Holiday Traditions

Favorite holiday traditions that don't cost a dime

The best things in life are free, but during the holidays we tend to forget that as we're cramming our car trunks full of last-minute gifts and dodging eye contact with credit card statements. Are we trying to outdo the Holiday ghosts of Giftsmas past (fess up if you regret giving the singing fish)? You're doing great this year with those new needlepoint Christmas stockings to deck out the mantelpiece and while a thoughtful gift is a lovely thing, here are some of our favorite holiday traditions that won't cost a dime at all.

Carol kin

Have the family wear matching down jackets and do a night of caroling. Call yourselves something like Santa and the Egg Nogs. Change it up this year and sing jukebox hits from the ’60s and ’70s. Add in some wintry lyrics and soon the family band could have a couple hits on their hands with "Johnny B. Nice," "Take Good Care of My Presents," and "I Feel the Sleigh Move."

Throwback

Haven't thrown that VHS player out the window yet? Check to see if there are any movies you and the family used to watch around the holidays and pop them in to see if all the memories come rushing back. The kids will catch all the nuances they've missed. Parents, you'll remember diaper changes and endless singalongs. There's probably a stack of childhood videos too and you might be shocked to see how long Dad's flannel shirts have actually been around. Answer: Decades.

Elf, Elf, Moose

The lesser known version of Duck, Duck, Goose where the game takes place outside and instead of running around a circle, the tagged Moose has to break chase around the house before the Elf sits in his or her snowy seat. Snow boots are necessary here as is a vague understanding of Moose calls.

Donation station

Give back to the community with this fun family unity idea. Everybody in the house finds something worth donating: check the pantry shelf full of canned food, grab the second blender/appliance that's been sitting in storage, "for keepsake," she says. Look through the bin of toys sealed away in the attic. Any life left in those old cell phones? What about the gift card you've kept in your wallet since June? There's plenty of stuff we keep around with the potential to have a positive impact on those less fortunate. Donating is a great family tradition and will warm your heart like a cozy sweater and a cup of cocoa.

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