top ten frugal christmas activities for the family

Top Ten Frugal Christmas Activities for the Family

This year has set a lot of us back financially, my little family included! In fact, for the sake of transparency, I’ll just let you know that we recently dared to look at one of my hubby’s pay stubs. And he is making half – yes, half – of what he made last year! Now, I’m not going to complain because things could definitely be much worse. But, it has been a real adjustment for us. So, we’ve been sticking to more frugal Christmas activities to do as a family.

Surprisingly, the adjustment was harder for my hubby than it was for me. Which actually makes me giggle. I hear many wives joke about their husbands being frustrated with their spending. But for us, it was the other way around! Almost every time an Amazon package arrived on our doorstep, it was my hubby’s. That’s not to say that things have been easier for me. I just happened to have a bit more self control. But the temptations were there! Now that the holidays have arrived, the temptation has been much stronger for me! This is my favorite time of year and I want to go as crazy buying all the decor and gifts. Plus, there’s all the fun winter activities to do!

Needless to say, I cannot go nuts spending all the money this holiday season. So, I’ve compiled a list of super fun and affordable activities for my family to do over the next few weeks. I briefly mentioned some of those in one of my recent blog posts. But, I thought it would be worth elaborating further on. I sincerely hope you and your family will try these frugal Christmas activities!

frugal christmas activities
oriol portell

Frugal Christmas Activities

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I had to make baking number one because it is possibly my favorite thing to do with my daughter. Especially around this time of year! Thanks to Pinterest, it is super easy to find fun recipes using ingredients you already have available. Not to mention, this is a great opportunity to loosen up and let your little ones get as messy as you can stand. And they’ll think it’s the best thing ever. Then, you get to share your special treats with neighbors, friends, and family. Which is a great way to help spread the Christmas cheer! It’s also fun to look back on each year to see how much your kids’ baking skills have grown.

Frugal Christmas Movie Night

A classic frugal Christmas activity for families is to have a Christmas themed movie night! I make it a habit to watch at least one Christmas movie per day in December. We also love to have a special movie night on Christmas Eve where we wear matching jammies, eat yummy snacks, and the kiddo is in charge of picking the movies. One thing I noticed this year is that there are more than cheesy holiday movies out now. Thanks to Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max, there are tons of great holiday themed movie options. Many of them are options that the whole family can enjoy. But, a bunch can be enjoyable for young adults as well. For example, we really loved Happiest Season, which you can find on Hulu.

Local Parades

This may be a more difficult frugal Christmas activity this year thanks to the pandemic. But, with masks, taking your own chairs and blankets, or choosing to watch from the bed of a truck can help y’all social distance while you enjoy the show! Many times, there will be parades available on various days in surrounding towns. Which means you could find multiple parades to watch if y’all enjoy it! Not to mention, they’re free. If you truly can’t find any parades around or don’t feel comfortable going out, then look to see if you can find any online to watch from the comfort of your living room!

Frugal Christmas Crafts

There are tons of super creative frugal Christmas crafts available on Pinterest and TikTok! I’m not just talking about the ones for babies and toddlers, either. You may have to get more creative with your older kids. But, there are a bunch of crafts you can try to keep the tradition alive. You could get small canvases from the dollar store and have a Paint and Pour night with your adult children. That is sure to be a hit! Or, for your teenagers, you can try one of those home mold kits where you dip your hands or feet in. That will have you giggling every time you look at it for years to come! You could also try making your very own Christmas colored tie dye shirts.

DIY Ornaments

Every year, we create at least one ornament with our daughter. You can find tons of supplies at dollor stores, Michael’s or Hobby Lobby to make a variety of fun ornaments. We’ve done the wooden frame ones shaped like Santa that you paint and then put one of their pictures inside. And we’ve done one where you buy empty clear ornaments that you can do just about anything with. This year, Lillian is super excited for Christmas because she is truly starting to understand what is going on. So, I want to do a really fun ornament idea for her that I can hold onto forever!

Gingerbread Houses

Making gingerbread houses is one of the most fun and creative frugal Christmas activities! I was in Target the other day, and noticed how intricate gingerbread houses are starting to get! You can buy whole villages now! Along with tiny characters and creative decorations to go with them. Or if you prefer to bake your own as well as decorate them, you can find fun templates and designs to recreate on Pinterest! Then, let your child’s creativity fly!

frugal christmas activities
jason leung

Elf on the Shelf

This isn’t really one of the frugal Christmas activities you can do with your little ones. Unless you want to. But, moving it around every day to surprise your kids with in the morning is honestly so fun. My daughter gets the biggest kick out of finding Elfie in random outfits or doing wild activities when she wakes up! We even got Lillian a cute little sticker calendar that was only $1 for her to fill out every night with her elf. It’s shaped like a Christmas tree and each sticker is a little ornament. She absolutely loves this frugal Christmas activity!

Frugal Christmas Decorating

I know many of us can be super particular about how we decorate because we want the house to look perfect for the holidays. But, children really love helping with this! For your really little ones, you could get a felt Christmas tree that you stick on the wall that comes with felt ornaments they can use to decorate it. For the children that you don’t have to worry about breaking the ornaments, you can have them help you decorate the tree. We also have a small pink tree that goes in Lillian’s room for her to decorate however she pleases!

Holiday Themed Dinner

Most of us make a nice holiday dinner for Christmas. But, do you have the family help you plan the menu, cook, and set the table? Not only would you have tons of help in the kitchen, but you would get to spend time together bonding as a family instead of doing it all by yourself. It may be a bit messier or a little unorthodox if you’re letting the kids pick the menu, but it’ll be memorable for all of you. And like many of these other frugal Christmas activities, you don’t have to spend any extra money!

frugal christmas activities
lore schodts

Frugal Christmas Gift Swap

I’m not talking about your traditional gift swap where you spend hundreds of dollars per child. But, you could opt to give the kids a set dollar amount. And help them pick out one or two gifts to give to their siblings. It’s a great way to spend one-on-one time with each of your kids. And it helps to teach them that it is just as fun to give as it is to receive. Which is a perfect holiday message!

I seriously could go on and on about all of the fun activities you can do with your family for Christmas. But, it was a little tricky to come up with budget-friendly options that were also social distancing friendly. Do you have any other fun frugal activities perfect for the holidays?

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