As a money-saving blogger, I’m always on the lookout for ways to save some cash. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to enjoy life too. Christmas can be an incredibly expensive time of year, particularly if you have a large family. There are presents to buy, food to prepare, and of course the odd Christmas night out to fund too.

I love Christmas, and because I don’t want to spend the festive season counting the pennies, I save up throughout the year so that I know I’ve got the funds ready for gifts and all of those other expenses. With three children, Christmas can be an incredibly expensive time of year for us! But one of my favourite things about this time of year is all of the family traditions we have. It’s family time that makes the season so special for me.

It always surprises me just how expensive some Christmas activities can be! I’ve seen numerous Christmas days out that would cost us over £150 for our family. That’s a huge amount of money by anyone’s standards!

Because I like to be a little savvy about how we spend our money, we tend to avoid the over-priced activities and opt for our own more frugal Christmas traditions instead.

Christmas Activities that won’t break the bank

Christmas is a really magical time of year, and for me all of the Christmas traditions are what make it even more special. They’re the things that we look forward to each year, and the things that we look back on with fond memories, and they don’t need to cost the earth either.

1. Midnight Mass

Midnight Mass is a Christmas tradition that dates back hundreds of years. Midnight Mass takes place on Christmas Eve and is a lovely tradition for the whole family to enjoy each year. Some churches hold family services earlier on in the day on Christmas Eve which might suit younger children, whilst others start their services late into the night right up until midnight. 

2. Carolling

Singing Christmas carols as a family is a really lovely way to get yourselves into the festive spirit, and it doesn’t cost a thing! You could join up with a local group to sing carols in your town, visit houses door-to-door to bring a little festive cheer, or just sing together in the comfort of your own home. If you do sing carols in the community, it’s also a lovely way to raise money for charity too.

3. Make your own Christmas decorations

Decorating the house is a wonderful way to signal the start of the Christmas period, and it’s a lovely activity to do with the whole family. Children love to be a part of this, and what better way to get them involved than to get them creating Christmas decorations with you?

DIY Christmas decorations don’t have to look cheap and tatty, they can be beautiful, well-made pieces that are a joy to display year after year. Think plaster of paris tree decorations, homemade wreaths, and pretty paper chains. 

4. Boxing Day walk

That time between Christmas Day and New Year is always a little weird, and feels a little bit like no-man’s land! Why not create your own Boxing Day tradition of a family walk? You’ll burn off some of that Christmas pudding, blow away the cobwebs and spend some quality family time together too.

5. Create a Christmas Scrapbook

I’m a huge fan of scrapbooks at the moment. They are a lovely way to keep hold of precious memories and they’re lovely to look over for years to come.

Creating a scrapbook doesn’t need to cost much money, you don’t really need any special equipment or materials to do it. Just get yourself a notebook, decorate the cover and get started. You can fill your scrapbook with photographs of your Christmas, hand-written memories, cut outs from special Christmas cards, the possibilities are endless.

It’s important to remember that whilst it’s always nice to have the money to enjoy ourselves, money really can’t buy happiness. These frugal Christmas traditions are really cheap to do, but the memories will last a lifetime.

About the Author

Clare is a Mum of 3 living in the suburbs in North West England. Clare has worked from home since 2006, just before her middle child was born. Having been made redundant twice within the space of a year, Clare soon realised that she needed to make sure that her family were as financially independent as possible. That’s why she decided to start taking on some side hustles as well as holding down a job so that no matter what happens, there’s always money coming into the house. Clare started blogging about her money-making late in 2016 when she launched My Money Cottage. On her blog, she shares all the tried and tested ways you can make extra money from home, as well as hints and tips on how to save cash and stretch the family finances too.