Everyone knows the holidays can be expensive. There are gifts to buy, parties to attend, and the extra expenses add up.
Christmas time is also a season where lots of frugal activities can become long standing traditions and beautiful memories. My friends and I were discussing our own Christmas traditions and favorite memories recently and discovered that many were frugal activities.
Here are my favorite frugal Christmas traditions and memories. I plan to do all of these this year and can’t wait!
Decorating The Christmas Tree
If you use an artificial Christmas tree like I do there is an upfront cost but no annual maintenance or replacement fees. You can use the same ornaments and decorations year after year, which makes this a very frugal activity. It’s also fun since you can make a night of it and decorate while you watch Christmas movies or listen to Christmas music.
If you want new Christmas ornaments you can keep things frugal buy making them at home or purchasing a bulk pack of cheaper ornaments instead of expensive specialty ornaments.
Making Christmas Cookies & Treats
Making cookies can be a very frugal endeavor, especially if you are making basic sugar cookies. It’s always one of my favorite Christmas activities because it’s so much fun to do as a group. You can make up dough and bring out the extras to decorate and then go to town.
It’s a great way to spend time with friends or family and you have a lovely product afterward… except for the inevitable funny looking one. Make it super fun by using cute holiday cookie cutters to make Christmas theme shaped cookies.
Making Sausage Balls
Another foodie tradition I’ve always enjoyed in my family is making sausage balls for breakfast. It’s one of those foods that is super tasty but we only make during the holiday season. That makes it a special memory!
You can find awesome recipes for sausage balls online (we have a perfected family favorite), or use any type of frugal breakfast food to make your Christmas tradition. Anything you can spend time making and eating together is a great activity to build a tradition upon.
Viewing Christmas Lights
These days you can visit a ton of different businesses like your local zoo to view Christmas lights. In my family we had a more frugal tradition where we would simply drive around the best neighborhoods for Christmas lights while listening to Christmas music. When we found an overly decorated house brightening the night with their Christmas lights we would stop to ooh and aah for a while.
It was incredibly fun as a child and I still love driving around to see Christmas lights every year. Sure it will cost you some gas, but overall it’s a frugal tradition. There are no entry fees and it’s a great way to explore your city and spend time with your family.
Making Homemade Christmas Gifts
As a crafty girl who loves to DIY things, I’ve always enjoyed making Christmas presents. It’s often my favorite part of the holidays because it’s so much more fun to make something for someone than to buy it. It’s also often a lot cheaper! Many of the gifts I will make will cost me very little other than time.
Making and giving homemade Christmas gifts isn’t for everyone so make sure it’s something that will be appreciated before investing the time to make it. If you need some ideas for homemade gifts you can make yourself, check out the book Homemade Christmas Gifts by Toni Anderson and find awesome ideas on Pinterest.
Enjoying A Frugal Christmas Holiday
These are just a few of the frugal Christmas traditions I’ve enjoyed during my life. They are all the things I can’t wait to do during the Christmas season, rather than dreading the mall and long shopping lines.
My family has also instituted new traditions in recent years since we’ve gotten older. For example, to keep costs down like playing Dirty Santa rather than buying everyone a gift. There are lots of ways to make your Christmas gatherings more frugal while still having fun.