Are you and your family looking to do Christmas on a budget? We’ve got you covered. Today we will share many low-cost or free activities you can do with your family this holiday season. We will also be sharing a holiday gift guide full of gift ideas that are inexpensive yet thoughtful and useful.
Next, we will answer the following questions:
- Where can I get free pictures with Santa?
- Are there organizations that offer free Christmas toys?
- What family-friendly Christmas activities can I do for free or low-cost?
- Where can I get free or low-cost Christmas decorations?
- What affordable gifts should I get for my family members?
- Where can I find the best deals on Christmas gifts?
Where can I get free pictures with Santa?
If you’re looking to get some free photos with Santa this holiday season, check out the following retailers:
- Bass Pro Shops
Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops takes place at all locations starting on Nov. 5, 2022, and ending on Christmas Eve. You can expect to find fun activities for kids, free family photos with Santa, giveaways, and more! Each participating family will get one free 4×6 photo plus an emailed video. Reservations are not required, but they’re encouraged if you don’t want to miss out.
Macy’s Santaland Experience has both an in-store and at-home option. Until Dec. 24, Macy’s in-store Santa will be at participating stores – Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Boston, and Orlando. Make a reservation for your free family photo with Santa by clicking here.
Macy’s Santaland At Home is a personalized virtual experience that runs until Dec. 24. Santa’s elves guide families to meet Santa and virtually interact with him. When kids arrive at Santa’s house, they can talk and take a photo with Santa. For more information, click here.
Are there organizations that offer free Christmas toys?
Many nationwide and local programs offer free Christmas toys, meals, and gift cards. With Christmas quickly approaching, we recommend applying for these programs as soon as possible because most work on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information on organizations that offer free Christmas toys, click here.
What family-friendly Christmas activities can I do for free or low-cost?
Below are five inexpensive Christmas activities you can do with your friends and family this holiday season.
- Make Christmas ornaments
Head to the dollar store and buy a few inexpensive ornaments. You and your kids can paint, decorate, or even fill each ornament with items that interest you. Over the years, you’ll end up with a Christmas tree full of meaningful ornaments. This is also a great gift idea for other family members!
- Decorate gingerbread houses
Making and decorating gingerbread houses can be a fun activity for the family this holiday season. Gingerbread house kits can be pretty pricey, but do not worry. Here are a few affordable options:
- $5 gingerbread houses at Five Below
- $4 mini gingerbread house kit at Walmart
- $10 gingerbread house kit at Michaels.
- Go to local Christmas parades/festivals
Look for local Christmas events and festivals. Some Christmas festivals have free crafts and cookie decorating for kids, and Santa visits many of them.
- Plan a Christmas movie night
Plan a Christmas movie night with your kids! Most streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu, have tons of holiday movies to enjoy. If you don’t have any streaming services, click here to check out a free movie streaming website.
- Visit Santa for free.
If you don’t have a Bass Pro Shops or Macy’s near you, try looking into other places such as banks, libraries, and churches that oftentimes allow families to take pictures with Santa at no cost. These places are also great resources if you need other help for the Christmas season. For more information, click here.
Where can I get free or low-cost Christmas decorations?
The Christmas Tree Project collects trees, decorations, and cash donations throughout the year and builds a network of volunteers to deliver a tree after Thanksgiving. If you want to apply for a free Christmas tree, click here. Another way to save on Christmas decorations is by shopping at the following places:
- Dollar Store
The Dollar Tree has a wide variety of products where you can get Christmas decorations for your home for just one dollar! Here you can buy Christmas cards, tree ornaments, mini Christmas trees, and dolls.
- Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace is a great way to find affordable Christmas decorations. People on FB marketplace sell their (like-new) decor at super low rates. You can find budget-friendly Christmas trees, lights, inflatables, wreaths, and more by searching for what you need in the Marketplace search bar.
What affordable gifts should I get for my family members?
Buying Christmas presents can be stressful since finding the perfect gift within your budget is not always an easy task. That is why we have prepared this gift guide with the best gifts under $30 for the family.
Best gifts for Women
Candles: All 3-wick candles are $13.50 at Bath and Body Works
Perfume Set: 20-piece perfume sampler set for only $25 at Macy’s
Accessories: Cable Knitted Hat Scarf & Gloves Winter Set only $25.99 on Amazon
Cozy: Eddie Bauer Sherpa Throw Blanket only $20.87 on Amazon
Best gifts for Men
Clothes: You can find brand-name clothing at TjMaxx, Marshalls, and Ross for under $25.
Wireless headphones: Jlab Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds only $24.99 at Target.
Speaker: Anker Bluetooth speaker only $24 on Amazon (currently on sale).
Cologne: 16-piece cologne sampler set for only $25 at Macy’s.
Best gifts for Kids
Squishmallows: You can find a variety of squishmallows for under $10 at Five Below.
Slime: Elmer’s slime kit for only $25 on Amazon.
Board games: You can find a wide variety of board games for under $20 at Walmart.