16 Christmas traditions which cost little or nothing #12DaysofThriftmas

CHEAP christmas traditions

1. Christmas Eve movie
One of my most simple joys is to plot out the best Christmas movies available on TV, then bunker down under some blankets with some home popped popcorn. Blissful.

2. Writing a letter to Father Christmas
This sweet tradition goes back years and can be as simple or elaborate as you like. You can even get a reply from the big man himself when you send a stamped addressed envelope to Royal Mail here.

3. Attending Midnight Mass
Walking up to a church in the dark, wee hours to attend midnight mass is a soothing experience for me. Spending time celebrating what Christmas is all about means so much and is such a small and simple experience.

4. A Boxing Day walk
What’s Christmas without a boxing day walk with the relatives? Not only does it burn off some of that stodgy food but I love going exploring a new place or just a jaunt around the park watching local kids riding their new bikes and other families all rosy cheeked and happy together.

5. Inviting an extra guest
Make it your tradition to invite an extra guest, someone who has nowhere to go that respective year. Inviting someone into your home on such a special day is often the lifeline many people need.

6. Go carolling in your neighbourhood
You know that scene in Christmas with The Kranks where those Victorian-style carol singers come to the door, do that. Don’t back down. Have fuuuuuuun.

7. Read ’Twas the night before Christmas aloud
Sit down as a family and read Clement Moore’s poem ’Twas the night before Christmas, each take a verse and read slowly and with great dramatic pauses between lines.

8. Take a walk around your local area to see the Christmas decorations
If you got small children they’ll love to get togged up in warm clothes for a walk around to see the local lights. If you live near a big town or city centre the displays are really impressive but equally many private homes put on some ‘impressive’ shows. Ask your local friends on Facebook if they have seen any worth visiting.

9. Write ‘I am thankful for…’ lists
Take out one piece of paper per person in your home and each write out at least three things you are thankful for – only one can be gift based.

10. Make paper chains with newspaper
Making paper chains from newspaper is such an easy way to decorate your home on a budget – even better if you can grab a few free issues of the Metro on your commute.

11. Donate toys or clothes to your local charity shop
Shortly before Christmas take the time to go through old belongings and donate to charity shops. This is a great opportunity to discuss need versus want with children and also to discuss how fortunate they are.

12. Invite neighbours round to play board games
Just as the title says really. Extend the hand of friendship during the festive season and ask the neighbours round for an evening of daft board games and maybe a few tipples – I can recommend Alid gin!

13. Watch the Queen’s speech on mute and make up dialogue 
This is one of my oldest and most favourite Christmas activities. Mute whatsherface and act out your own speech using your best royal accents. Sometimes my Queen likes Labour, sometimes she votes Green. I like my Queen.

14. Donate to your local foodbank.
Donating to your local food bank could make all the difference to someone this Christmas. You can find details of what to donate and where, here on the Trussell Trust website.

15. Watch cheesy Christmas music countdowns
Flick on those rubbish music channels at the end of your Freeview box and settle in for a sing-a-long in front of one of their ‘Top 50 Christmas Chooooons’ or similar countdowns.

16. Read from the Bible

What with this holiday being all about the birth of Jesus Christ it would only be appropriate to read a few short verses from the Bible. You don’t need to have a Bible physically to hand as you can bring up every Book of the Bible online or via numerous apps.
I can heartily recommend Luke 1:30-35, Matthew 1:18-25 and Matthew 2: 1-12.

Merry Thriftmas!


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  1. LOVE the watching the Queen on mute idea!!! Hahaha!
    One of our big family Christmas traditions is not putting the tree up until Christmas Eve and then everyone scurrying around and giving a hand whilst a cheesy Christmas film is playing in the background and presents are being sneakily wrapped in the kitchen.

  2. Even though it adds a slither of cost, I would say that a Christmas Eve movie isn’t complete without a small glass of port and a cheese board!!

    If it wasn’t for our families’ (especially the grandma’s) love of the Queen Speech, I would love to do #13 – maybe a few of us will have to watch it in the other room so that we can play along!

  3. We always go for Christmas Day and Boxing Day walks :) great post xx

    Ioanna | Hearting.co.uk

  4. I love snuggling up on the couch and watching a good Christmas movie or Christmas movie marathon. :) It’s one of my favorite traditions.

  5. I love christmas eve movies, and cuddling in blankets with hot chocolate topped with marshmallows! :)
    When I was younger, i use to do christmas skits with my cousins for the family as well! That was so much fun.

    Carina @ Running White Horses

  6. Midnight mass still feels like ‘proper’ Christmas to me. Our church always did it candlelit and something about saying merry christmas to everyone before heading home to sleep has always been very special. I love the idea of Christmas Eve movies and a boxing day walk has ALWAYS been necessary after the sheer quantities of food I can inhale on Christmas day! This year Christmas is in Cyprus with my partner’s family so it is going to be a boxing day swim in the sea instead. Not too shabby, wouldn’t mind that as a tradition!
    Chambray & Curls

  7. This is such a great post. All of the best things about Christmas are the things which you do with the people you love, you don’t need to spend a lot to have a great time!
    I love the watching the Queens speech on mute thing. In my house we always take bets on how much of the Queens speech (if any) my Dad will see before he falls asleep. Always a great game.

    Rachel x
    The Inelegant Wench

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