year. I guess I really bake them but we eat them together. Even if only some of the family is doing the baking the smell of the baking is likely to make everyone happy!
Making decorations can be fun for adults and a child. I’m working on a new rag wreath right now. There are so many fun crafty decorations you can make together, you can even have an added vintage touch to your Christmas and string some popcorn.
Giving back can be very rewarding for your family as well as the one you are giving to. You can sponsor a kid from the Salvation Army Angel Tree, help at a soup kitchen, volunteer at a local animal shelter, make scarves and blankets for your local homeless shelter, the ideas are endless.
You can also make sure your gifts give back by donating to causes for gifts. Look for a cause that is dear to the person you are giving the gift to, for animal lovers you can adopt an animal from the World Wildlife Fund or give to a local animal shelter, for the tree huggers you can donate to have trees planted, etc…
Have a Handmade Christmas
Make a rule that at least one gift for each person has to be handmade. This can mean either by the person or from a store like Etsy. It can be fun to see what everyone comes up with. I try and do as much of my shopping as possible from stores like Etsy and also from handmade Fair Trade goods that help those that are making the items.
Related post: 25+ Homemade Christmas Gifts
The traditions don’t even need to be normal holiday traditions. My husband and I watching Harry Potter while putting up the tree isn’t very traditional but we love it. Just do something together and have fun, you will remember the things you did together more than the gifts.
Be sure to keep track of your favorite new traditions for a happier Christmas in your Christmas Planner.