budget · giving back · holidays

15 Frugal Traditions to Put You in the Christmas Spirit Today

Christmas season is upon us and in full effect. I feel like every year Christmas seems to come around earlier and earlier. I mean it’s barely even the day after Halloween and there’s already Christmas music playing in the mall. Christmas decorations are already in the stores. I love Christmas, but I’m not a huge fan of “pressure” we sometimes feel to buy gifts for people. I feel like Christmas lost its meaning along the way. Instead of being a scrooge, I find small ways I can do to put myself in the Christmas spirit. Plus, you won’t break the bank doing them!


Play Christmas music

I feel like nothing puts me more in the holiday spirit than listening to Christmas music. My absolute favorite jam is Wham! – Last Christmas. I can listen to that song on repeat. No, seriously.


Decorate the Christmas tree

I love having the Christmas tree up, but I prefer to make it a family tradition and have everyone help. I have a fake tree and I do admit that I miss having a real pine tree in the house, but I’m not a fan of the clean up. I hope to buy a real tree in the future just so my daughter can experience it at least once.


Fill your stockings with inexpensive items

You don’t need a lot of money to fill up the stocking. Cute, thoughtful and inexpensive gifts can be found right at the Dollar Tree or even the dollar section at Target. You can even purchase $5-$10 gift cards for a loved one to their favorite coffee/lunch spot.


Drink hot cocoa with marshmallows

I’m a huge fan of drinking hot chocolate on a cold winter night. Add in some marshmallows and maybe even a small candy cane (if you’re feeling extra fancy).


Make popcorn & watch Christmas themed movies

Making your own popcorn at home is so cheap to do. I love making some and getting cozy on the couch while watching movies. You can catch a movie on tv, on a DVD you already own or getting a Redbox rental. Hands down my favorite Christmas movie of all time is Home Alone! It’s just a classic movie plus it’s hilarious.


Host a holiday themed pajama party

My best friends and I have a tradition with our kids where we will hang out at someone’s house and have the kids wear holidays PJs. Not only are the kids super comfortable, but it’s really cute! I feel like the holidays should be more about spending quality time with the ones you love.


Write a letter to Santa

Sit down with your child and help them write a letter to Santa. You can even mail the letter and get a response back.


Bake cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve

Now that the kids are anticipating Santa to stop by the house, ask them to help bake cookies for him. Search Pinterest for some recipe ideas. I just took a quick glance and the M&M chocolate chip cookies look delicious!


Don’t forget to feed the reindeer

I mean what’s Santa without his reindeer driving the sleigh? The reindeer food is supposed to be sprinkled outside the house to help guide them to you. All you need is some oatmeal and glitter (to make it look sparkly).


Build a snowman

If you’re in the right climate and it has snowed, go outside and build a snowmannnnnnnn (this made me think of the movie Frozen).


Mail out holiday cards to family & friends

I always purchase holiday cards during the after Christmas sales when they are dirt cheap. Preferably 90% cheap. I know how much I love receiving cards from loved ones so I like to return the favor.


Volunteer at a shelter serving meals

I am a huge fan of volunteering! I love trying to make a positive impact in someone’s life, no matter how small. I know that there is a huge need especially during the holidays when some people don’t even have family to spend time with. So going to a shelter to help serve food is the least that I can do during this time.


Donate warm coats, gloves and hats to shelters

Before you head out to the shelter, check to see if you have any warm clothing items to donate. Especially where I’m from it gets really cold in the winter so I know people absolutely need warm coats!


Build a gingerbread house

I haven’t built a gingerbread house since I was a young child in school, but I remember how much I loved building them. I hope to pass along the tradition to my daughter and have us build one together this year.


Read a Christmas story together

If you have any at home, read them together with your children. And if you don’t have any, don’t worry. You can always checkout a book from the local library for free.


Play games by the Christmas tree

Now turn on the Christmas tree lights and hang out with loved ones while playing a board/card game.

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