15 Ways Your Family Can Save Money This Holiday Season

by Amber B.

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The holiday season always seems to leave us with less money and more stress. If you try these tips, your family just might end the year with more money in the bank, a spirit of gratitude, and learn to enjoy the beauty of the season without spending any money.

  1. Drive around and look at Christmas lights together. It's a perfect way to slow down and connect as a family. You'll "ooh and ahh" over the best houses and get ideas for next year!
  2. Make homemade hot chocolate. It's a great family tradition in the making. Gather simple ingredients from your cupboards and create a warm, cozy winter treat to sip slowly in front of the fire.
  3. Sing Christmas carols at nursing homes or to your neighbors. A beautiful way to get your family into the true spirit of the season is giving. Hearts will be light and merry after a Christmas sing-along.
  4. Make only handmade gifts from recycled or repurposed materials. You can find a lot of DIY handmade Christmas gift ideas online. Turn an old t-shirt into a hand-woven rug or create a picture frame from found objects. Handmade gifts are the most heartfelt gifts.
  5. Pop popcorn and string it to create a natural Christmas tree decoration. Making decorations for the tree is a wonderful way to spend time together, and it's a memory that won't soon be forgotten.
  6. Hang Christmas lights as a family. Gather everything you need and work together to design and create a masterpiece with twinkle lights!
  7. Sing Christmas songs around the piano or around the tree. Sing around the tree and share some special moments this Christmas season.
  8. Use an advent calendar to countdown to Christmas Day. These are about $1, and if you buy one this year, be sure to buy several more for the future! You can easily make your own advent calendar as a family craft project to anticipate Christmas.
  9. Donate items to a shelter or volunteer to work in a soup kitchen. This is a valuable way to teach your children the meaning of Christmas. They'll discover the priceless gifts of gratitude, contentment, empathy, and compassion.
  10. Related: Helping the Less Fortunate at Christmas

  11. Build a nativity. Use things you already have in your home and recycled materials like scraps of wood, twigs and sticks, pipe cleaners, tree bark, or toilet paper rolls. Challenge your children to come up with clever ways to create the nativity scene of baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, The Three Wise Men, the Angel, and the animals. You can re-use it each year.
  12. Make handmade Christmas cards. Get out the glue sticks, glitter, crayons, markers, pens, pencils, and paper. You can create personalized handmade cards this year that your friends and family will cherish forever. Forgo the mad-rush to get those photo cards and give your Christmas cards a personal, meaningful touch this year.
  13. Is your family heading for debt trouble? Many families are and don't even know it. This simple checklist can help you determine if you are and what you can do to avoid it.

  14. Make your own wrapping paper. To go with your handmade gifts this year, you can make some handmade gift wrapping paper! You can use computer paper adorned with your drawings, newspaper with glitter stencils, and brown kraft paper with pieces of evergreen tree branches from your yard for a natural look, brown kraft paper lunch bags, or come up with your own ideas!
  15. Create a Christmas centerpiece. Gather evergreen tree branches and other natural leaves and items from outdoors to adorn your dining table. You can add special touches with little knick-knacks and other things your family loves to make it meaningful. Add candles to make it special and sacred.
  16. Make a homemade Christmas wreath. You'll need to find a grapevine or another tree that bends easily for this DIY project. Once you have found your branches, start swirling them into a large circle shape, going around and around until you get the thickness and size you desire. Then use a bit of wire to secure it. Add evergreen branches, berries, and a red bow to the wreath. You can add anything else you want. Hang it on your front door or gate to greet passersby.
  17. Chop down and decorate your own tree. This is a beautiful way to cherish the Christmas season. It saves money, and it creates a memorable family tradition. You can decorate your tree with handmade ornaments and add to it each year.

I hope you have discovered some meaningful ways to save money this Christmas season and that you have been inspired to create some beautiful memories with your family.

Reviewed October 2017

Take the Next Step:

  • Implement these sure-fire tips to stick to your holiday budget.
  • From food to family to fun, save on every aspect of your holiday with The TDS Frugal Holiday Guide.
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