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9 Merry Ways To Make Christmas Fun on a Budget

Imgorthand / Getty Images
Imgorthand / Getty Images

You don’t need tons of money or expensive goods to get into the holiday spirit! Some of the best ways to celebrate the season only require some creativity and imagination. Whether you decide to stay in or go out, participating in these fun activities can make spirits merry and bright for everyone in your household.

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Here’s how to enjoy Christmas on a budget.

Check Out Festive Light Displays

Take a walk through your neighborhood or drive around other neighborhoods that set up holiday decorations and light shows. This will allow you to see all the unique, creative ways people decorate during the Christmas season, and just for the cost of gas.

See What’s Happening in Your Community

Is your town holding a tree lighting ceremony? Will there be local holiday plays, concerts or parades where members of the community are encouraged to attend? Are there any opportunities to meet Santa for free? Check in with your local Chamber of Commerce to see which low-cost holiday events and activities may be happening in your area.

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Check In With Your Library

Your local library might be hosting themed holiday events such as paint nights, storytime and crafts and puppet shows. Visit your library online to see which upcoming holiday events you may be able to participate in, or call to learn more.

Create a Hot Chocolate Bar

Why buy hot chocolate when you can DIY it at home? Set up a hot cocoa bar for everyone in your family to enjoy at home. If you’re celebrating Christmas on a budget, head to the dollar store for cocoa mix.

Whip up an easy, festive batch of snacks, like s’mores, holiday Chex or Rice Krispy treats to go with your drinks. You can also invite friends over for a hot chocolate night instead of going out for drinks together.

Let Kids Pick a DIY Holiday Activity

Households with children may set aside an evening or weekend to enjoy DIYing holiday crafts. Here are a few budget-friendly ideas to get you started:

  • Paper snowflakes. All you need are pieces of white paper, safety scissors to cut the snowflakes and tape to hang them up around the home afterward for decoration.

  • Homemade holiday cards. Another easy and fun project where you can use your existing art supplies to make holiday cards. Encourage kids to make cards for members of the family, their classmates and anyone else they’d like to share the spirit of the season with.

  • Homemade ornaments. Get creative with these! You can use a variety of supplies, including pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, Styrofoam cutouts and even pine cones to make and decorate homemade ornaments for the Christmas tree.

  • Letters to Santa. Let kids write letters to Santa and put them in an envelope addressed to the North Pole. Parents will make sure Kris Kringle gets it.

Decorate Holiday Cookies

Decorating holiday cookies, whether they’re regular cookies or gingerbread men, is an easy and fun way to celebrate Christmas on a budget. Many dollar stores sell cookie mix and decorations, like sprinkles and frosting.

Pick up everything you need at the dollar store and head home. Turn on some holiday music, bake the cookies and work together to make them festive. You can eat the cookies afterwards or wrap them up to deliver to a friend or neighbor as a gift.

Host a Holiday Movie Marathon

Spend the weekend with some snacks, a pizza and everyone’s favorite holiday movies or TV specials. You can stream these movies or check out any titles you don’t have for free at the local library. Encourage everyone to wear their favorite holiday-themed ensemble, like an ugly Christmas sweater, holiday-themed leggings or cozy socks and slippers for maximum comfort.

Indulge in a Snow Day

If you live in an area where it snows, bundle up and enjoy the snow day with everyone in your family! Build snowmen, have a snowball fight and go sledding if you’re close enough to a hill.

Those who live near affordable ice rinks, or who don’t have snow days in their area, can take everyone over to the rink to enjoy some ice skating.


The holiday season is a time to reflect on our blessings and express gratitude. Give back to those in need. Offer to volunteer your time helping out at a local soup kitchen, church or religious center, or reach out to a local organization to see where they might need volunteers.

It costs nothing to lend a hand and gives everyone the chance to spread holiday cheer all around.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 9 Merry Ways To Make Christmas Fun on a Budget