photo credit: lepiaf.geoWe all long to celebrate the holidays but often times we lack the funds to do the things we see others doing or that we wish we could do, but, there are ways that you can celebrate this wonderful season of the year if you’re strapped for cash.
1. Chop down a tree. Especially if you or a relative has property with trees on it you can get your Christmas tree for free, by simply going out in the woods and chopping it down. It will also be a great learning experience for your children. Make sure you ask permission first.
2. Make your own decorations. From stringing popcorn to creating a paper chain you can create your own holiday decor and will enjoy the process as much as the actual decorating itself. Make memories with your family that will not soon be forgotten.
3. Bake cookies. There are many recipes that are quite inexpensive to make and you’ll enjoy the time spent together as well as the yummy treats to eat afterward.
4. Go Christmas Caroling. There are many places to go in every community such as nursing homes, children’s homes, and homeless shelters that would love a visit from you as well as to hear some holiday tunes. Why not share the joy of Christmas by doing so. Check with the facility beforehand to make sure you’re welcome and following their rules.
5. Serve at a local charity. Whether it’s a soup kitchen, or packing boxes to sending overseas or writing letters to our troops for Christmas, serving others is a great way to celebrate.
6. Make Christmas crafts. There are a ton of sites that have directions for crafts that use things you already have on hand. You can make them just for fun, keep some and give some away as gifts.
7. Attend church. This is the time of year for family and friends. Nothing can be more special and significant than to remember the reason for the season together.
8. Looking at lights. Pile everyone in the car and go looking around town at all the Christmas lights. Don’t forget to check your local paper for other free activities.
9. A candlelight dinner at home. Start a new tradition. Show your family how much fun and different eating by candlelight can be. It’s a great way to celebrate.
10. Dollar store finds. Take a trip to the dollar store giving everyone a set amount of money and allow them to purchase gifts or stocking stuffers for the family members. This is a low cost way to enjoy gift giving even on a small budget.
11. Send E-Christmas cards. Rather than purchasing Christmas cards or photo cards why not send the same type thing online. They are free, and can be sent to anyone with an email address.
12. Hot Cocoa Night. Take one night during the season as an honorary hot cocoa night and make up a batch of steaming hot cocoa to enjoy with your family or maybe even invite the neighbors over for a cup. Buy some extra special cocoa mugs to make it even more special.
13. Build a snowman. That is if there is actually snowfall in your area. This can be a fun way to celebrate this time of year. If you live in a warmer climate think about dressing up one of the kids or even a tree with Frosty’s hat & scarf.
14. Attend local Christmas events. From musicals to tree lighting ceremonies there are usually lots of events associated with this time of year and can be a great way to celebrate on a budget.
15. Shop the sales. If you have a little money to spend why not use it on sale items that will make great gifts. Amazon.com has some great Christmas deals.
16. Make a list of things for which you’re grateful. Teach the family an important lesson of thanksgiving. After all there is nothing more celebratory than enjoying what you have already rather than worrying about what you can get.
17. Sing Christmas carols around the fireplace. Taking some time as a family to sing favorite songss can be a great way to spend time together and to celebrate the season all at once.
18. Take pictures. Nothing says you HAVE to get them developed but dressing up and standing out in the snow or in front of the tree to snap a few shots can be fun plus with today’s digital world you can use them to create digital cards or just save them on your computer for later.
19. Go window shopping. It is fun to ohhh & ahhh over all the gifts that are available even if you can’t buy them. It’s good exercise after all those holiday yummies, too.
20. Build a gingerbread house. Make it during family night or better yet make it a family tradition. It”l be something you can always think of during this time of year and they are fun and inexpensive to create.
21. Fill a penny jar and send the money to your favorite charity. There is nothing like giving to help you feel that you’ve truly celebrated, especially giving to those who truly need it.
22. Visit Santa. You know you’ll find him every where this time of year so make a date to go let your children climb up in his lap and tell them their wishes. If the kids won’t sit on Santa’s lap consider having Santa give them a call – ask a friend for help with this.
23. Write letters to each other. You can use this time of year to write loving letters to each other as your “gifts” helping to show each other how truly special you are.
24. Light the advent candles. During the advent time of year it is a great way to celebrate by lighting the candles each day together.
25. Read the Christmas story together. It is a wonderful way to celebrate and remember what made Christmas possible.
Remember that this season isn’t all about the gifts we get but about the memories we make.
photo credit: pfala
Let’s face it this holiday season is a tight one for many of us. Finding great ways to make that dollar stretch as far as it can is something we are all looking to do. Well you just may want to consider your local Dollar Store. You know the store, the one where there are no price tags, because everything in the store is one dollar.
1. Holiday Lights – small strands but great for small trees
2. Holiday Decorations – you can find yard signs and knick knacks
3. Candles – they come in a wide variety of color and scents
4. Christmas Ornaments
5. Gift Wrap – both rolled and folded
6. Tissue Paper – Holiday colors and designs
7. Ribbons – various colors and designs
8. Bows – traditional and curly
9. Gift Bags – variety of sizes and holiday designs
10. Gift Boxes – variety of sizes and holiday designs
11. Gift Tags
12. Greeting Cards – both boxed and singles
13. Holiday Paper Plates
14. Holiday Napkins
15. Holiday Paper Table Cloths
16. Holiday Glasses
17. Plastic Knives, forks and spoons – available in red and green for those holiday parties
18. Holiday Candy – for stockings and parties
19. Holiday Balloons – both plain and the helium type
20. Stocking Stuffers – tooth brushes, playing cards, hair accessories
21. Small gifts for kids – magic kits, coloring books etc
22. Stuffed animals – nice gift material
23. Craft Supplies – for those holiday projects glitter, felt, glue, pipe cleaners, etc
24. Sodas – 3-liter for those holiday parties
25. Chips and crackers – again for those holiday parties
26. Spices – for that holiday baking
27. Cake mixes – for those last minute cupcakes
28. Cleaning supplies – because you know you will need them
29. Garbage Bags – To dispose of all the gift wrapping after the kids tear it apart
30. Chocolates – cause once in a while mom needs some during the holidays
The Dollar Store can have some very good finds. Yours may carry different items than I can find at mine. Take a look and see what you can find at your Dollar Store. Let them help stretch your holiday dollar this year!