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Ahh, the holidays! A time for spending a bunch of money doing things because everyone else is doing them and buying stuff you don’t need or even want. Well not us! This year we’ve decided to simplify the holiday season and scale back on the spending at the same time. We’ve never really gone too over the top with gifts and activities but this year there will be a difference that our family will notice. So to help lessen the impact this will have on my kids’ enjoyment of the season I’ve put together a list of Low or No Cost Winter Family Fun activities that we can do together to celebrate the season.
Low Cost Family Fun Idea #1-go tobogganing
Actually do this with your kids. Slide down hills, roll around in the snow, really do this with them instead of watching from the side with a cup of hot coffee counting the minutes until it is over. I promise you won’t freeze to death (if you’re smart about it anyway. Don’t go out when there is a frostbite advisory or anything.)
Low Cost Family Fun Idea #2-build a snowman
The biggest snowman your kids have ever seen. Don’t forget the carrot for the nose and some sticks and rocks and other accessories to make your snowman come to life. But not really alive, I don’t advocate dabbling in black magic/animation of inanimate objects
Low Cost Family Fun Idea #3-bake cookies
You know the ones. The full-on, pain in the ass, roll out, cut out, decorate ‘em up, sugar cookies in fun holiday shapes. You can buy cookie cutters for cheap at the thrift store and make a super easy buttery decorator icing to frost them with. Add sprinkles and your kids will love you forever.
Pro Tip: Make a small batch. I’m not lying when I say these are a pain in the ass and the more cookies you have the sooner your kids will lose interest and you’ll be alone decorating a million sugar cookie snowflakes
Low Cost Family Fun Idea #4-snuggle up in front of the fireplace and read your favourite Christmas story
the fireplace channel works too. The important thing is it has the soft glow of a warm fire and that wonderful crackling sound that burning wood makes.
Low Cost Family Fun Idea #5-make special hot chocolate from scratch.
It is as easy as heating some milk (the more fat content the creamier it will be), mixing in some of your favourite chocolate until it melts, and putting a few mini marshmallows on top. Drink while you watch the snow fall.
Low Cost Family Fun Idea #6-Google close up snowflake photography and see how truly beautiful those little falling pieces of frozen water really are
Then pull out some paper and scissors and try to recreate some of them using the old fold and cut method of making snowflakes. Even if you don’t get them exactly right you’ll have some great snowflakes to decorate your windows with when you’re done.
Low Cost Family Fun Idea #7-make Christmas cards
or just write heartfelt messages on some old store-bought ones that you already have on hand. Save on postage and hand deliver to neighbours, friends, family, etc.
Low Cost Family Fun Idea #8-build a gingerbread village
You can buy one of the ready-made kits but we’ve found it easiest (and cheapest) to make them out of graham crackers and leftover icing and sprinkles from the cookie making day.
Low Cost Family Fun Idea #9-Go for a walk around your neighbourhood
This is most magical on an evening after a fresh, heavy snowfall. I am always amazed at how quiet it is.
Low Cost Family Fun Idea #10-take some family photos
Don’t worry about making them perfect, just make sure you are all in them. Set a timer, take them selfie style, or ask a friend to snap some for you. Having photos to look back on helps keep the fun memories fresh in your mind.
That is it for the first instalment the Winter Family Fun Series. If you’re looking for more inexpensive winter activities to do with your family head over here to check out part two and then over here to check out part three. Be sure to subscribe to the blog and like and follow my social media accounts to be kept up to date on all things Secular Homemaker!
See you Soon!
Chantal, the Secular Homemaker