25 Days of Cheap Christmas Activities

October 28, 2016
The holidays shouldn't be the most expensive time of the year. Here are 25 days of cheap Christmas activities for you to enjoy!
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I don’t like expensive holidays.

Its seems as if every year I get cheaper (more frugal) and I make every attempt to make things as simple as possible.

I get it, though. The holidays are supposed to be a happy time of year.

However, there’s nothing about stringing lights all around the house, going shopping every day, and attending holiday parties every weekend that makes me happy.

The things that make me happy are decorating (the ugliest) holiday cookies with my kids. Or staying up late and watching This Christmas (for the 2,347th time) with my husband. Oh, and pulling out my fuzzy socks.

Now that type of stuff makes me happy and I know I’m not alone either. There are some of you who want to hide your credit cards, lock up your keys, order all your gifts online and keep life as simple as possible.

Of course, you want to have a little fun with the kiddos and enjoy a little holiday camaraderie with your family too. Therefore, I wanted to come up with 25 extremely simple and cheap Christmas activities that you can do this year.

No pressure, though. Do as much as you feel like you’re up to because I plan to do the same. Let’s get started!


The holidays shouldn't be the most expensive time of the year. Here are 25 days of cheap Christmas activities for you to enjoy!


25 Days of Cheap Christmas Activities


1. Watch a Christmas movie. Of course, I’ll be watching This Christmas as usual and probably The Best Man Holiday.

2. Go look at Christmas lights at the zoo or park. Here in Columbia we load up and go to our local park that goes all out with the yearly light event. The cost is usually under $17.00.

3. Watch Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer. And of course, don’t forget to read it to your little ones too. (BTW, I believe I now enjoy this more than my daughter does, lol!)

4. Instead of a holiday party, call up your friends and volunteer as a group at your local shelter or soup kitchen. You can do this with your family too.

5. Invite your friends over for a hot cocoa bar. Make a large batch of hot chocolate and create a bar with all the fixings. If you want to save extra, have your friends bring a fixin like marshmallows, chocolate chips, candy canes, vodka:)

6. Make a special ornament with the kids. One year my daughter made a special plate for daddy’s cookies.

7. Make a birthday cake for Jesus. I mean, it’s only fair considering that December 25th is his birthday! Or, you can even have a birthday party for Jesus (my daughter’s old preschool did this and she LOVED it!)

8. Read the Christmas story.

9. Buy some blank books and let your child create their own Christmas story.

10. Make candy sleighs for your kid’s friends.

11. Give a secret Santa gift to someone.

12. Go to a tree lighting ceremony.

13. Make Christmas cards (or have your six year old make them – they like stuff like that.)

14. Have a family game night.

15. Decorate the Christmas tree together.

16. Build a Gingerbread house together or purchase mini Gingerbreads and have a family competition.

17. Turn on your Pandora Christmas station and convince your kids that you’re having a holiday cleaning party. Clean until your heart’s content or until they figure out that you just bamboozled them:)

18. Make S’mores and watch cartoons.

19. Clean out your pantry, purchase canned goods and donate them to a food drive.

20. Unwrap a new book to read each night (check out your local thrift store selection).

21. Make holiday rice krispy treats.

22. My favorite – popcorn and pizza night. We grab the popcorn, favorite pizza, and crash on the living room floor in front of the television (a rare treat for us).

23. Put the kids to bed early and have a holiday date night with your spouse. You can prepare a special meal, dessert, and uncork a bottle of wine. We will definitely be working this onto the calendar.

24. Have a Christmas tree picnic.

25. Lazy day in. This involves pajamas, Netflix, and a whole bunch of chillin.


Grab a free copy of this list of 25 Cheap Christmas Activities (no email needed, just click the photo!)


25 days of cheap Christmas activities


I don’t know about you, but I’m surely in the mood for the holidays now. Hopefully, some of these ideas will make its way into your holiday plans this year. The best part of all, it won’t cost you a bunch of money to do it either. Cheers to cheap Christmas activities! Enjoy!


Okay, I just have to ask since you already know mine — what’s your favorite Christmas movie? Which of these Christmas activities do you think you’ll add to your holiday calendar?



