8 Affordable Ways to Celebrate the Holidays as a Family

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  • There are many festive events and activities to enjoy this holiday season.
  • While many holiday activities have pricey admissions, it's possible to find affordable ways to have fun with your family. 
  • Consider volunteering as a family, having a game night, or baking together.

You don't have to spend a lot of money to have fun with your family this holiday season. 

Celebrating the holidays with family can be exciting. If you're working hard to reach your personal finance goals this winter, you may feel holiday fun is out of your budget. But that's not true at all. You don't have to spend much money to create lasting memories with your loved ones. Here are a few affordable ways to celebrate the holidays as a family. 

1. Free community events

There are likely several free or low-cost community events scheduled in your area at this time of year. These low to no-cost events provide the perfect opportunity to hang out with your favorite people without the pressure of spending a lot of money. Plus, these outings make for an easy way to meet other families in your community. 

Here are some event ideas you may find in your area: 

  • Holiday parades and markets 
  • Caroling outings 
  • Tree lighting and menorah lighting ceremonies 
  • Festive movie and play showings 

2. Get crafty 

For crafty families, why not spend the weekend trying new craft ideas together? Look for craft activities that require minimal ingredients, or choose crafts that you can complete with items that you already have at home to save money. 

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Give these ideas a try: 

  • Create ornaments for the tree 
  • Make homemade holiday cards for family and friends
  • Fold paper snowflakes 
  • Assemble holiday wreaths 

3. Drive around to admire holiday lights and decor 

Many people celebrate the season by displaying lights and decorations outside their homes. You can have free, family fun by driving around to see the lights and decorations in your community. Pack up some to-go hot cocoa to sip in the car to make this activity extra special. 

4. Give back by volunteering

The busy holiday season is the perfect time to help others. You can show your kids the season's true meaning by doing nice things for other people. Your kindness won't go unnoticed and can make a big difference. 

Here are some suggestions you might want to explore: 

  • Visit nursing homes to spend time with elderly folks who could use some extra joy 
  • Send holiday cards to deployed troops 
  • Shop as a family and choose a gift to donate to a toy drive 
  • Bake cookies and drop them off at your local fire, EMS, and police stations 

5. Play in the snow

If your area is already experiencing winter weather, you can take advantage of a free way to celebrate the season. Your kids will like building snowmen, making snow angels, and having snowball fights. This is a great way to create memories while getting outside and being active. 

6. Plan a family game night

When the weather is colder, you may prefer indoor activities. A family game night is an excellent way to spend the evening together without breaking your budget. You likely already own games and puzzles, so you don't need to drain your bank account to have fun. 

7. Bake holiday treats together

There are many seasonal treats to devour at this time of year. Instead of rushing to the bakery, you might consider baking treats together as a family. You can choose simple recipes with few ingredients to keep costs minimal. Another affordable option is to purchase pre-made dough and baking kits to make your experience faster and less messy. 

8. Watch holiday movies at home

You likely subscribe to at least one streaming service. You can enjoy family-friendly movies without going to the movie theater by streaming movies at home. Build a blanket fort, put on comfy pajamas, and have a movie night without spending any extra money. 

You don't have to overspend to have a good time 

If you're following a strict budget this holiday season, don't let your spending limitations get you down. There are many ways to celebrate the season with your loved ones without going overboard. If you're willing to get creative, you can stick to your financial goals and create new traditions as a family. 

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