Christmas Family Activities Without Spending More Money; Part 2
In Part 1 of Christmas Family Activities Without Spending More Money, I covered different activities, such as watching some choice Christmas movies, a fun sing-along, and exchanging gifts that have more sentimental value by far than monetary value. In Part 2, we'll share some additional activities that can even be great to invite friends for, in addition to family.
Christmas Church Choir Performance
A wonderful experience for bonding can be a Christmas Choir performance. I’m a fan of any variety, whether they are traditional, or modern Christmas songs. But of course, one of my favorites is Handles Messiah. Often free to attend, a local church choir performances can be a wonderful way to feel the Christmas spirit in the beauty of music.
Outdoor Nativity Scenes
Many churches, or maybe even someone in your neighborhood, will have an outdoor nativity scene with lights and decorations, and accompanied by Christmas music. This is, of course, one of my all-time favorite holiday family activities that doesn’t cost any money. If you live where it’s cold, just make sure everyone is bundled up nice and warm, and perhaps bring along a thermos with hot chocolate for everyone. For me, I just like to take in the nativity scene, while listening to music and contemplating the beautify of the birth of Christ, and imagine to myself what might be going through the minds of the shepherds and the wise men, and of course Marry and Joseph.
Family Christmas Potluck
This can either be your annual family Christmas dinner, or a separate get together with extended family and friends. One where everyone gets to pitch in one or two of their favorite holiday dishes, or simply what you each can afford, to help ease the burden on everyone. This also helps make for more time spent together visiting, rather than hours and hours in the kitchen cooking.
You can even ask some someone to put together a seasonal holiday drink, instead of bringing a food dish. Seasonal drinks are also one of the little things that make the Christmas season special. Ask a family member who is really into music to put together a holiday playlist for the potluck. These days, all you need is a Smartphone or a computer, to play a custom play list of your favorite Christmas tunes.
Since the season is about giving and expressing gratitude, before everyone digs in, I like to express gratitude for the many blessings in my life, for my family and loved ones there with me and the many different ways they make my life brighter and better, and of course for the reason for the season, the birth of the baby Jesus.
There are many ways to share the Christmas spirit, and help others who may be less fortunate to have a happy holiday. There are many families who can’t afford even a single gift for their children this Christmas, families who even struggle to put a meal on the table. With a world as abundant as ours, it can be hard to believe that 1 in 6 people in America face hunger. (source: DoSomething.org)
There are many programs, local and national, that you can find with a simple Google search that are in need of donations of food, time, or even monetary. One of my favorite programs is the Sub For Santa program, which is a local program to help families in need provide a better Christmas for their children. When you are organizing your family potluck, why not also ask everyone to bring an item to contribute to your local Sub For Santa.
There are many other wonderful service opportunities that you can due in your community to help make others holidays bright. Doing service together as a family is one of the best family activities, I think any family can do. Not only do you get to help others feel the Christmas spirit, but you’ll strengthen your family bonds and your gratitude for each other in a way few other things can. Here are a few more ideas.
- Visiting your local nursing home and reading Christmas stories or singing Christmas songs with the elderly residents.
- Know any single parents, or someone who’s spouse may be overseas in the armed forces, invite them and their kids to join in on some of your own family activities.
- Help prepare or serve meals at a local soup kitchen, or participate with a local agency that does outreach to the homeless. You can help by putting together meals that will be taken to them, doing a drive for blankets, for warm clothing and winter coats.
- Do you have a skill or talent that others could benefit from? You don’t need to be a professional either. Offering service of your time and talents to others can make someone’s gloomy season a brighter one. Some ideas are things like, handy man skills, doing a manicure, baking some Christmas goodies, making a warming holiday drink, changing someone’s oil, helping decorate a yard with Christmas lights of someone less able to, offering rides to local choir performances…and many more I’m sure you can think of yourself.
Though it’s a bit cliché, giving of your time and talents truly is one of the best gifts you can give anyone. Not only does this make a person feel thought of, they also feel the love that the Christmas season is all about. They feel God's love, and in turn want to share it with others.
So now you have a number of activities that you and you family can do without spending much money. I hope this helps to enhance your Christmas season. We would also love to hear your activity ideas. Maybe you even have some standing annual family activity traditions that you can share. Paste them below in the comments to share with us and our community.