Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Create Traditions...by being Together

I am so excited to join up with Crystal at Savvy Moms Save! I technically don't start writing until January, but I just had to share a few things that you can do with your family during this holiday season that are completely free AND they involve being together, which are two of my favorite things!

As a mother, I have realized that it is SO important to start traditions in your family. These traditions will lead to amazing memories for your children. They are not going to remember what gift they received when they were 8, but they will remember that every year, the family would go on walk around the neighborhood to see the Christmas Lights and sip on homemade hot chocolate.

Does a walk around the neighborhood sound like a big deal? Not really, but being deliberate and doing it EVERY year is makes it special and makes it memorable. I wanted to share with you a few ideas and activities you can do that are free or cost very little. Don't worry, I won't be offended if you don't pick anything I wrote about, my main goal is to get you thinking about making traditions with your family...is it working? Hope so.

Ok, here's my Top 15 list:

1. Go for a neighborhood "Christmas Lights" walk and sip on homemade Hot Chocolate (Recipe). Have a contest and rate who has the best decorations.

2. Celebrate Advent together. I made this Advent Calendar Activity Wreath with an activity for each day...It cost me about $3.00 total to make!

3. Have a Christmas cookie baking day. This takes some preparation, but the kids love it!

4. Check out a free Christmas Concert at a local church or community center.

5. Make homemade Christmas cards and bring them to a Senior Home together.

6. This may be cheesy, but you'll remember it...go Christmas Caroling.

7. Join up with a charity and give of your time or money. Operation Christmas Child is a great activity that the children can get involved in. Make sure your children carry the activity all the way through...this creates a meaningful experience and lasting memories of giving.

8. Decorate your tree together and talk about your favorite ornaments or past Christmas memories.

9. If you have snow...play in it...TOGETHER.

10. Go to the theater or museum. Often times, during the holidays, theaters and museums offer free entrance, or even nightly activities.

11. Planetarium anyone? Many towns have planetariums near them, and they put on a great Christmas show. The one in our town is $4 per person, and kids under 3 are free. Not too bad for a fun night out.

12. Go visit santa, and take a family picture. Many times, the Santa's at the mall only charge if you want the picture they take, but they allow you to take your own pictures for free.

13. Have an old Christmas Movie night and watch It's a Wonderful Life, or A Christmas Story...String Popcorn and Cranberries, or just eat popcorn, but snuggle in for a fun filled night TOGETHER.

14. Read a Christmas book or the Christmas Story...TOGETHER.

15. Work TOGETHER to come up with a great Christmas letter to send out with Christmas cards. There are great ideas here.

Am I making my point? It's not really what you do, its what you do TOGETHER that makes the difference. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and I can't wait to join you here every Friday for more Fun Frugal things to do as a family.


starnes family

Great ideas! We love Operation Christmas Child. Merry Christmas and I look forward to your writing!

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