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Free or Low Cost Family Christmas Activities

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Christmas is a wonderful time full of family, friends, food, events, gifts, and much much more. As much as we love the spirit of the season we can easily get carried away in our spending.  Christmas, and the time leading up to the holiday, can be enjoyed and memories can be made with minimal spending.  Below is a list of Christmas activities and traditions you can do with your family that are FREE or LOW COST.  Many of these I enjoy with my family and find so much enjoyment in these little meaningful experiences.
Thrifty creative living: Free and low cost family Christmas activities and traditions you can do now

Merry Christmas!

FREE or LOW COST Christmas Activities 

Start your own family traditions today!

  • Take and drive and look at Christmas lights.  Let the kids wear PJ’s, bring travel cups of cocoa and popcorn for some extra fun.


  • Decorate the Christmas tree, house and yard for the season as a family.  Or do a little something different and try a Tree-less Christmas like Your Home Only Better did.


  • Christmas Crafts.  I could do several posts with all the amazing Christmas crafts available.  Last week I put together a great list of Winter Activities.  You can also create these fun Felt decorations perfect for families with little ones from AppleGreen Cottage.


  • Bake cookies or treats as a family.  Let your kids go to town decorating some basic sugar cookies.


  • Go caroling.  gather the family and a couple of friends and hit up some neighborhood houses.  This would be such a treat for your neighbors and your family will not forget it.


  • Watch a seasonal movie.  We love Netfilx, if you have it take a look at this list of holiday movies.  If you do not have it this is a great time to do the 30 day free trial.  We also visit our library weekly for a great movie selection.  If it’s regular TV you are looking for check out ABC Family for some great holiday movies.



  • Build a gingerbread house.  I picked up a kit for $9 this year at Michael’s with a coupon.  You can also create your own with graham crackers frosting and candy.  We’ve done this for the last 3 years and love the hour or so it takes to make our creation each year.


  • Volunteer.  What a great way to teach your children about giving this season.  There are ample opportunities to volunteer in your community.  You could ring a bell for the Salvation Army, work at a food pantry, help out a church, etc.  I love this post about volunteering as a family this time of year from The Memoirs of a Mommy


  • Depending on your kid’s age volunteering may not be up your alley this year.  Donating gently used toys and clothes is another great way to teach children about giving and being thankful for what we have.

20 free family christmas activities

  • Handmade cards.  Last year I folded pieces of construction paper for my then 2-year-old.  I wrote Merry Christmas on the front and To and From on the inside.  Little Lady added pictures and stickers along with her best signature.  It took a couple of days to get them all done then we either hand delivered them or slipped them into our family cards.  She was so proud and is looking forward to doing it again this year.


  • Make or decorate ornaments.  A new family ornament each year is a fun tradition, making it yourself can be even more meaningful.  You can do salt dough hand or foot prints.  Decorate a clear glass ornament with special memories or names. These Cinnamon ornaments from Money SAvvy Living that look and smell amazing.  This Rustic Compass Star Ornament from Dandelion Patina is so pretty.


  • Have a special themed meal.  Start a tradition of having breakfast for dinner on Christmas eve, or a make your own pizza lunch.  Something fun and unique just for your family.


  • Read Christmas stories.  Visit your library for a vast collection of Christmas books.  Open you bible and read the original Christmas story as a family.


  • Visit Santa.  In early December we took a family trip to the mall.  We saw santa, admired the Christmas decor and window shopped.  I had a pen and paper and helped Little Lady write her Christmas list.  We did eat dinner there but the entertainment was free.


  • Write a letter to Santa.


  • Free printable Christmas Coloring pages. If you are not up for a full on craft, print a couple of these pages and let your kids go to town.


  • Create an Advent calendar.  We use one with a daily activity and a small treat.


  • Play a game.  Whether it’s a traditional board game or Christmas Bingo spend some fun time together.


  • Wrap gifts together.  Have a wrapping party with plain paper, stamps, washi tape, ribbon and bows.  Let your family show their creative spirit on everyone’s gifts.


What activities do you do as a family during Christmas?  I’d love to hear your holiday traditions.

Find more holiday inspiration on Pinterest.
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Ramona Mills

Wednesday 25th of September 2019

It’s an amazing article designed for all the internet people; they will take benefit from it I am sure


Wednesday 10th of December 2014

I'm always looking to save some money. Thanks for the great ideas, Sarah.

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