Celebrating with Kids

17 Days to Christmas: Plan Low-Cost Celebrations With Kids

Celebrating with kids? It doesn't need to cost money.

Putting "celebration" at the center of the season--and taking the focus off of gifts and giving--can be the key to happy holidays that don't break the bank.

Better, when it comes to kids and Christmas, cheap is good! Simple, inexpensive family activities can be as meaningful as pricey Nutcracker tickets--and no need for scratchy dresses or dress-up suits.

Try these no-cost, low-cost ways to celebrate the holiday season with kids:

Low Cost, No Cost Ways to Celebrate With Kids

Invite A Magic Elf To Visit Your Home

19 Days to Christmas! Schedule Family Nights

Everyone loves a bustling, busy holiday season, until there’s too much of a good thing. Result: meltdown!

Consider scheduling regular “Family Nights”--no parties, shopping, performances or activities—to give family members time together during the height of the season.

Focus on quiet activities, like board games or watching holiday videos together, to build family togetherness and make holiday memories!

26 Days to Christmas! Plan Advent Observances

The liturgical season of Advent begins on Sunday, December 3. Will your family observe this time of preparation? Time to plan Advent observances!

For many families, the holidays present a challenge of values. How do you focus on the season's meaning when the celebration provides so many distractions?

Too often, the excitement seems to boil down to a round of gifts and goodies, with little thought to the deeper values underlying the fun.

One way to keep the reason in the season: Advent observances. Whether it's a customs like an Advent wreath, daily Scripture readings, or attendance at worship, plan Advent activities now. Entered in your calendar, they'll help your family keep the focus while enjoying the celebration.

30 Days to Christmas! Schedule Child Care

December blows in with a flurry of holiday invitations. If you're a parent of young children, don't miss out: arrange for child care early. Babysitters' schedules fill up early, too, so book your favorite caregivers soon.

Alternatives to traditional in-home babysitting include swapping child care with another family, or encouraging neighborhood sitters to host "sleep-over"parties for children from several families.

Look into holiday sleepovers, too: many churches, dance studios and youth organiziations host holiday weekend events designed to entertain children and give Mom and Dad an evening out.

60 Days to Christmas! Set Up a Storybook Advent Calendar

Focus holiday traditions around reading, and make memories for a lifetime with the picture book advent calendar tradition!

To establish this cherished holiday tradition, scour the house (and neighborhood yard sales!) to find children's Christmas storybooks; you'll need 24 books to set up your picture book advent calendar. A sustainable, frugal alternative? Reserve 24 books from the local library!

Wrap the books in gift wrap, then stack in a large basket or decorated box.

Beginning on December 1, have children unwrap and read one book each night through Christmas Eve.

The quiet time calms frazzled children, and parents and grandparents enjoy listening to uplifting holiday tales during the season.