33 Things to do with your Children before Christmas on a Budget

33 Things to do with your kids before Christmas


One of my favorite topic of conversations with my husband is to talk about our childhoods. We were both blessed to have had great childhoods. Even through times of poverty, lost of family members, and life altering changes within our families, we both came out with multitudes of happy, blessed moments and events with our families.


Practically anything can bring up the conversations that will lead us to tell each other about happy memories from our childhood but I would have to say, during the holiday season is when we share our most cherished memories over and over with each other.


Not sure if it’s because we both came from low income families or because life was just simpler then but we had similar family traditions. Because of how much we loved the traditions, we vision our children loving the same activities and to hopefully one day reminisce just like we do. We hope they appreciate how we as parents took more time investment into building family traditions than we did in financial investment


Listed are 33 Things you can do with your family on a budget. As a family of 7, when I say budget, I really do mean budget. Because we love to do as much as we can during the holidays keeping everything cost effective begins to pay a big factor into what we can do.


We do not get to do all 33 every year but there are a few on the list we MUST do every single year (like driving around looking at Christmas lights through neighborhoods with hot chocolate from Starbucks), but each one are ones that we enjoy and have experienced together as a family.


33 Things to do with your Children before Christmas (on a budget).


  1. Bake cookies
  2. Make Gingerbread houses
  3. Go to the snow
  4. Hand write Christmas cards together
  5. Coloring night in Christmas coloring books. (This is my favorite to do on Christmas eve with my kids)
  6. Take pictures in Christmas Pajamas
  7. Invite friends over to binge watch Christmas movies with hot cocoa and popcorn
  8. Go to a Christmas play
  9. Go to a tree farm (take some memorable pictures while you’re at it)
  10. Read the Gospels (Mark, Matthew, Luke, John) together before bed
  11. Visit a family member or friend that you don’t regularly visit
  12. Volunteer at a Church
  13. Donate food to a food bank
  14. Go for a hike
  15. Make s’mores
  16. Take old toys to the thrift store – to make room for new toys
  17. Take outgrown clothes to charity
  18. Put up the Christmas tree
  19. Decorate your kids bedrooms for Christmas together (The dollar store will sometimes have some great pieces to start with and shopping together will get the kids excited)
  20. Craft night – make ornaments, Christmas garland, ect..
  21. Go get a cup of hot cocoa for each of you at Starbucks and drive around neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights
  22. Have the kids help you make tins of Christmas baked goods to your neighbors
  23. Throw a Christmas party with your family  and friends (Ugly Christmas Sweater theme is always so much fun!)
  24. Make a Christmas photo album together that you can display for every Christmas season
  25. Have the kids write their Christmas wish list. (My kids love it when I give them Holiday toy Catalogs from places such as: Target, Wal-mart, and Toys r Us)
  26. Put Christmas lights up together outside. Little ones can do the tree shrubs and low branches
  27. Give each child an allowance to go buy a Christmas present for a sibling
  28. Write a list of what you are grateful for and your favorite memory of the year
  29. Wrap presents together
  30. Have a Christmas scavenger hunt either driving around or inside the home after all the Christmas decorations are up. You can use the décor as items to look for.
  31. Shop for stocking stuffers together at the dollar store
  32. Make a Christmas Trivia game you can play together. (Every year I make a jeopardy theme game with different Christmas topics and categories, it is always a big hit at our Christmas party. I include categories such as “Most famous Christmas movie quotes, Fictional Christmas Characters, Christmas Songs”)
  33. Encourage your kids do a act of service for your neighbors


I hope this lists gives you some great ideas of what to do with your kids before Christmas. Let me know how it goes, which ones you tried.

Do you have any Christmas traditions that is not on the list that we might enjoy?


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  • Reply
    November 30, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    I LOVE this list! Great job compiling it. There’s enough possibilities on there for multiple Christmas seasons.

    • Reply
      [email protected]
      November 30, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      Oh yay!! So glad you liked it and found enough to start with for the season!!

  • Reply
    November 29, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    My family has a lot of the same traditions! Our Christmas tree is full of handmade ornaments. It’s a miss matched Christmas wonder, but I love it, so many precious memories. Thanks for sharing! I’ll be adding a few of these ideas in this year.

    • Reply
      [email protected]
      November 30, 2017 at 8:58 pm

      Your tradition reminds me of a recent post from Joanna Gaines on her Instagram about her favorite tree in their home. A tree that is full of handmade ornaments throughout the years as a family. I just thought it so beautiful!

  • Reply
    Stephanie Malcolm
    November 29, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Timely post in which I needed to hear. Thank you for sharing these great ideas!

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    Katie | Hospitable Homemaker
    November 29, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Love this list!! Such a fun idea 🙂 We are planning a cookie decorating and gingerbread house making night with some friends but I love how simple and sweet many of these ideas are! Especially the coloring one!

    • Reply
      [email protected]
      November 30, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      Yay, to you liking how simple they are. I was nervous that they could be too simple for some readers but truth be told, all on the list are things I LOVE doing every year with my family. The coloring one is probably when I take the most pictures during the season. Christmas Eve morning is always a relaxed morning for us so ahead of time I buy Christmas coloring books from the dollar store and we will color together as a family in our pajamas. You can see my Instagram post from last year of us doing it and I definitely plan to do another one again on Christmas Eve. =)

  • Reply
    November 29, 2017 at 10:49 am

    That’s a great list.

  • Reply
    November 29, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Awesome and fun ideas! Simple things make amazing memories that will last a lifetime. Lots of pictures of each activity would be great as well.

    • Reply
      [email protected]
      November 30, 2017 at 9:04 pm

      Yes, the pictures would make every activity even better. I am horrible at taking pictures but thank goodness my husband never misses a moment.

  • Reply
    Lara d'Entremont
    November 29, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Thank you so much for this list! It’s great to have so many options for things to do as a family during Christmas that don’t cost an arm and a leg 😉

    • Reply
      [email protected]
      November 30, 2017 at 9:07 pm

      Yes! Exactly! I feel like there are so many Christmas activities that is costing so much money these days. We love to do something every weekend during the season with our kids so we have to get creative with affordable outings.

  • Reply
    Timberley @ Living Our Priorities
    November 29, 2017 at 9:30 am

    I love this list. Every year on Christmas eve we wrap new PJ’s for Christmas I’m going to include a coloring book this year thanks for that tip! Sharing with our Living Our Priorities community.

    • Reply
      [email protected]
      November 30, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      I am so glad you are going to add the coloring book. I love doing it with my kids. Coloring is so relaxing to me so its awesome when we all do it together. Thank you for sharing!!

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