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Latoya Scott
Latoya Scott is a personal finance writer and blogger for hire who loves talking about budgets and money. Her mission is to help women create better finances so they can live a carefree lifestyle.

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  • Emily @ JohnJaneDoe October 28, 2016 at 10:21 am

    My Nana always made a Jesus birthday cake for Christmas. I loved the idea, i probably should try it this year.

    We like to drive around and look at lights, bake cookies and Christmas bread, Christmas music and watching the Yule Log video. Hubby loves a Christmas Carol, Little Bit and I love Arthur Christmas. Jon’s also picked up free tickets to the Nutcracker because he donates blood regularly. And we always get a kick out of church activities: the children’s pageant, the greening of the church after the last Sunday service before Christmas and the Christmas Eve service.
    Emily @ JohnJaneDoe recently posted…Would I Buy It Now? How Stockholders Should Treat Merger NewsMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott October 28, 2016 at 4:28 pm

      I think I will too, Emily! It really does sound fun and its great way for the kids to remember the reason for the season!

  • Kemkem October 28, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Hands down.. Auntie Mame! My poor friends had to suffer through that movie yearly. That and Pollyanna :-). Those two always make me feel good. The last few years however, there has been a new addition “Trading Places”. Cracks me up all the time.
    Kemkem recently posted…Warm Greetings From Rainy But Wonderful RomeMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott October 28, 2016 at 4:28 pm

      I’ll have to check out these!

  • Carlana October 28, 2016 at 10:46 am

    This will work for even the most frugal folks! This year I’m not giving any gifts. The whole season is way too commercialised.

  • Rachel @ The Latte Budget October 28, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Christmas is the only time my family gets together during the year, so we enjoy just chilling and hanging out! We opted not to do gifts last year, and I think that is our new tradition. We still decorate, cook, watch movies, etc. With all of us having to travel home for Christmas, we found it to be difficult and expensive, so we quit giving gifts.
    Rachel @ The Latte Budget recently posted…10 Ways to Stop Impulse ShoppingMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott October 28, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      It really does add up.

  • Amanda @centsiblyrich October 28, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    I love the idea of the hot cocoa bar! I do believe it’s going to be added to our activities this year. We have a very simple Christmas, with very few gifts, but as much time together as we can. My husband always takes the week of Christmas off and we do a little staycation, which I love. We watch movies, play games, light a fire, and eat tons of great food. It’s one of my favorite times with my family!
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    • Latoya Scott October 28, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      Yeah, that does sound fun and super yummy. We will have to make sure we keep that on our list too.

  • Stacie October 28, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    I can’t believe we’re already talking about Christmas! I know it’s coming soon, my son keeps reminding me lol.
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  • Sarah October 28, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Board games are for life, and not just for Christmas! We’re having a board game night tomorrow, as it happens 🙂

    I much prefer low key activities, and really fancy having a go at homemade ginger bread this year!

    Favourite Christmas movies for me have to be Elf and the Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart as scrooge.

    • Latoya Scott October 30, 2016 at 1:54 am

      That gingerbread sounds yummy!

  • Ashli @ The Million Dollar Mama October 28, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Ahhh! This post is making me excited for Christmas – it’s my baby son’s first Christmas this year 🙂 My absolute favorite Christmas movie is Home Alone 🙂 We did a hot chocolate bar at my work Christmas party last year – so much fun!
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    • Latoya Scott October 30, 2016 at 1:53 am

      Hey, I forgot all about Home Alone! I’m going to have to introduce that to my daughter this year!

  • Ashli @ The Million Dollar Mama October 28, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Not sure why this posted twice >.<
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  • Nae October 30, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    I’m all about these low key activities. Just hanging with family is more than enough for me. My favorite Christmas movie is National Lampoon’s, just because it reminds me of my childhood 😉

  • Mimi Green October 30, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    I love all of these ideas. We watch the Christmas movies for sure. Home Alone is a must for us. We usually sponsor a kid for Christmas, I want the kids to remember others aren’t as fortunate as they are. I select children their ages so they can buy the kids things they actually want.

