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Discover super fun ways to have a magical Christmas on a budget.

Christmas should bring a lot of joy but for some families, it’s a source of stress. Money is tight and you might be wondering how you are going to pull it all together to give your kids the best Christmas. Because let’s face it there is nothing that brings a mama more joy than to see their kids light up during this time of year. Fortunately, there are many ways to have a magical Christmas on a budget.

For most kids, Christmas is about exchanging presents and eating Christmas goodies. But the true spirit of Christmas means more than that. It’s about giving and being together with family. There are lots of activities that parents and children can do to make the season more meaningful and interesting. And guess what? They don’t have to cost the family much. Just some quality time from mom and dad will do.

Check out these eight ideas for creating a magical Christmas on a budget.
child and stuffed animal idea for christmas on a budget

Staging a Christmas Play at Home

Christmas plays are often held at schools, churches and community centers before and during Christmas. Why not have one at home too? Every family member can have a role in the story about the birth of Christ. It can also be another story made up by kids as long as it has a Christmas theme. If there are not enough actors in the family, get relatives, friends and neighbors involved too. Have some simple home-made costumes for the play. Record it with a camcorder. Everyone will have a blast and enjoy the spirit of Christmas even more!

Starting a Christmas Photo Album

Some families have a Christmas photo album that they add to every year. If your family hasn’t had such an album, start one this year. Take pictures of family members decorating, cleaning, cooking and playing before, during and after Christmas. Digital cameras are easy to use these days. So even kids can play photographers and capture beautiful Christmas moments. When there is a big collection after several years, it will be fun looking back at how the family and kids celebrated Christmas the previous years.

Driving Around Looking at Christmas Lights and Decorations

Even weeks before Christmas, many shops, government buildings, and homes will have put up Christmas lights and decorations to bring more cheer to the festive season. Some shops and homes also take part in Christmas decoration competitions and therefore set up very elaborate decorations and lights. At night, these illuminations are a sight to behold. So put the kids in the car after dinner and drive around the neighborhood, shopping areas and illuminated streets to view them. It’s fun and free!

Reading Christmas Stories

Spend the few evenings before Christmas by reading a different Christmas story each night. Older kids can take turns reading the stories. Just visit the local library to get Christmas-themed books. There are hundreds of them!

Watching Christmas Movies

Parents can rent popular Christmas movies for the family too. Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Miracle on 34th Street, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas Story and A Charlie Brown Christmas are all excellent choices.

Making Own Christmas Cards

Another budget-friendly Christmas idea is to recycle Christmas cards. To make your own cads (and save a little cash) cut out pictures and shapes from them to be pasted on cardstock. Add some colors and voila, you have new Christmas cards. Kids will enjoy the cutting, pasting and coloring activities. They’ll love it more when they give these cards away to friends and schoolmates.

8 Ideas for Creating a Magical Christmas on a Budget

Related: Christmas Tree Safety Tips for New Moms

Decorating Christmas Trees

Get the kids involved in buying and decorating a Christmas tree. A shrub in the garden can be decorated as well. To save money, cut out nice pictures from old Christmas cards and hang them as ornaments on the tree. If there is already a big Christmas tree in the living room, get a small plastic tree to put in the kids’ room or playroom. These days, small fiber optic Christmas trees with multicolored changing lights are available from stores. Kids will simply adore these.

Dressing Up Stuffed Toys

When parents and older siblings are decorating the house for Christmas, there will sure to be bits and strips of leftover ribbons, bows and Christmas fabric that can be used to create scarves and shawls for younger children’s dolls and stuffed toys. Let the kids dress their toys up. These will certainly brighten up the kids’ room or playroom. When it comes to Christmas on a budget idea, this one will be a winner at my house.

mom and daughter enjoying a christmas on a budget activity

Christmas is much more fun and meaningful when parents and kids take part in various activities together. Many of these activities cost very little. Some are even free. Staging a Christmas play, starting a Christmas photo album, viewing Christmas lights and decorations, reading Christmas stories, watching Christmas movies, making your own Christmas cards, decorating Christmas trees and dressing up stuffed toys are just some cheap and fun ideas parents can try.