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New traditions to kick off that don't kick your budget

Posted by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 12:00 AM
  • 47 Replies
1 mom liked this

Living in New York City at Christmas time is magical. With amazingly festive store window displays, the Rockefeller Christmas tree lit up, and all of the streets adorned with golden twinkly lights, it's hard not to get into the spirit. Add to that all of the great ways to celebrate - seeing the Rockettes at Radio City, catching the Broadway hit Elf, watching Clara and the Sugarplum fairies dance in The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center. I have to say, I'd love to do those things every year, but buying the tickets whomp the ol' wallet.

Now that Kiddo is a little older, she's more aware of the way we celebrate and do things year after year....which makes me more aware we need to have those traditions in place. The dilemma: how to make traditions that we all love...and that doesn't cost $100 per person? 

-- A nod to heritage. Whether it's doing something your great-great-great-grand relatives did in Finland for the holidays or hanging the stockings like you did as a kid, think about incorporating part of your family history into these days. We celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah, and it is now tradition to serve latkes with the Christmas dinner.

-- Christmas morning scavenger hunt. My parents did this for my sister and me growing up. When we were asking for money to spend at the mall rather than toys, they would send us all around the house, the yard, the garage finding clue after clue until we reached the final one that had our Christmas money gift with it. I still remember examining under the kitchen sink with my sister and laughing so hard we couldn't stand up.

-- Annual holiday pajamas. My sister does this with her family: each Christmas eve, they open one gift: a pair of new holiday pjs, which everyone dons right away and wears the whole next day.

-- Holiday game night. During the weeks the kids are off from school, have one night where you break out a favorite game and play. Every year when we gather, my husband's family plays poker....for toothpicks or pennies.

What do you do every year? Do your kids notice when you do (or don't do) something? Share your budget-friendly holiday traditions!

Š AnsonLu

by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 12:00 AM
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by Yvonne on Dec. 3, 2012 at 5:46 AM

 I love your great ideas! specially the scavenger hunt and the pj's one :) thanks.  We usually have dinner on the eve and stay up late watching movies, talking, playing games... then the kids start getting antsy and wanting to open their gifts.. so we let them!

we also have a big breakfast in the morning and spend the day together, playing with our new games and toys ;)

by Member on Dec. 3, 2012 at 6:41 AM

My kids are older now and we are still having so much fun this holiday.I think it is important to remember that Christmas is not only for little ones but also the young in heart.Keep the Christmas spirit going no matter how old you are and how many people are there to share it.

My daughter is 13 and she is my little elf helper:).She helps me bake,cook,craft,shop and wrap gifts.My dh and son(20) help put up the tree and lights.Its still such a magical time of year.

santa blue

by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 8:01 AM

We make a gingerbread house every year.  I've done this with the kids for a good 20 years now, and they don't let me forget.

by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 8:02 AM

Oh, and we have homemade cinnamon rolls every Christmas morning.

by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 10:18 AM

yes we make sugar cookies Christmas eve

by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 12:14 PM

We love to go to the mall. 

by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 12:15 PM

We love driving around looking at lights!

by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 12:15 PM

We make an ornament each year together

by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 2:18 PM

We do pjs & 1 gift each on Christmas eve! 

by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 2:25 PM

My parents always got us new pajamas and a new ornament every Christmas.  We would go and pick out our new ornaments as a family a few weeks before Christmas and they would be on our tree on Christmas morning.

This will be our first Christmas in our house.  I will be working Christmas Eve, hopefully in the morning.  We wil have dinner around 5 and dessert around 8.  We will just spend time together and hang out.  We try to drive around the weekend before Christmas to look at all the decorated houses.  Christmas morning everyone is allowed to open stockings when they get up but they have to wait for under the tree presents until we are all up.  Then we will have a nice brunch together and just watch some holiday movies and play with our new toys.

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