10 Fun Free or Frugal ways to enjoy the Festive Season
I was looking through some old note books from a few years ago (I’d kept them because I’d made some lists/ideas of things I wanted to remember or refer to. Amongst these was a section entitled “Christmas Activities for free or cheap” (I love a good list!) I thought I’d share them with you because still today they are how I like to spend my time during the build up to Christmas. I definitely value experiences over things and looking past the madness that can come with present buying, it’s the simple little pleasures that don’t have to cost very much that give the most joy. So here it is 10 Fun, Free or Frugal ways to enjoy the Festive Season.
1. Buy the Christmas TV magazine
I get excited about this every year! It’s always marked into my diary when it comes out and I make a point of snuggling up with a nice hot chocolate in front of the fire and circling the films and TV shows that I want to watch, I even love it if there’s a Christmas film on which I already own. I don’t actually know why I find so much pleasure in this, I think it’s something to do with the fact that everyone could be watching it at the same time…or maybe I’m just weird who knows! Also I buy the cheap guide not the expensive Radio Times which is double the price!
2. Make Christmas Decorations
This is the first year that my oldest boy will be able to help me with this (he’s 3) usually I just make them myself. We’ll be making paper snowflakes to stick on the windows (from white paper) and paperchains and paper hearts (from old books) for hanging on the Christmas tree and string across the fireplace. I’ve also buy these Gingerbread Hearts to hang on the Chistmas Tree as they smell amazing.
3. Make Edible Gifts
I’ll be making biscuits cut into the shape of stars and hearts for my boys to ice to give as gifts to their grandparents and our neighbours, and of course we’ll be making cookies for Father Christmas.
4. Watch Christmas Films
I just love love love a Christmas Film! These are firmly part of my seasonal traditions, I love watching them while I put the tree up, while I’m wrapping presents, making food, having friends over you name the occasion and there will be a Christmas film on in the background. My next blog post will be about my top 10 Christmas films so watch this space!
5. Have Friends over for Festive Nibbles
Rather than going out and spending money in crowded expensive restaurants I invite my friends over for a catch up and festive nibbles. I usually make Brie, cranberry and stuffing bagels and heat up some mulled apple juice or mulled wine. We put the fire on, snuggle under some blankets and of course watch a Christmas film.
6. Winter Walk (or drive) looking at the Christmas Lights
Another think that we (I) love doing is getting wrapped up warm and taking a walk, or drive (depending on how rural you live) to look at all the Christmas lights. I used to do this as a child and I still love to do it now. When we get back we make some hot chocolate and snuggle up next to the fire.
7. Carol Services
Attending a Carol Service is such an amazing way to get you into the festive spirit, I defy you not to have a lump in your throat when you’re listening to the haunting sound of a choir sing “Oh Holy Night”. There’s a fabulous service near me which covers the whole church in candles and a breathtaking choir lead the congregation through carols and readings. Afterwards mulled apple juice and roast chestnuts are served (with juice and biscuits for children) outside the church under fairy lights and beautiful crisp winter skies, it’s magical.
8. Visit Department Store Window Display
There’s a department store in our city centre that puts on a highly anticipated Christmas window display every year, we always make a special trip to see it.
9. Light the Fire and Candles
I love this time of year for slowing down and taking the time to light the fire, light some candles and just relax, read a book, watch a Christmas movie or just chat with family and friends.
10. Decorate the Tree
Obviously the last one has to be to decorate the tree! We’re getting real tree this year for the first time in ages and I’m not sure how that’s going to go down with two little ones running around, we’ll see! We’re going to get the Ikea tree where if you buy a real tree for £25, you get a £20 voucher to spend in January, not sure if anyone’s done this before but it seems like a good deal. Again on goes a Christmas film, we’ll take time to put the decorations on as a family (and then I’ll spend a few hours after the children have gone to bed rearranging everything so it looks nice!)
I just love the smell of a real tree and mixed with the smell of the Gingerbread hearts that I talked about above, it’s just amazing.
So that’s it, my 10 Fun Free or Frugal ways to enjoy the Festive Season.
What free or frugal things do you like to do over the Festive Season?