8 Cheap or Free Family Christmas Traditions to Start this Holiday Season

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Celebrating Christmas and holiday traditions shouldn’t be expensive. There are so many ways that you can have a wonderful Christmas morning and gift exchange without it costing so much. Here are 8 ideas for cheap and free Christmas family traditions that you should try!

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Family Christmas traditions are something that should be considered just as important as exchanging gifts during Christmas. They make the entire Christmas season more memorable and happier for your entire family. 

But if you are on a tight budget, it can be a little difficult to find family Christmas traditions to start that don’t end up taking a lot of your hard-earned money. That doesn’t mean that you cannot find cheap or free family Christmas traditions to start this year with your beloved family. 

In this article, let’s talk about some of the best family Christmas traditions that you can start with your family even when you don’t have a lot of spare cash outside of your usual budget. 

Christmas movie night with homemade snacks. 

Christmas movies and songs Christmas-themed set the mood for this holiday season – watching Christmas movies can become one of the best family Christmas traditions that you can start with your loved ones as well. 

If you don’t want to spend money to go watch movies in a theater and eat outside, you can arrange an amazing movie night at home and make tasty yet simple snacks together as well. That way, you don’t have to spend too much and still do something with your family to make the holiday season more amazing for everyone. 

Read: Best Christmas Movies for Family Movie Night


Make Christmas tree shopping a family activity as well.

Often Christmas tree shopping is something that makes everyone realize that the holiday season is just around the corner and makes them feel excited about it. Thus one of the best family Christmas traditions to start is to go look for a Christmas tree together.

You can decide if you want to get an actual tree or an artificial one based on what your family likes and wants. Either way, you can take the entire family, especially kids, who would love to look through the various options and help you pick the best tree possible. This is one of the best family Christmas traditions to ensure that everyone gets to do something that truly declares the start of this amazing holiday season. 

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Nothing is more exciting than decorating the tree together.

Another highlight of the entire Christmas season is the part when you decorate the Christmas tree that you picked out so carefully. This is one more opportunity for you to find family Christmas traditions to start that don’t cost too much. 

There is no rule that you have to buy expensive decorations – instead you can DIY some with your entire family and then decorate the tree together as well. This way you get to spend more time together as you get the house ready for Christmas and make the atmosphere holiday-appropriate. Kids will also enjoy making handmade decorations for the Christmas tree and putting them up with you. 

Read: DIY Christmas Ornaments to Make at Home


Walk around the neighborhood to see beautiful Christmas lights

Going to see the Christmas lights can be another one of the family Christmas traditions to start where you don’t have to worry about spending too much to make memories with your entire family. 

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Most neighborhoods in the Christmas season set up Christmas lights for the people to come and see. These spots are often free or charge very little and you get to enjoy watching beautiful decorations and lights with your family. If not that, you can just walk around the neighborhood with the family to check how other families have decorated for Christmas. 

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    Cook and enjoy Christmas-themed delicacies together.

    Delicious food is always at the center of any celebration – Christmas food is also one of the important things that get people excited for this season. Cooking Christmas-themed food together can become one of the best family Christmas traditions that you can also start this year. 

    Cooking together can be beneficial for your family in many ways – it allows you to spend more time with your family members and also talk about various things that make everyone feel happier. You also don’t need to spend too much and use whatever is available in the kitchen to cook amazing food for the entire family.

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    Create a unique advent calendar for your family specifically.

    Advent calendars are generally simple to use, allowing kids to have something to look forward to for each day leading towards Christmas. You can find some pretty expensive advent calendars in the market, but maybe instead you should make one for your entire family. 

    Kids will love opening an advent calendar every morning and receiving something good. It’s a nice way to start your mornings together and see the happiness on your child’s face during the holiday season. Plus, advent calendars can also be made at home and can be customized in any way that you want under a certain budget that you have. 


    Write a special letter to Santa and also prepare delicious cookies for him together.

    If your family believes in Santa, it can be nice to pick some family Christmas traditions to start that enable you guys to do something to make the season much more special. Plus it could be another activity that the kids enjoy the most during Christmas. 

    Writing letters to Santa together can help you bond with your children as you talk to them about all the good things they did in the year and what kind of presents they want from Santa. It could be a simple yet fun way to make your children love the Christmas season more and to get yourself another chance to make memories with them. 


    Do good things for society with your loved ones.

    Christmas is the season of happiness and also giving back to the ones who are unfortunate. Doing it with your family will make the experience much more memorable and make you feel a lot prouder as well. 

    Whether it’s volunteering somewhere, or doing charity of some sort, you should always find ways to give back to society and make sure that your loved ones also get to do something good during the holiday season. You as well as the rest of your family will feel extremely grateful when you help out someone in need during the Christmas season. 

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    Finding the best Christmas traditions to start might sound much more difficult when you have a certain budget for getting everything ready. But that doesn’t mean you cannot start traditions that enable you to make Christmas more memorable. 

    In this article, we talked about some of the best family Christmas traditions that you can also start with your family without spending too much of your regular monthly budget. 

    We hope that this article makes it easier for you to find more things to do with your family every Christmas season and enjoy this holiday more than you already do. Let us know if you loved these cheap family Christmas tradition ideas!

    Which one will you be trying out?

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    hi! I'm shannon

    I’m a wife, mom of three, doctor, and blogger! In 2018, I decided to turn my mom blog, into a personal finance blog so others could follow along on our journey to pay off over HALF a MILLION dollars in student loan and practice start up debt. I hope you enjoy following along, and maybe even find some inspiration along the way.