Christmas is when much of the extra money is spent in an American household's budget -- but you don't have to join the overspending party! Starting a frugal Christmas tradition can be just as fun as indulging in something extremely expensive every year, and when it comes down to it, it's the priceless things that really build memories and foster closeness within your family. Try one of these ideas, or let them inspire you to make up your own new family tradition.
Read the Christmas story or a Christmas book. The Christmas story in the Bible is often read around Christmas time, or on Christmas day, and you can start reading this every year with your family as a way to remember part of the origins of the holiday. Or, find a heartwarming Christmas-themed book (a children's book is probably the best way to go, to keep things short and sweet) and check it out from the library on a yearly basis, with a different family member performing it each year.
Get up for a Christmas lights drive before opening presents. Though up until Christmas itself, people often turn their Christmas decorations off at night, on Christmas Eve, they may leave them on just to be festive. If your neighborhood has a reputation for being full of beautiful Christmas lights, awaken your family even earlier than you would to open presents and go on a warm, sleepy drive together. Bring along some hot chocolate in spillproof cups for the children, and some sweet coffee drinks for the adults!
Go caroling. This is a classic Christmas tradition that costs nothing! Unless absolutely no one in your family can sing, you can choose someone to lead and carry your group's songs. Pick out a few favorites, allowing each person to choose at least one for your repertoire, and then head out into the cold and find a place to stand and belt out your seasonal joy.
Watch something traditional together. Every year, ABC puts on a rivalry professional basketball matchup on TV -- if your family loves sports, you could sit down and watch that game together. Or, you could view a Christmas movie every evening, after all the presents have been opened and the fire is burning low. Maybe you prefer TV shows in your house; most that run through the fall feature a Christmas episode -- you could pick a favorite and rewatch it every year!
If you don't celebrate Christmas in your household, come up with another themed holiday tradition, and choose a night during the holiday times that you can reenact it with your family.
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