Holiday shopping can be expensive, and if you are visiting with family over the Christmas holidays you’ll probably be spending more money than you usually would. Dining out, entertainment and hosting Christmas parties can get expensive. A recent survey showed that the average family plans to spend $830 on gifts this holiday season – not including any extra activities during the holidays.
Here are a few cheap (or free) activities anyone can do over the holidays.
Christmas markets are a great way to get into the holiday mood without breaking the bank. Depending on the market and location some may charge a minimal entrance fee, but it doesn’t mean you have to overspend when shopping. Some markets have free extras like reindeer, carollers and Christmas performances – all for free.
Ice skating is something that anyone can do for cheap, all you need is a pair of skates and some winter gloves. Some cities offer free public skating during the holidays while others have outdoor rinks that anyone can use. If you dont want to buy a pair of ice skates you can sometimes rent them near some rinks for a small fee.
I’m not a huge fan of baking but I do like the end result – eating all the good treats that get made. If you don’t want to buy pre-made Christmas treats from the stores you can get the raw ingredients to make things on your own and turn it into a fun event for the whole family. A quick google search can result in dozens of holiday treat ideas that are cheap and easy to make.
Judging Neighborhood Christmas lights
A favourite family tradition is to drive around town and check out the Christmas lights on other houses. Depending on your city there may be areas that have an entire area decked out with holiday lights. In my area there are 2-3 pockets of houses in my neighbourhood that have a friendly competition each year for their Christmas lights, and they attract dozens of vehicles every night.
Christmas Tree Decorating
This is a family tradition for many (including our family). Decorating the family Christmas tree is fun and cheap. It can be even more adventurous if you venture out into the woods and find a real, authentic Christmas tree for your living room. I like to travel so I try to find a small Christmas tree ornament from some of the most memorable trips that I take. That way when the tree gets decorated it brings back a lot of good memories of the trips taken in the past few years.
What frugal holiday activities do you like?