Fun and Frugal Christmas Traditions

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Christmas is such a joyful time of year. A time that we eagerly anticipate after we box away the last of the Christmas decorations. It is a time of year that involves lots of planning and fun. It can be a stressful time of year and one that involves financial hardships, if planning and care is not taken.

Fun, Frugal and Meaningful Christmas Traditions

If is also a time to help teach our children that Christmas is not all about us and the gifts we are going to receive. It is a wonderful time to help develop caring, servant hearts in our children, as well as to help us refocus on the true meaning.
Here are several ways that we like to celebrate that don’t involve much money that also allows us to help others:
Celebrate Advent ~ Celebrate this wondrous time of year using the Jesse Tree. This has become a favorite tradition in our home. You can download the devotionals and ornaments for free here.
Christmas Lights ~ Driving through the neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights or to the local Festival of Lights. We usually take hot chocolate and some snacks. Depending on where you live, you could walk around the neighborhood.
Christmas Book Basket ~ I have a supply of Christmas books that I have collected through the years and added to each year when the kids were younger. I wrap up 25 books each year (the same ones each year) and put them in a basket or lay out one each day leading up to Christmas. If you don’t have many books, plan early to check out some from the Library.
Countdown to Christmas ~ with a paper chain or a Christmas Tree drawn on construction paper. Put a round sticker (different colors to look like ornaments) as you count down to Christmas. It will look like a decorated Christmas tree when Christmas morning arrives.
Bake Cookies~ Make it a family fun event to bake and decorate sugar cookies. Then box up some of the cookies and deliver them to neighbors. Sing Christmas carols for added cheer!
Make Your Own Wrapping Paper ~ Use white tissue paper, brown paper bags, butcher paper or brown paper. Let your kids stamp, color, draw pictures or paint the wrapping paper. Gifts will be enjoyed even more.
A Kiss A Day ~ Wrap 25 Hershey Kisses in cellophane and tie a ribbon between each kiss. Every day, untie one ribbon and enjoy a kiss ~ chocolate and a real one!
Campout by the Tree ~ Campout by the Christmas tree in your sleeping bags or pull out mattresses. Enjoy hot chocolate and popcorn while you watch Christmas movies or play games.
Christmas Caroling ~ Enjoy going through the neigborhood singing Christmas carols. After you finish, enjoy hot chocolate and cookies.
Christmas Puzzle ~ Find a puzzle that your family would enjoy and start putting it together after Thanksgiving…a little every day. Try to finish by Christmas or New Years.
Movie Night ~ Spend an evening in your pjs cuddling by the fire watching some of your favorite Christmas movies. The old ones are my favorite.
Live Nativity ~ One of our favorite activities is to attend a live nativity. This is a drive thru nativity. There are also walk thru nativities. This brings the Christmas story to life.
Attend a Christmas Candlelight Service ~This is always a special service that we enjoy. If your church doesn’t have one, find a local one that you can attend.
Teach Your Children to Give ~ Consider adopting a needy family or donating to a charity. One of my favorites is Operation Christmas Child. To find out more info or to build a shoebox online, go here.
Read the Christmas Story ~ Read it from the Bible, as well as from a storybook for younger children. Let your children reenact and tell the story.
Christmas Journal ~ Every year, record your Christmas activities and traditions in a special journal. Include special praises and events from the year. This is a special book to look through each Christmas.
Christmas Scrapbook ~ I keep a Christmas Album and put a special family picture of our family by the tree. I include pictures from our activities and family members. Special gifts and Christmas cards can be added to this keepsake.
Develop a Servant’s Heart ~ Consider helping someone prepare for Christmas. Maybe it is an elderly neighbor or fellow church member. Perhaps offer to help them clean their house and yard. Help them decorate for Christmas. Help them go Christmas shopping and wrap. This would be especially helpful for anyone who does not have family close and would bring them some cheer.
Gift Cards ~ Purchase $5 or $10 gift cards from fast food restaurants to keep with you. When you see someone in need, hand them a gift card and tell them that God loves them. Or buy a meal and give it to them. Make a difference in someone’s life.
Make a Coupon Book ~This is a fun and frugal way to give gifts. Write or draw coupons for others. Everyone in the family can do this. Hugs, back rubs, movie night with mom, special date are just a few ideas.
Learn About Christmas Around the World ~ Read about the way other countries celebrate Christmas. Consider adding a new tradition that you enjoyed learning about.
Christmas School ~ If you home school, consider taking a week or two (or December) to do learning activities focused around Christmas. Read and memorize the Christmas story. Find the places discussed on the map, study Christmas traditions around the world. Incorporate what is learned for a Christmas themed unit.

What are your favorite ways to celebrate Christmas?

This post is part of the 25 Frugal Days of Christmas and was written by Mary from The Encouraging Home.

Mary Clendenin is a stay at home wife and homeschooling mom to two sons, farm girl, blogger, and mompreneur. She is an Essential Oil Educator , Certified T-Tapp Trainer and is the author of Chefs: a Beginner’s Guide to Using Essential Oils in the Kitchen.
She blogs at The Encouraging Home where she offers encouragement and resources for faith, family, home, homeschooling, fitness and health, as well as helping other moms learn how to do business from home. Visit her on The Encouraging Home for daily encouragement and tips. You can find her on Twitter and Pinterest too.

25 Frugal Days of Christmas at Frugal Homeschool Family

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Are you looking for more frugal Christmas ideas? Check out the other posts in this series:

Day 1: Create Your Own Photo Christmas Cards with free templates and tutorial
Day 2: Making Fun and Affordable Christmas Gifts
Day 3: How to Have a $5 Christmas
Day 4: Cookies in a Jar: a Frugal Christmas Recipe Round up with FREE printable gift tags
Day 5: Snowflake Card Craft for Kids
Day 6: DIY Snowman Ornament
Day 7: Printable Handmade with Love Gift Tags
Day 8: Frugal Family Traditions
Day 9: Bringing the 12 Days of Christmas to Life for your Spouse
Day 10: A Frugal Family Christmas Tradition
Day11: Frugal Gift Idea: DIY Christmas Crackers
Day 12: 6 Ways to Repurpose Kids Art for Christmas
Day 13: Repurposed, Reused, Free and Frugal Christmas Decor
Day 14: Frugal Gift Idea: Favorite Things Memory Box
Day 15: Frugal Family Christmas Tradition Ideas
Day 16: Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas
Day 17: Frugal Christmas Ornament for Kids
Day 18: Christmas Lights Drive {with printable awards}
Day 19: Frugal Gift Idea: Food!
Day 20: 4 DIY Christmas Crafts/Decorations
Day 21: Homemade Peppermint Scented Playdough
Day 22: 5 Therapeutic Gifts for Special Needs Kids
Day 23: Crystal Snowflake Ornament Tutorial
Day 24: Easy Ideas for a Simply Joyful Christmas

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