The Yule Season is a time to be expected full of festivities and merriment with family and friends. It is all too easy in this period to feel like you need to spend a lot to celebrate the Christmas occasions to the fullest. Christmas carols ring everywhere, particularly in malls and shopping centers. There we try to find the best gifts for our moms, kids, and other family members and friends. We are all the more enticed to spend more to enjoy the most fun-filled activities. But it doesn’t have to be like that. There are ways to have fun while being budget-friendly this Yuletide.
I asked fellow bloggers on tips on celebrating the Yule Season without stretching their budget. Here are their recommended fun-filled and budget-friendly activities that you can try for your own family! As a bonus, they are also all very eco-friendly habits to practice yearly.
Winter Walks in Nature Reserve
During the Christmas holidays, we will make sure to get out and about for walks in local countryside, parks or nature reserves. We wrap up warm and go for walks in areas where there is lots of winter wildlife to spot and appreciate. While this could be just the local park we also go for walks around a local nature reserve. The reserve is filled with migratory birds who are wintering away from colder climes. Sometimes we have even had a Christmas walk on the beach!
Whatever location you choose, it’s a good way to get off the sofa and get some exercise. That’s especially a good idea if your family have been eating lots of chocolate and other tasty seasonal treats! It’s also budget-friendly. The only cost is if we go further afield from our local area and use public transport. It’s lots of fun to explore outdoors. And it’s a great way for young children to let off steam outdoors. They can run, climb, walk and spot wildlife. This is especially useful if they have been indoors a lot during the festive Yule season. Once back home we warm up with hot chocolate and crumpets!
by Angela Stapleford from readinginspiration.com
Cycling with kids
One of our favorite things to do is grab our bicycles and head out on a bike path to explore with our kids. Bicycles are a fantastic way to get the whole family out into the fresh air and we never fail to have a good time. The age of your kids, how good they are on their bike and how far you want to go will dictate whether we’d suggest they ride on their own bike or you get a seat or trailer for them.
If they aren’t riding then make sure you wrap them up really warm as the wind-chill factor can make it really cold for them – and the last thing you want is a screaming child wrecking your ride! It’s also great if you plan your route to incorporate a little treat, either on the way or at the halfway point. Whether that’s a nice hot chocolate in a cafe or a special snack that you bring along with you – even a warm drink out of a thermos can be really exciting for kids if it’s not something they do very often.
Cycling is something we all enjoy and want to do – give it a go this Yule season!
By Clare Dewey of Epic Road Rides
Walking and Picking Up Trash
When you’re looking for budget-friendly ways to celebrate the Yule season, what better option is there than taking a nice long walk?!
Walking is a great way to be together as a family as everybody can take part in it (evidently you’ll have to adapt the route to the abilities of your 90-year-old grandma or 3-year-old nephew). Furthermore, you get to enjoy fresh air and beautiful nature – and depending on where you live: maybe even some snow!
To make it a little more special, take your trash picker and a couple of garbage bags with you. It is a great feeling to help our Mother Earth by freeing her of some litter. Make it a competition to see who can collect the most garbage or who can spot the first new piece of trash.
Picking up trash while walking isn’t just a great activity around Christmas time, you can do it any day of the year! Make a habit out of it to bring a bag and you’ll be surprised how much dirt you can collect. Many municipalities will even provide you with free bags for litter, so
you don’t have to spend a dollar on it!
By Barbara Rodrigus of Travel Gear for Kids
Making Salt Dough Ornaments With Kids
Do you want to teach your children the joy of giving, but don’t want the hefty price tag that comes with it? As children grow, they often want to give gifts to many people. There are grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends, and teachers. The list could go on an on and with each name we, as adults, see huge dollar signs! Hand making a gift for the person on your child’s list will allow them to share in the giving season, while also teaching them responsibility with money.
Recently, I made these Santa handprints with a 4-year-old boy. He loved squishing his hand into the salt dough and giving his ornaments to family members. Everyone thought they were adorable! And with little fingers as Santa’s beard, how could they not?
I remember making salt dough ornaments when I was in elementary school. The art classes leading up to the Yule holidays were always the best! We made stars with the smell of cinnamon or different colored dough, but for these ornaments I used the tried and true recipe!
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Salt
1/4 Cup Warm Water (or more as needed)
After you mix the ingredients in a bowl, sprinkle some extra flour onto parchment paper and roll the dough flat. Have your child lightly coat their hand with flour and gently push their hand into the dough. Depending on the size of your child’s hand and what you plan to do with the ornaments, will determine how you cut out the handprint. I like cutting along the outside of the fingerprints to help give the outline for Santa’s beard and hat. Bake your ornaments for about 20 minutes at 250 degrees F or better results, let them dry overnight!
Many times during the holiday season we forget that the thought and time put into a gift is what truly means something. It will always be more important than how much money was spent. So this year, get creative with your little ones. Make a gift that will be treasured by all for years to come and teach children money mindfulness in a fun way!