8 Inexpensive Christmas Traditions to Get Your Holidays Started
Who’s excited for Christmas this year?? I know I am! I can enjoy everything when I give myself more time to plan, rather than scrambling last minute to figure every event out. By doing this, it gives me greater room to be creative with meals and gifts, as well as reduce and/or spread out the expenses. Plus, it helps extend the fun because I can think of things to do to make the holiday last rather than cramming everything into a few days.
While thinking about what to write today, I thought it might be helpful to give 8 inexpensive Christmas traditions you can plan for so you can enjoy this holiday and not get overwhelmed yourself:
- Christmas Light Looking
This is one of my favourite traditions. My family growing up got to open one present on Christmas Eve. It was always pyjamas. We’d change into them and then jump in the car. My Dad would stop at Tim Horton’s for some hot chocolate and treats, and then we’d drive around for an hour or two looking at all the beautifully lit up houses. We eventually found where our favourites were and made sure to include them in our route. Nowadays, some houses even have their lights coordinated to music on the radio!
Depending on how much you want to save here, you could either go for a walk around the neighbourhood to save on gas and make some warm cocoa at home and put it in a thermos for everyone to enjoy.
- Have a Bake-Off
If you have lots of treats to make as gifts for friends and family or events you’re attending, why not get some friends together and make it a baking party? They can make some of their goodies and you can make your favourites. Then you can swap treats at the end of the party. That way, you’ll get a nice variety, it won’t be as time consuming on your own, and you might even save a little if you share ingredients with each other. You could buy the ingredients in bulk for things like flour and sugar and split the cost between all the members of the bake-off.
- Read the Christmas Story
This is free and the most valuable gift you can give your family. Spending time reading the Christmas story together reminds you of what this holiday is all about: The miraculous birth of our Saviour. The Bible is incredible in the fact that the Lord can bring about something new each time you read it if you take time to meditate on what you read.
One option for this would be to read the story slowly and then go around the table and ask each member of your family what stood out most to them. You’ll typically find that each person might have something different than the other.
Another option would be to bring the story alive. Depending on the size of your family or gathering, you can assign roles to each person and make it into a skit. Act out the various scenes and then talk about the deeper meaning at the end
- Make and Bless
Do you know someone that is having a hard time this Christmas? Now is a great time to give them encouragement. You don’t need to get extravagant to show someone they are special. A homemade gift can show them that you took time to think about them and made effort to show them kindness. You could bake them their favourite treat, make them a special craft, or bring them a nice warm drink and have a little visit. The gesture is sure to make them smile and be reminded that they are not alone this Christmas.
This is an oldie but a goodie. My brother and I used to go to the local nursing home with others during the holidays and sing Christmas carols with the seniors. Then we’d stay for a while and visit with them. This made their year. The residents were always filled with such excitement and gratitude that people would care to join them. They enjoy singing and especially love the company of others.
This is a great thing to do with kids too. It helps children understand the value of helping and showing love to others. It also teaches them that generosity can come in the form of time as well. Visiting with the seniors in these homes makes everyone feel special and reminded of what sharing the love of Jesus is like. No matter what kind of health issues these people are facing in these homes, a touch of holding their hand and listening to their stories can leave them in tears of feeling valued.
- Scavenger Hunt
To those who love a good Easter egg hunt, this one’s for you. Why not hide candy canes around the house? You can buy a box of them or fill a bag at your local bulk food store.
- Write Letters
Take each day from now until the week before Christmas. Write a different person a special hand-written letter each day letting them know how much you love and appreciate them. What about their personality do you love most? What memory do you cherish together? What is something that makes you laugh when you think of them? Then mail out your letters at the end of each week to your special people.
- Verse Challenge
Pick one verse for every week starting now leading up to Christmas. Pick a friend or get your family involved. Practice memorizing the verse until the end of the week. Then add a second verse/passage of the Bible that you would like to memorize. Work on memorizing the various verses. Then on Christmas day, share all the verses you memorized and what they mean to you. Whoever gets all their verses memorized and shares the deeper meaning to them wins a little prize. You’ll have to pick your verses ahead of the game and give them to your challengers so that they know which ones you’re working on and don’t share something you already had memorized. No cheating!
I hope these fun ideas get you started with a great Christmas this year. They are an opportunity to bless others, enjoy the company of family and friends, and save a little in the meantime too. What are a few of your favourite traditions?