If you are a parent or carer to little ones, you should know that they are easily pleased and don’t know (yet) about the pleasures that monetary gifts can bring. That is of course if you haven’t spoilt them already. Keep them in their innocence while you take the time to be purposeful in planning family memories that will last a lifetime for them.
A major part of parenting is to be purposeful in what you do for your children. Bear in mind that money is only a means to some temporary ‘stuff’ but building bonds of years don’t have to cost any money at all. Look out for the beaming faces, happy smiles and hugs you will receive during these special sessions when time seems to stand still.
These sessions will teach your children from early on how to handle money and be confident in doing so.
How easy is it to build memories of happy times at Christmas? Well, here are some ideas shared with us by money bloggers who encourage us to spend only when absolutely necessary. Do check out their blogs for more wonderful tips and tricks that are all, in some way or another, money related.
Being together outside the home
According to Elle, of Elfeelgoodsvintage We have a few Christmas traditions that don’t cost a lot, one is going into the centre of town (Belfast) visiting the Christmas Market with a £5 budget each and seeing what we can get. We then go on a free tour of the City Hall before stopping off for hot chocolate from loyalty cards I have saved up over the year.
The folk at Tuppeny’s Fireplace also love having family time out too. They say, “We go for a family walk around the streets in the evening when it is dark and everyone’s Christmas lights are on. You can’t see your own outside Christmas lights and decorations so it’s lovely to have a walk, get fresh air and see a range of beautiful lights. It gives everyone a really Christmassy feel, especially if you go on Christmas Eve.
Don’t forget to stop and take lots of photographs on your phone that you can treasure through the years as the little ones grow up.
Fiona, of Savvy in Somerset, always has amazing ideas for family time on a frugal budget. She likes going to their town’s annual Christmas lights switch on – it’s a lovely festive atmosphere, there’s late night window shopping, street food, live music and squibbing (a type of fireworks show) to experience.
Cooking and crafting together
Sometimes the weather isn’t too good, or someone is unwell, or just because. There are lots of things you can do with little ones that will stir their creative juices, watch them express themselves being silly, asking questions, and learning lots too. So what ideas do our money bloggers have in mind?
Well, Mum on a Budget says, “One of my favourite (cheap) Christmas traditions is to spend an afternoon with the kids building and decorating a gingerbread house – you don’t have to be an amazing baker as most supermarkets sell a ready-made kit for £4-£5. Best of all, you can eat it in the end!
I can just imagine this becoming a family tradition over the years and you get to see their creative cooking skills get better and better. What if they turn out to be really great at this and even make a side hustle out of it? The possibilities are really endless.
Hayley of Miss Many Pennies also likes baking with the littles at home. One of my favourites is putting on some Christmas music and baking cheese straws and mince pies together. Even the little one can join in rolling the pastry and it’s good fun that doesn’t cost much at all.
Helen, of Budgeting is a Challenge like the baking at home idea too. Hers has a twist. “You could arrange a Christmas cookie swap. So at home get the little ones involved in making some Christmas cookies, then invite some friends who have also made some. Then you could watch a Christmas film together while eating the cookies and drinking homemade hot chocolate or juice”.
Really sounds yummy to me, and so much fun too.
My favourite idea of them all is to make memories with your family but with the aim of being neighbourly at the same time. This idea came from Catherine of The Money Panel who suggests baking cookies and delivering them to the neighbours on Christmas Eve. What a great way for your little ones to see you creating memories for others at Christmas time.
The Money Whisperer thinks aloud, “I must be mad, but we decorate wrapping paper (just for family members). The kids do the potato printing and then once it dries we get the glitter and glitter glue out.” Such creativity with sheets of paper, a potato, and some glitter and glue. Saving the planet too, all part of living the frugal lifestyle we love.
Can you spot the Christmas caterpillars and windmills? lol
Get the family together for some wicked fun!
Vanessa, author of Precious Earnings sounds like her favourite frugal family activity is like ours! We would fit nicely into each others’ family! We all enjoy spending time together sharing wild laughs. What we do as a tradition is to have a big family gathering with the extended family and play games like pass the parcel, Uno and have dance-offs and sing-offs. We do it every year and it is the best part of Christmas for Us. The kids love seeing everyone and having so much fun for FREE. We should visit each other’s family one Christmas!
Faith, of Much More With Less, has a great idea to build good memories over the years. Here’s what she does with her family: We were given a lovely pop up book of “The Night Before Christmas”, so every Christmas Eve we watch a festive DVD as a family, then read the book as a bedtime story. I can imagine this being such a fond memory that lasts and lasts.
Eileen has fond family memories and shares some of what she used to do: “We used to have a fun advent calendar filled with lots of Christmas activities. Things like bake Christmas cookies, play Christmas bingo, drive around all the houses with huge light displays, put up the tree etc. All the tasks were designed to help us spend fun family time each day and the kids loved it.” Check her out at Your Money Sorted.
My favourite in this category comes from Cass, the lady behind the Frugal Family We always used to have a family sleepover in the living room around the Christmas tree when ours were younger. They’re too cool for that now but we have some great memories.
Before I thank the ladies for their contributions, I must add my ideas for spending time with your little ones at Christmastime, because all they really want for Christmas is you.
Kahoot is a clever game you can do at home
With more and more younger kids getting or using electronic devices such as mobile phones and tablets, Kahoot is something fun to do. It will see the whole family engaged in a competitive quiz that is broadcast live in real time! We usually just set up the Apple TV to the TV and then everyone connects their mobile device. All you then need to do is to choose the quiz that is suitable for everyone. You can choose fun trivia, Geography, pop songs, Christmas theme questions, or anything that suits your fancy.
We like this one because even when the kids have their friends over, they can play too. Be careful though, because if they choose a category that you are rubbish at, then the jokes will be on you, lol.
Have a wreath making competition with whatever you already have at home!
Set the date and time, giving all family members enough time to collect what they need to make their wreaths. The wreaths can then be used to decorate the rooms in the house or be given to friends. Everyone can be as creative as they want. To judge the wreaths, each family member can cast their secret vote in a box. You decide on the prize for the winner.
- Using baubles and an old wire hanger, you can create this
- Using old newspaper, cord, candles and baubles, you can create this
- Make a paper wreath using card, pretty ribbons, buttons etc. Glitter would be handy too.
I am sure you have enough ideas from this to make yourself and your family some happy memories to last for year after year. They will pass it on and that way prolong your legacy for generations to come.
Thanks to the UK Money Bloggers who shared their frugal and fun ideas for this post.