Thinking about having a Christmas with no money puts a damper on the festive spirit. However, there are many creative ways to celebrate the holidays with little to no money. Keep reading to see ways to celebrate for free and Christmas gift ideas.
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Ways To Celebrate Christmas When You’re Broke
It doesn’t take a lot to make children happy. Growing up, there were years I got presents from the dollar store, and there were years I got something from Toys“R”Us. And you know what? I look back and remember enjoying all of those years the same because we celebrated them as a family.
It wasn’t just the presents that I enjoyed. I also loved the traditions we upheld throughout the years. As an adult, I still just appreciate the thoughtfulness of gifts and time spent together instead of the cost.
- Watch Christmas movies: One of the things I remember best about Christmas as a child, are the movies that played back-to-back during the month. That’s why one of the traditions I try to do now is to make snacks and watch movies on Christmas Day as a family.
- Volunteer: Find charitable work to do as a family. Look for organizations or churches in your local area that are giving meals to the homeless and ask how you can help.
- Make your own decorations: The first Christmas when I moved out of my parent’s home, I had a $5 Christmas tree. How? I bought 2 green garlands at the dollar store and a pack of ornaments. I then used the garlands to make a Christmas tree shape on the wall and taped the ornaments on the wall inside it.
You can do something like this or use paper or even leaves collected from outside. As a child, my siblings and I also loved to collect pinecones and paint them for decorations. Paper snowflakes are also really fun to make.
- Go out to view Christmas lights: There are some neighborhoods where everyone goes all-out to put on the best displays. It’s nice to stroll through these places with the family and maybe have a cup of hot cocoa too!
- Play games together: If your family is like mine, you love a healthy dose of competition. What else can bring Christmas cheer and joy like crushing your enemies in Monopoly?
- Decorate cookies or a gingerbread house: Decorating baked goods together is fun and then more fun when you get to eat them. Supplies can be found very inexpensively at a dollar store instead of buying a pricey kit. You can even spice it up and make it a decorating contest.
- Play in the snow: If you’re lucky enough to have a white Christmas, celebrate Christmas for free by enjoying a day in the snow. You can build snowmen, have a snowball fight, etc. If there isn’t any snow, you can enjoy a day at the park, have a water balloon fight, or go to the beach.
- Karaoke Christmas style: Do people still go Christmas caroling? If you’re not brazen enough to try that, you can look up lyric videos on YouTube of your favorite Christmas songs and have karaoke at home. Have fun with the family and create videos to watch in years to come.
Christmas Gifts When You Have No Money
These cheap to free Christmas gift ideas will help you share your love during the holidays without hurting your pockets.
- Coupon book: Create a coupon book of services you can do for your loved one. Maybe they have been complaining about back pain and could use massages from you. Or do they hate washing dishes and would love coupons to trade in for you to do that task?
If you have no money for presents, your husband might also love a coupon book to get you to watch football or something else with him (I know mine would)! As for children, they might enjoy coupon books that let them be the boss to decide what they get to do for the day or their choice of dinner.
- Use your talents: If you can sew, draw, do woodwork, or any other talent, think about what you can make as a gift. Maybe sew a pillow, make a quilt from old clothing, draw a picture, write and/or perform a song, etc.
Even if you think you have no special talents, many easy crafts can be found online. Here are some homemade and thoughtful Christmas gifts that can be made cheaply.
- Start shopping early: Several big sales can be taken advantage of before the holidays. Shop early and put those gifts aside. A good time to shop is also right after Christmas when items are put at a significant discount.
Christmas Money Ideas
If you need money for Christmas, here are some ideas to save up money:
- Christmas Savings Plan: Save a little money throughout the year. Even $5 from each paycheck can be enough to use for gifts during the holidays. Take a look at my free Christmas savings challenge printable.
- Make quick money: Look at different side hustles you’re willing to take on or sell items you don’t need anymore online.
Small Things To Ask For Christmas
If you have little or no money to give your loved ones gifts for Christmas, you’d probably feel guilty if they ask what you would like for Christmas. These are some ideas of what you can ask for. They are low-cost ideas that won’t make you feel as if you’re getting more than you can give in return.
They’re good and cheap gift ideas for family and friends as well.
- Socks: I didn’t like this gift as a child, but I love receiving a nice, warm pair of fuzzy socks now.
- Book: If you’re a reader, nothing is better than a good book that someone else purchased with you in mind.
- Tea/ Coffee Mix
- Coffee Mug
- Photo Album: One of the best gifts I’ve ever received was a photo album. It had a few pictures inside and space left for me to add more.
- Candy/ Baked goods: These are great gifts for satisfying your sweet tooth. It’s even better if the person bakes well.
- Board game: Family games are an inexpensive gift that the whole family can enjoy together.