    I’m all about fuzzy socks, long robes and warm beverages on the sofa. I watch This Christmas all year long but I want it even more during the holiday season. I can’t wait to see Almost Christmas in the theaters.
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    • Latoya Scott October 30, 2016 at 10:31 pm

      I need to do this with my kids this year. Since we are only getting each of them 4 gifts, we have more than enough capacity to bless some other child this holiday. Thanks for sharing, Mimi!

  • Sheena October 31, 2016 at 7:00 am

    We order all gifts online. Amazon Prime is our jam. I do like going to a couple of stores because I enjoy seeing the Christmas displays, hearing the music, and seeing everyone in a good mood.

    Fuzzy socks and Christmas movies are my jam. We always go view light displays. I hear your on stringing lights around the house. I like to put the suction cup light up decor in the windows instead of dealing with lights. Easy peasy. Last year I made ornaments and candy sleighs. They were so much fun.

    • Latoya Scott October 31, 2016 at 11:40 am

      I want to do candy sleighs too. Maybe I will do them for my daughter’s class so I can be the cool mom, lol!

  • Kiwi October 31, 2016 at 7:15 am

    I pinned this. So many cute ideas for the upcoming holiday I would love to get a cake for Jesus and I was actually thinking of doing a hot cocoa bar for my pjs and pancakes christmas eve family party.
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    • Latoya Scott October 31, 2016 at 11:40 am

      Ooohh, PJ’s and pancake party sounds so fun!!! Great idea!

  • T. Espinoza October 31, 2016 at 11:27 am

    I love a good free activity! I get super excited to share things like the old school claymation movies with my kids. I will definitely add some of your other suggestions to my list. Great post!
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    • Latoya Scott October 31, 2016 at 11:39 am

      Thanks and have fun!

  • Kendra October 31, 2016 at 11:53 am

    These are great things to celebrate the whole month with. I need to focus more on creating traditions.

    • Latoya Scott October 31, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      Yes, the traditions are what are most memorable. I can vaguely only recall a few Christmas gifts from childhood.

  • Jonna October 31, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Our family doesn’t celebrate Christmas but I definitely like some of these ideas simply for family fun and winter times activities, like the hot cocoa bar. I’ve done one before for a party and it was a huge hit! The idea of volunteering is great as well.

  • Tanya October 31, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    I love Christmas and I love these ideas. Especially, the hot cocoa bar. That is so cool!

  • Kirstin Fuller October 31, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    These are great ideas. I especially like #9 and #23 is a fabulous idea. I’d add to exchange a small gift and make it an annual tradition you share with your spouse/significant other. 🙂
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  • Anitra | The Mom on the Move November 1, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Making new Christmas stories in blanks books this year will be an activity we add. We will also try ice skating since we got to do so during our Justice Brand Ambassador trip to Columbus. Come on cooler weather!

    • Latoya Scott November 1, 2016 at 10:35 pm

      Yes, I’m anxious to see what my daughter will come up with. They have been making stories at school all year.

  • Chonce November 1, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    Love this! We’ll definitely be doing a lot of these things this year. I love to take time off work and just relax at home with family around the holidays. The ornament idea sounds fun!
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    • Latoya Scott November 1, 2016 at 10:34 pm

      Me too, Chonce! I can’t wait to check some of these off our list this year!

  • Little House November 1, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    I love all of these ideas, especially the hot cocoa bar idea – totally new to me, but I love hot cocoa! I enjoy making holiday cookies for co-workers (or helping my husband do that. 😉 ) And, I love how excited my students get around this time of year, but it does make it more difficult to get them to focus.

    • Latoya Scott November 2, 2016 at 10:35 pm

      Oooh, I can only imagine!

  • CJ November 3, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    I’ve become increasingly obsessed with lights over the year and went to three Christmas tree lighting ceremonies in DFW last year lol. However, I LOVE the idea of a hot cocoa bar and I’m going to bring that up to my campus to see if we can do that for our teachers. I’m definitely sharing this because as per usual, solid suggestions. Thanks!

    • Latoya Scott November 3, 2016 at 10:08 pm

      We’ve got our hot cocoa bar celebrations already on the schedule I’m so looking forward to it. Thanks for sharing, CJ:)