5 Low-Cost Holiday Family Activities

It can be difficult to find something everyone enjoys doing. You’re trying to keep peace without making family time feel like a chore. What can you do to keep everyone happily spending time together without running up a huge credit card bill?

These five activities can help all of you keep the Christmas spirit in your hearts while spending time with your family this holiday season!


It’s a tradition that spans generations. Family and friends get together to spread joy and good will with cheery music. If you live in an area where you know your neighbors and the streets are safe, you can carol in your neighborhood. If you don’t, consider making an appointment with an area nursing home or assisted care facility. These homes are often in need of some cheer during the holidays.

Spending some of your together time practicing is also a good idea. What’s important isn’t how good you sound, though. It’s the fun you have and the joy you spread.


Many churches, food kitchens and other outreach centers offer Christmas dinners for the less fortunate. Spending some of your holiday caring for those who have little-to-nothing can also help keep your family focused on what’s really important.

There are plenty of other causes that could use your help. In the days after Christmas, many animal shelters are overwhelmed with “presents” that didn’t quite work out. The overworked volunteers at these shelters need help cleaning up and exercising scared, confused animals. Consider doing some good with your family this Christmas.

Playing Games

If you’d rather have some light-hearted fun with your family at Christmas, consider an easy game. It’s the best time of year to dust off those board games you have just sitting in a closet somewhere. Got a deck of cards? There are plenty of card games that everyone can play. Not only are games a wonderful way to have some unhurried, enjoyable time together, but they make for great learning opportunities.

Re-watch old family movies

Someone in your family may have a huge cache of old tapes in a closet or basement somewhere (and hopefully a VCR as well)! These tapes don’t do much besides gather dust for most of the year, but they contain a treasure trove of family memories. Pick a year and watch the Christmas or birthday parties. Think back to what life was like then and how much things have changed since. Embarrass the kids a little bit in front of their spouses or significant others. You might find it’s a great way to start a new family tradition!

Check out community or school theater events

There are a great many works of theater that everyone recognizes as “classics” despite the fact that very few people have seen them. Many performing arts schools and amateur dance troupes put on productions of “The Nutcracker” around Christmastime. This can be a low-cost way to see a high-culture event. The ticket price is usually low and some organizations even offer free admission with a donation of canned goods. You and your family can take in a fancy show while supporting young and emerging artists. Look for posters in your local grocery store or other community establishments.

No matter what you do this holiday season, it’ll be made special because you do it together. Have a safe and happy holiday!

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