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Making Holiday Memories on a Budget

Festive Frugality! 

The holiday season is here! By now you have prepared and planned your holiday budget (if you haven’t then check out our previous holiday posts here and here to guide you through the process). It is time to enjoy the holidays and make some memories. 

The good news? 

Making memories doesn’t have to break the bank! Some of the most meaningful moments, and the ones that you will remember for years to come, can be created without spending a dime.

people sitting around holiday decorated table with chicken and other dishes

Here are 10 fun and cost-free ways to celebrate the holidays:

Host a Holiday/Winter Get Together

Hosting a gathering can be work but when you host you can ask others to pitch in with food, games, and more to lighten your load (and reduce your spending). Try one of these hosting events to create space to make those special holiday moments.

1) Host a Potluck: Invite friends and family for a potluck where each guest brings a dish to share. You can enjoy a delicious feast without bearing the entire cost, all while making memories.

2) Host a Neighborhood Gathering: Invite your neighbors for a hot chocolate night in your driveway. Get cozy and enjoy good conversation.

3) Host a Game Night: Invite friends and family for a game night featuring board games, card games, or even charades. Game nights are a fun and cost-free way to spend quality time together with people of all ages.

4) Holiday Movie Night: Have a cozy movie night at home, complete with your favorite holiday classics. For even more fun, end the night by sleeping under the Christmas tree. Invite some friends or family over to make it a party!

house decorated with Christmas lights and decor

Go on a Holiday/Winter Outing

The winter months can feel long with so little daylight to enjoy. All the more reason to get out and enjoy the outdoors, even if it’s from inside your car. 

5) Holiday Lights Tour: Take a walk or drive through your neighborhood to look at the holiday lights and decorations. It’s a simple yet joyful way to embrace the festive spirit.

6) Take a Nature Walk: Enjoy the beauty of the season by going for a nature walk in a local park or hiking trail. The natural world can provide a  peaceful backdrop for celebrating the holidays.

7) Singing and Caroling: Organize a singing or caroling session in your neighborhood. Singing holiday songs can bring joy to both the participants and those who hear the music.

volunteers working in the cooler at Birch Community Services

Create New Holiday Traditions

Having a couple of go-to family traditions that you can do on a limited budget will allow you to be consistent with being able to do them every year regardless of how lean that year may be for your family. Try one of these budget-friendly options to do year after year!

8) Homemade Decorations: Making your own holiday decorations is simple! Create paper snowflakes, ornaments, or wreaths from materials you already have at home.

9) Volunteer Your Time: Give back to your community by volunteering at local charities or organizations. Helping those in need can be a fulfilling way to celebrate the spirit of giving during the holidays. Not sure where to volunteer? We are always happy to take more volunteers at BCS! Or you can check with one of the many agencies we partner with each week.

10) Read Holiday Stories: Gather up your holiday books and have a reading night. Share holiday stories and memories to create a warm and intimate atmosphere.

gingerbread dough with shapes cut out

By getting creative and focusing on the meaningful aspects of the holidays, you can celebrate without spending a lot of money. These ideas emphasize togetherness, generosity, and the joy of the season, making your holiday celebrations rich in memories rather than expense.

Happy Holidays!

Beka Dorr

Beka Dorr

Beka manages financial literacy communications with families. She helps plan and execute financial classes, meetings, and follows up on family progress, as well as answering general questions about Financial Literacy at Birch.