Christmas can be, without a doubt, the most expensive time of the year for many of us. With presents, food, decorations, gatherings and parties all to be accounted for, it’s no wonder that YouGov estimates the average Brit spends £1,116 on making this time of year extra-special.
However, there are plenty of Christmas traditions you can start this year that won’t break the budget – and will have you feeling festive in no time.
Whether you’re a crafter, a foodie or a film-buff, at least one of these will help get you feeling a little more like Mr Bublé in no time.
Take in the Sights
Personally, my favourite festive pastime is preparing a big old flask of hot chocolate or soup, wrapping up warm and taking a walk around the village to look at all the Christmas lights – both on the High Street, and displayed on people’s houses.
There’s something so cosy about wrapping up warm and taking in the sights, before returning home to snuggle up on the sofa.
To keep the kids engaged, consider turning it into a Bingo game, or a race to see who can spot particular decorations first – bonus points to the person who spots three different Rudolph light installations first!
Channel your inner Prue Leith, and consider baking this year rather than buying your favourite festive treats (I’m not including a tub of Celebrations in this list – you always need a tub of Celebrations on the go throughout December!)
Whether it’s gingerbread houses, mince pies or fudge, you can either go-it solo or get the kids involved to keep you all stocked up on sweet treats, without breaking the bank.
This is an especially great way to keep the little ones entertained for an afternoon or two!
Could you look at creating Christmas cards for your nearest and dearest this year, or maybe assembling the pinecones you find on your woodland walks into centrepieces for your Christmas dinner table? What about making Christmas tree decorations, or paper chains to put up around the house?
You can pick up various crafting basics from the likes of The Works, Poundland and Amazon, so if you’re on a budget, these should be your first port of call (along with seeing what you can pick up in the great outdoors!)
When the nights are drawing in, there’s nothing better than getting cosy in your living room with the Christmas tree lights on, a box of Celebrations (or your baking masterpieces) between you all, under the fluffiest blanket you own, watching the Christmas classics.
Why not make a month of it with film nights throughout December? You could even theme them – one could be Premiere night, where you dress up like the A-lister we all know you are, one could be a strict PJs-only policy, and one could be based around dressing up as your favourite festive character (bagsy Elf!)
Whether it’s cards, Cranium or Monopoly, dig out the games you know and love from around your house, and host family games nights.
One of the best things about Christmas is spending quality time with family and friends, desperately trying to understand what your teammate is trying to describe in a game of charades, or draw in a game of Pictionary, so why not spread it out throughout the month?
One thing’s for sure – this Christmas is going to be an odd one. But just because it’s a little different to normal, it doesn’t mean you can’t still make it special for you and your loved ones – without breaking the budget!
Guest Post: Steph is a UK Money Blogger over at FundingHerFreedom.com. After trying her hand at pretty much every side hustle going, she was able to fund adventures to 26 countries (and counting), save for a house deposit (she’s not yet taken the plunge to actually buy!) and build a healthy Emergency Fund. For more money saving and money making tips whilst she strives for financial freedom, head over to the blog or find her on Instagram (@FundingHerFreedom) and Twitter (@FundingHerFree).