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The Cheapest Way to Make your Kids Happy on Christmas

Christmas can be the source of wonderful memories for your kids… for years to come.  This doesn’t usually just happen by itself, some planning on your part is required.

It is possible to make the nearly the entire month of December a memorable event that your kids, and family, will remember for years to come, without creating financial ruin.

25 Days of Christmas. In a November 1, 2011 post on Defrump Me.com, “Lauren” explains how she created a Christmas memory that her whole family recalls with loving reminiscence.

Every day, from December 1 through Christmas Day, they did something… from creating crafts to riding a Christmas train or baking treats.  The family had more fun they ever have ever had.  I thought we would explore some ideas that might be fun to do for your own 25 Days of Christmas.  Some are ideas from Lauren at Defrump Me, and others are things that my family has done in the past and/or currently do during Christmas.

  • Family Movie Night. Watch a classic Christmas movie while enjoying Christmas treats.
  • Dollar Store shopping. Take the kids or the whole family to the Dollar Store and buy a bunch of little, cheap gifts for everyone… let the kids buy gifts for their siblings.  It’s always fun to open gifts on Christmas, and with cheap little gifts from the Dollar Store, there can be numerous gifts, all the while being easy on the wallet.
  • Visit a Living Nativity.  Most cities or towns will have a Living Nativity going on somewhere, checkout local papers or churches if you don’t know of one in your area.
  • Make a Gingerbread House.  If you are not a great baker there are Ginger Bread House “kits” that can be bought and are tons of fun for the entire family… this is something our family has done for years.  The kids enjoy eating the Ginger Bread House too!
  • Decorate your Christmas tree.  Make decorating the Christmas tree a family event.  Play Christmas music while sipping hot chocolate.
  • New Year’s Resolutions. This one is from Defrump Me and is a great idea that we are going to do this year.  “If you make New Year’s resolutions, write them on a slip of paper and put them in your stocking. Next year you can see how you did!”
  • Open Presents Early.  Well, not all of them.  Let the kids open one present on Christmas Eve.  But make the present new pajamas! This is a great tradition, and guarantees they will be dressed in cute pajamas for Christmas morning pictures!
  • Go for a Drive. Load up the car or SUV and take a nighttime drive looking for Christmas lights.  In our area there is a neighborhood nearby that has a reputation for going all-out with the Christmas decorations and lights.
  • Cake! Another great idea from Defrump Me… “Bake a birthday cake for Jesus. Our church even has a birthday party for Jesus where we all bring gifts needed at the church and the children open them. It is such a fun tradition!”
  • A Christmas Game. Make it a tradition to purchase a new board game every Christmas and have the whole family play the game Christmas afternoon.
  • Gift Auction.  This sounds like a fun gift exchange that just might become a new tradition at our house.  Some call this a White Elephant gift exchange, it works like this… White elephant gifts are traditionally “presents” that are considered extremely tacky or that do not fit the tastes of the recipient.  But the fun part of this is that everyone selects and wraps their White Elephant gift, then all of the gifts go up for auction. Everyone is given 5 or more $1 bills, then the bidding begins.  The fun part is that you don’t know what you are bidding on. …sounds like a ton of fun!
  • Skating or Sledding.  If you are fortunate enough to live in an area that gets snow in the December, plan a family ice skating or a sledding outing for the entire family.  If you live in the Southern states where snow and ice are non-existent, you will likely be able to find an ice-skating rink in your town or a surrounding city.
  • Family Picture.  If you don’t already, make a tradition out of having your family picture taken.  This doesn’t have to be done at a professional photographer, you can set your digital camera on the counter or even have a friend take your picture with your cell phone.  The key is to get the family together and create a Christmas memory.
  • Santa.  Take the entire family to the mall to sit on Santa’s lap, take pictures of this.  Everyone will get a kick out of seeing dad sitting on Santa’s lap!
  • Wreaths. Go to the places that sell live Christmas trees and ask them if you can have a few of the branches that they cut off during the preparation of trees.  Look on the internet for easy step-by-step guides on making a Christmas wreath.

For each of your ideas write them down on a calendar, fill in everyday from December 1 through Christmas.  Your kids will be able to look at the calendar and see what fun event they will get to do day after day.


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