Five Budget-Friendly Things to Do with Your Family This Holiday Season

Five Budget-Friendly Things to Do with Your Family This Holiday Season
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

The holidays are a great time to get together with your friends and family, but many let the stress of their finances cloud the experience. If you’re currently in debt, you know the added stress that comes with seeing your balances increase around this time of year. If you’re not sure where to start but know it’s time to make a change, try using this snowball calculator to create a plan for how you’ll lower your overall debt quickly (perhaps even by New Year’s!) while also celebrating the holidays with the ones you love most.

With a little creative planning, the holidays can be affordable for the whole family. Here are five fun activities you can do with your family to keep the holiday spirit alive in a budget-friendly way.

1. Make DIY presents together

The holidays are all about being together with your loved ones, so what better way to celebrate than by getting together to make each other gifts? Group DIY gifts are popular for those with a limited budget or trying to pay off their debt. You can create individual gifts based on everyone’s strengths and receive one-of-a-kind presents that are thoughtful and creative.

As an example, if you’re a great knitter and your cousin is a brilliant jewelry designer, exchange a custom-made knitted sweater for a pair of sparkly earrings that have your favorite gemstone. You can also go in together to create a group gift for a family member like a scrapbook full of memories for grandparents.

2. Have a white elephant gift exchange

White elephant gift exchanges are great for large families or groups of friends that want to ensure everyone gets a gift without anyone blowing their budget. The exchange works like this:

  1. Each participant brings one wrapped gift and adds it to the gift pile.
  2. Participants will draw numbers to see who gets to pick a gift first, or names are drawn from a hat to create the order.
  3. The first player chooses a gift from the pile and unwraps it.
  4. Players 2 and beyond can either use their turn to pick a new gift from the pile or steal another player’s gift.
  5. If your gift was stolen, you can either steal someone else’s or choose a new gift from the stack.

White elephant gift exchanges are lots of fun when everyone brings funny, unique, or thoughtful gifts to the party. The exchange is more about the gameplay than the actual gifts, but you’ll be surprised to see how great of a time everyone has, no matter the gift they get.

3. Spend time together serving your community

No matter our situation, there’s someone less fortunate than us out there, so it’s important to show gratitude and help those in need. Spend a day with your family, helping out your community as a way to give back and celebrate the season. Soup kitchens, animal shelters, and toy drives for underprivileged kids always need a helping hand.

4. Check out the holiday lights around your neighborhood

If you need a fun activity for the evening, hop in your car and check out your neighbors’ holiday light displays. Many take pride in creating elaborate displays that are just waiting to be seen by you, so don’t be shy, and don’t forget the hot cocoa for the ride!

5. Have a holiday movie night

Nothing’s better than getting together with the family and cozying up with blankets to watch classic holiday movies. Break out the cookies and childhood favorites the whole family loves to watch.

The bottom line

If you can keep your spending under control during the holiday season, you'll be able to focus on what's important: spending quality time with your family and enjoying this special season. If you’re unsure where to start, use any of these five ideas to keep the festivities frugal and fun.



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