Friday, November 27, 2015

Five Free or Inexpensive Things to Do With Your Children in the Run-Up to Christmas

There's less than a month before Christmas! My children are excited already! The build-up to Christmas is probably more exciting than the real thing but it can be expensive, especially if you do lots of things. Here are five free or inexpensive things you can do with your children to get you all in the Christmas mood!

Bake Christmas Treats

Look for some quick and easy recipes for Christmas treats, such as:

  • Christmas cookies flavoured with spices and/or cranberries.
  • Christmas cupcakes topped with thick white icing that looks like snow!
  • Mince pies (if your children like them, mine don't!).
  • Peppermint creams.
Set aside some time at the weekend to make one or more of these treats. You could then either save them for Christmas or serve them when you have visitors in the run-up to Christmas.

Another idea is to give them as gifts for teachers. A batch of Christmas cookies wrapped in cellophane and finished off with a red ribbon tied into a bow would make a lovely Christmas gift for a teacher.

Watch a Christmas Movie

In the run-up to Christmas, many Christmas movies are shown on TV. Cinemas, theatres and other organizations such as churches also sometimes show Christmas movies at reduced prices. Look in your local newspaper to find out about these special screenings.

Alternatively, you could just snuggle up under a blanket on the sofa and watch a Christmas movie on DVD while munching popcorn.

Attend Free or Inexpensive Local Events

Many towns have a free event at which the Christmas lights are switched on. In my town, this takes place this Sunday. There will also be a funfair, Christmas market and performances from choirs, musicians and dancers throughout the day. I'll take along an amount in cash, so that we're not tempted to spend too much.

Many schools hold Christmas fairs at this time of year. These fairs are fun for the children and can also be good for the adults because you can often find unusual and inexpensive Christmas gifts. As before, I take along a certain amount in cash so that I don't overspend.

Make Christmas Decorations

It's nice to have some new Christmas decorations every year but they can be expensive to buy. Look online and in magazines for instructions on how to make some decorations with your children. Alternatively, just take out all your craft materials and see what your children come up with.

If your children are young or if you want something very easy to make, paper chains are a tried and tested favourite! You could also make snowmen from cotton wool or snowflakes from pipe cleaners.

Go for a Winter Walk

If your children are restless after being cooped up indoors, go for a winter walk whatever the weather. Wrap up warm and wear wellies, hats and gloves. If it's raining, your children will love splashing in puddles. If there's snow on the ground, they will be busy throwing snowballs, and making snow angels and snowmen. Even if it's just cold, the exercise will do them good. Serve warm hot chocolate when you return home.

The run-up to Christmas is a fun time for children. It's also a busy time for adults so don't forget to schedule some quality time with your children. You'll be creating special childhood memories that will last a lifetime.


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