Christmas is just around the corner and, as always, I couldn’t be more excited. The holiday season can be quite hectic with all of the gift shopping, events, decorations, and big family dinners, but this is also the perfect time to slow down and enjoy the loved ones.
My husband and I actually talked about giving up traditional Christmas for a year and having a nice vacation instead. I brought this idea to my son and he hesitated to jump on board. Then I asked him what we had got it for Christmas two years ago, since he couldn’t say anything. Point proved.
The truth is, gifts are nice, and I love surprising my son and being generous to others. However, material things are not the most important and you will not remember them later. Some things we all appreciate are having a good time together and the memories we make.
The best part is that it doesn’t cost a lot of money to have fun and make memories with the family. In some cases, you don’t have to go on a big trip or leave home. If you’re looking for free or cheap Christmas activities to celebrate this year’s holidays, I highly recommend taking part in my 25 Days of Christmas Challenge.
25 Christmas days
The 25 Days of Christmas Challenge has a list of budget-friendly Christmas activities to enjoy with your friends and family. There is an activity to do every day in December (before Christmas Day). You can get things done at your own pace, and you can double up and do multiple activities when you have time, such as on weekends.
The idea is just to slow down and focus on really enjoying this holiday season. This time of year seems to be passing by way too fast and you don’t want to regret not having prioritized what’s important.
The challenge is pretty flexible and this list of activities is by no means exhaustive, but it does give a good idea of fun activities to get your creative wheels going.
1. Drink hot chocolate and read a Christmas story
There is nothing better than snuggling up on the couch with a good book and a warm mug of hot chocolate. We have a fireplace so I will definitely be spending some relaxing reading time by the fire this holiday season. If you have kids, read them a few Christmas stories at night or just read a good holiday-themed book yourself.
2. Make Christmas cards to send
Sending Christmas cards may sound like 1995, but it’s a great way to spread the joy of the holiday and let important people in your life know you’re thinking about them. These days, you can make custom Christmas cards with family photos, or you can just pick them up at the store to send to friends and family.
3. Bake Christmas cookies
This super easy and fun vacation tradition is a must see. Have a lazy night baking cookies and watching Christmas movies.
4. Family board game or card game evening
This is one of the best cheap Christmas activities that the whole family can enjoy. You can buy Christmas board games like bingo, the Christmas scavenger hunt game, and 12 days. Or make up your own games like trivia and charades
5. Watch 1-2 vacation films
Grab your favorite vacation movies from the library or discover new ones on streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu.
6. Go tobogganing
If there is snow near you, find a nice hill, bundle it up, and go sledding with friends or family. We found our sleds for free a few years ago (someone in our neighborhood got rid of them) but you can still find some pretty affordable ones on-line or in thrift stores.
7. Attend a Christmas game or concert
If you have kids in school, you probably already love going to their vacation concerts for free. Another option is to attend local Christmas games and concerts in your area. High school performances or plays staged by your local park district may incur a fee but shouldn’t cost a lot, and you will still see an organized and high quality performance
8. Donate some of your old clothes
A year-end debugging session is the perfect way to clean up your home or unwanted and unused items so you don’t take them with you into the New Year. Try to sell some of your item but donate the rest. There are likely many people out there who could benefit from your stuff.
9. Make a DIY Christmas present for someone
When it comes to giving gifts, the thought really counts. Use your creative side and try some of them out DIY Christmas gifts.
10. Invite a friend to dinner
You don’t have to be the best host to plan a vacation dinner with friends. Get out of your comfort zone and invite a friend over for a good homemade meal. Enjoy good conversation, cheap wine, and play a few games or watch a movie.
For the full list, see the 25 Days of Christmas Challenge. No email required, just click the link below!
I hope this countdown to Christmas is your best yet and you enjoy being fully present and building long lasting memories.
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