There is no doubt that Americans spend big during the holiday season. According to an article on Forbes, about 38% of people surveyed expect to spend between $500 and $1,000 on holiday gifts alone this year. Another 24% are prepared to splurge with over $1,000 for gifts. Over 50% of respondents plan to use credit cards or use their savings for the holidays this year.
The holidays don’t have to be expensive. You can have some of the most memorable and amazing holiday moments for little to no cost. Here are some ideas on how to make this holiday season memorable.
1. Make Decorations
Some of the most expensive items purchased for the holidays are decorations, but they don’t have to be. It’s very easy to make decorations, whether they are things to hang up or sit on a shelf. Craft stores have a variety of items you can buy inexpensively to create some adorable decorations with your family. You can also use paper! Anyone remember paper chain garland and snowflakes to hang from the ceiling?
Not only will making your own decorations save you money, but it also gives your family something to do together. Who knows, it could even become a family tradition.
2. Bake Cookies
Another popular thing to do during the holidays is baking cookies. No matter if it’s a pre-made store bought dough, or an old family recipe, baking is a fun way to spend time with family. There are plenty of recipes that are easily accessible through a Google search for all kinds of holiday cookies. Many grocery stores have sugar cookie decorating kits as well!
3. Make Gifts
One of the easiest ways to save money during the holidays is to make gifts. If you’re a crafty person, there is a lot that you can do with this idea. No one knows your family better than you, and you can save a lot of money by crafting your own gifts to give them. Plus, who doesn’t love a heartfelt handmade creation?
If you’re not the craft type, there are plenty other things you can make as gifts. Take some of those cookies you baked and give them as presents! You can also find fun recipes for making your own hot cocoa kit, cookie making kit, etc. Most of that can probably be done with things you already have in your home.
Whether you make your own decorations, or have some stored in your attic, decorating can be a fun family tradition. Make an event of it, inviting family to participate in hanging up lights, or placing yard decorations. This is an easy way to get family involved and let everyone take part in the holiday festivities.
5. Send Holiday Cards
It’s less common to send holiday cards nowadays, but it’s still an inexpensive thing you can do during the holidays. Many people love receiving cards or letters, it lets them know someone was thinking about them. You can easily find a box of cards online or in a store to write a little note and send to family and friends.
There is also the option for family photo cards, where you take a family photo and load it to a site to put in a holiday card template. While that route may not be the cheapest, many sites run deals and discounts during the holidays where you can get a fair amount off the total!
6. Holiday Party
A holiday party can be a great way to celebrate the season without spending big bucks. Having a potluck party can decrease the cost significantly and still allow you to gather with family and friends for the holidays. This is an idea that will take a little more communication and planning if you choose to do it potluck style to make sure everyone participates.
You could also opt out of doing a “dinner” holiday party and have a baking party instead! Let people bring their favorite holiday cookie recipes and share with each other. You can also have a cookie decorating contest. How ever you plan it, a party is a fun way to spend time with family and friends.
7. Watch Holiday Movies
Every year during the holidays, tv channels and streaming services feature holiday themed movies for the whole family. Have a planned night each week or weekend where you make some popcorn, hot chocolate, and gather all the blankets on the couch in front of your favorite holiday movies. This is an easy way to get into the holiday spirit without having to spend extra during the season.
8. Holiday Sweaters or Matching Pajamas
One tradition many people partake in is wearing matching pajamas on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Pajamas are an inexpensive thing you can find in many stores for the whole family. If you’re not a fan of the pajama idea, you could choose to go the route of holiday sweaters! Whether they’re matching, ugly or comfy, this family tradition is sure to be one of the coziest.
9. Drive Around to Look at the Lights
The holiday season brings out the creative and festive nature of many people. If your family isn’t one for decorating yourselves, it’s a great time to appreciate the efforts of others. Many people hang up lights and/or set out yard decorations. There are also some that take it to the next level and bring an incredible amount of showmanship to their decorating.
If you’re not one for driving around aimlessly looking for the incredible light shows near you, there’s another way. Many cities and towns will list popular light attractions in the area. There are also a lot of neighborhood groups and sites you can join that will post where to find the best lights in your area.
10. The Gift of Sharing
One of the best and most fulfilling things you can do during the holidays is give back. Sharing the love and cheer of the holiday with others makes the holiday season better for everyone. Whether you gift old toys to friends or family, or donate gently used toys to charitable organizations, you can contribute to spreading holiday cheer.
If you’re looking for ways to give back but you don’t have old toys to donate, there are plenty of other ways to do so. Many local charities have a toy drive during the holidays for new toys that they take and give to less fortunate children. You can also donate your time and volunteer to help non-profits during this time of year.
Whatever you choose to do, giving back to the community and people around you is a wonderful thing, and could be a great family tradition to start this year.
From all of us at Point Breeze, we wish you a happy and joy filled holiday season!