Christmas Traditions Under Ten Dollars

Here are some last-minute Christmas traditions under ten dollars! There are so many things I want to share that I had to limit myself to the top ten that I love and have enjoyed with my children.Christmas Traditions Under Ten Dollars – Episode 456

Here are some last-minute Christmas traditions under ten dollars! There are so many things I want to share that I had to limit myself to the top ten that I love and have enjoyed with my children. I hope this episode blesses you, and while it is last minute, you can do some of the activities all year long.

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First of all, what is a holiday tradition? My definition is one that your family celebrates year after year. These things can consist of but not be limited to decorating the house, buying or setting up a Christmas tree, baking cookies or bread for the family or to share, taking pictures for Christmas cards, volunteering or visiting those who are in need, purchasing gifts for those in need, singing carols, Christmas get together’s, tree lighting, and local activities and parties, celebrating the days leading up to Christmas with an advent wreath and prayers and so much more.

What is on your Christmas tradition list? That is the first place to start. Look at this list and see what items you want to keep and what needs to go. One year I cut out all of my local friends from my Christmas card list – then next year out of state friends came next. I kept my list to immediate and extended family only. Why? Because writing and sending out cards was a huge stress factor in my life and something had to go. The next year I removed all of the baking for those who were not directly related, such as accountants, hairstylists, and more. It was again, just too much! The only baking I do is for immediate family and those that come for the actual Christmas meal.

Christmas traditions for our family revolve around our faith and this is something I consider very important. We celebrate the countdown to Christmas with an Advent Wreath. We pray using the Scriptures and lighting one candle each week as we count down to Christmas. The children made and decorated a wreath at church one year, and we used it for many, many years. The candles cost less than ten dollars and it is a wonderful celebration. My favorite book is The Season of Light which is available on Christian book’s website.

There are many holiday traditions that we cherish and as life goes on you can be sure they will change through the year, but spending time with family is precious and should be treasured. As a young mom, I wanted to create my own holiday memories with my new husband. (Story on the podcast.)

The first thing is to clarify with your spouse what you want your holiday to look like. That helps alleviate all of the issues that can crop up from misunderstanding. I made a point to look at things in a realistic way realizing you can not make everyone happy all of the time. Another is that I would strive to not allow my feelings to get in the way and to let things roll off that are meant to harm, or perhaps were said in innocence. I’ve been married for over 42 years so this method worked for us.

Ask your children what they want to do to create Christmas memories. You may be surprised at what they say!

Here is a list of Christmas activities under ten dollars:

  1. Advent wreath. The kids can make one easily, there are many directions online and the candles are inexpensive. Lighting a candle each evening brings the focus on the true meaning of Christmas.
  2. Singing Christmas songs around a campfire, invite some friends and those who can play the guitar or piano for up North and indoors.
  3. Baking cookies. This can turn into gift-giving for neighbors or family.
  4. Watching Christmas movies. What are your favorites make a list? Ours consists of: Good King Wensalus, It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, The Star, and my favorite The Nativity.
  5. Secret Santa. In larger families, there is often a gift exchange with one person. You draw the person’s name out of a hat and you make or purchase a gift for that one person. You will receive one gift back as well from someone who draws your name. This can be done on top of gift-giving as well and instead of buying a gift, your job is to gift that person with kindness.
  6. This is free and such a blessing for those in need.
  7. Homemade decorations, the traditional Popcorn strings, paper wreaths and paper chains. Photos of the Children and the date are always fun for Christmas ornament gifts.
  8. Play games. My family turns everything into a competition with dual checkers or chess games and winners are in the playoffs. Or learn a new game.
  9. Make a gingerbread house.
  10. Scavenger hunts. The kids can break up into teams with the younger ones teamed with older kids – use homemade gifts or dollar store gifts, and hide them before using a set of clues (at least ten) to get you to the final destination. This is a super fun game and I often did this with the children to find their birthday gifts.
  11. Use groupon or yelp to find things happening in your local area. Many are free such as the local Christmas tree lighting.
  12. Take a drive with the family viewing neighborhoods that decorate their homes for Christmas. For the longest time one of our close neighbors had five acres they decorated and people parked and walked around their property looking at all of the decorations. They did this in memory of a child who had died and loved Christmas. This was a free activity to the local community.
  13. Outdoor activities like building a fort or a snowman – up north of course!
  14. Grateful Journal – you can begin this on December 1st or even the week leading up to Christmas or after. Each evening you can take turns sharing what you are grateful for as a family and putting this in the journal. It is fun to go back and see what everyone had to say.
  15. Hot chocolate and marshmallows and a good Christmas story. Reading the Scriptures and the Christmas story especially the gospel of Luke.
  16. Sending card to the military – this needs to be done earlier in the year but you can call your local recruiting office to find out information about this… my son will soon be in the Army and I’ll probably do a podcast next year on this topic.
  17. Listen to audiobooks together as a family. A public library gives you access to many audiobooks for free.
  18. Blessings Game. One year I created an activity for my family handing them slips of paper, one for each person in our household. They were to write what they believed was this person’s God given gift. For example, hospitality, generosity, charity, joy etc. and why they thought this. Then, each person added the slip into one envelope that was given to this person on Christmas Day. It did not need to be completed at one time, but over the course of a few days, in plenty of time for Christmas. This was opened first.
  19. A prayer first, then finding baby Jesus or the Christmas pickle. The evening before the child Jesus was hidden in a different part of the home, and the children had to find it on Christmas morning so he could be placed back in his manger scene. The Christmas pickle was a gift from an Aunt. The person who found it first could begin opening a gift first.
  20. Taking turns opening gifts. There is so much time, effort and money poured into purchasing or making gifts that half the time I would miss the kids opening theirs, especially in large families you know what I mean…so we would each take turns opening gifts, and yes – it wasn’t always perfectly even but the kids learned early that some gifts were more costly and that meant less presents in number. I think this was a wonderful way to have a longer but slowed-down Christmas morning.

I wish we were gathered in a large room drinking a hot beverage and sharing Christmas ideas and suggestions for under ten dollars and in that way we could learn from each other! While I love podcasting I do miss visiting with all of you at homeschool conferences as I did in past years.

I pray that you have a wonderful and blessed Christmas, or whatever holiday season you are celebrating and enjoy your family and friends. You are all so special to me and I appreciate you!

 

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