Have a Memorable Christmas on a Budget

What are your favorite Christmas memories? Do you know how to have a memorable Christmas on a budget?

It is possible to have a memorable Christmas, even if your budget is small. My favorite Christmas memories are not because of the gifts I received. The holiday was memorable because I spent it with people I love.

A big pile of gifts doesn’t make Christmas memorable.

Memories come from time spent with loved ones. For this reason, it does not require tons of money. Make fewer plans to reduce stress. As a rule, we make more memories when we are less overwhelmed.

Related Content:

How to Declutter for the Christmas Holiday in 2020

How to Make time for Memories and Traditions

Christmas trees, stars, snowflakes, and ornaments on a white background

Christmas on a Budget at Home

A Delicious Breakfast with Family

Make a delicious breakfast to enjoy as a family. Survey your family to see what they would like to have. Pancakes and muffins are easy to make from ingredients you have on hand.

Scrambled eggs with cheese and diced ham is a satisfying dish. Another option is an egg and sausage casserole.

Take inventory of your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. Plan a menu using ingredients that you already have on hand. As a result, you will save money and keep the budget on track.

Keep the table decorations simple. Pine cones from your yard and ornaments from your collection work well. Add a few winter scented candles for a festive look. If you have fancy dishes, use them. Holiday tableware alone will create a memorable Christmas on a budget because it’s extraordinary!

A Budget Friendly Christmas Lunch

November and December are great months for sales in the grocery store. Baking products always go on sale. Turkey and ham are two meat options that are on sale during these months as well. Similarly, stuffing, potatoes, and canned vegetables will also be a reduced price.

I like buying a big ham, so then I can use the leftovers for additional meals. Consequently, ham can be cubed and used in omelets as an example.

Similarly, ham can be used in scrambled eggs and topped with cheese. A spiral ham comes with a bone in it. The bone is perfect for adding to a pot of pinto beans for added flavor.

On the other hand, mashed potatoes make delicious potato pancakes. Also, mashed potatoes are a great start to potato soup.

Start your shopping early. For example, purchase a few items each time you grocery shop. Buy a little at a time to put less of a strain on the budget and help you have a truly memorable Christmas on a budget.

simple Christmas table setting with plate, flatware, cups, gifts, and candles

At the Movies

Take a poll for favorite Christmas movies and then watch them at home as a family. I have unforgettable memories of doing this with my parents when I was a child.

As a result, we continue the tradition in my own family. There are so many options to choose from that will give you a memorable Christmas on a budget.

Here are just a sample of movies you can watch as a family.

  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • White Christmas
  • A Christmas Carol
  • Elf
  • The Year Without a Santa Claus
  • The Nutcracker
  • Santa Paws
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • The Polar Express
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • I Want a Dog for Christmas Charlie Brown
  • The Santa Clause
  • Home Alone
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol
  • Muppet Family Christmas
  • Meet Me in St. Louis
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • The Christmas Chronicles
  • Noelle

Christmas Activities on a Budget

A drive to look at Christmas lights is a free outing. The cost of gas is your only expense. Looking at lights is still one of my favorite things to do.

Christmas parades are another free activity to enjoy as a family. Many cities have parades for everyone to enjoy.

Deck the halls with your family. Have fun bringing out the decorations and making memories in the process. My family traditionally decorates the day after Thanksgiving.

As soon as the decorations come out, the Christmas music goes on. We did it like this for a few years before I realized it was a tradition that my kids counted on.

Make homemade ornaments. Crafting supplies are relatively inexpensive and can be used for so many different things.

As an example, this blog post from a mommy blogger has excellent ideas for inexpensive Christmas crafts! What a great way to make memories, especially with the ones you love.

Gingerbread Houses the Easy Way

A few years ago, we made gingerbread houses out of graham crackers, frosting, and candy. It was a blast!

Even the teenagers got in on the fun.

Buy the supplies a little at a time during sales to make this inexpensive. I have seen people take pictures and post on Facebook to get people to judge the best one. There are so many ways to make this a memorable family event.

2020 UPDATE on the gingerbread houses.

This year we tried something new and used Pop-Tarts to make our gingerbread houses. The houses turned out great! Pop-Tarts were much easier to work with. Our frosting was a basic white made from Crisco sticks, powdered sugar, and vanilla.

The frosting hardened properly and kept the houses intact.

This is proof once again that having fun together as a family does not have to break the bank!

A Visit with Santa UPDATED for 2020

Visit Santa at Bass Pro Shops! It is one of my favorite places during the holidays. They do a fantastic winter wonderland scene. Santa is always the best, and you receive a FREE 4 x 6 studio-quality photograph of the experience.

First, click the link to schedule your visit online for your Bass Pro Santa pictures. Appointments are available up to 7 days in advance.

Next, get your Bass Pass, which is required to see Santa. It comes with a time slot that allows you to wait in a virtual line while you shop in the store. The passes are limited daily and do go quickly.

The winter wonderland at Bass Pro is arranged for a safe, distant, and clean visit with Santa this year. 2020 has been full of disappointments, but missing out on Santa doesn’t have to be one of them!

Gifting Christmas Gifts on a Budget

Giving gifts can be a stress for the budget. There is no need to spend a lot of money. The point is letting someone know that you care.

I bake during the holidays. Everybody eats, so it is a safe gift. Make sure that you give edible gifts that meet with any dietary restrictions someone may have. That may seem a little intimidating, but it is easier than you might think. 

Decorated sugar cookies are a great gift, especially for children. The ingredients are pantry items you probably have on hand. Christmas trees and snowflakes are simple designs that don’t require fancy decorations. By the same token, so are candy canes.

Homemade cocoa mix in mason jars is another excellent gift idea. Add instructions for how to mix it up with a list of ingredients.

Add marshmallows for an enjoyable addition. I found free gift tag printables on Pinterest that are adorable! They are perfect for labeling your homemade goodies.

A cookie mix in a jar is another excellent idea. Add the dry ingredients, including the chocolate chips or other add-ins that do not require refrigeration.

Next, label them with the baking instructions for what wet ingredients they will need to include. Add a cute gift tag, and you are good to go.

If you need ideas for inexpensive gifts that you can purchase, check out this post from Good Housekeeping.

Christmas packages wrapped up in red and gold paper with text overlay

What the Season is Really About

In conclusion, keep in mind what Christmas commemorates. I celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas. It’s what I focus on with my family. Above all, spending time together and showing others how much they are loved is all part of that. Most importantly, you do not need to spend a ton of money to make memories or show love. I believe a memorable Christmas on a budget is the very best kind of Christmas.

Savvy tips for cooking, organizing and cleaning

Your savvy tip for today is to sell everything you can to increase your Christmas budget. That is to say, re-selling is a great way to get rid of toys your children have outgrown. Go through the garage, toy box, and closets. If you haven’t used it in 6 months, maybe someone else can. I paid for a whole Christmas season by selling on eBay when my husband and I were getting out of debt. You can do it, too!

I share tips for getting out of debt in this post. Be sure and check it out to help in your journey towards debt freedom. How to Give Up Shopping to Become Debt Free

Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for more great savvy tips for your home!