It’s often true to say that the magic of Christmas is in the build up to the best day of the year. December is a truly magical month, and an opportunity to cram in as many wonderful festive memories as possible. Yet seasonal treats often come at a premium price, and if you’re not careful they can leave you with an empty purse by the time the big day comes around.
Here are some ideas for fun, family treats to enjoy during December, that won’t have you skimping on the turkey come Christmas day!:
What better way to begin December than with an atmospheric winter walk as a family? Point out the changes in seasons to little ones, and enjoy wrapping up warm in new hats, scarves and gloves. For extra fun, go out ‘decoration spotting’ after dark, on a local tour of the houses with outdoor lights.
Choosing the Tree
Whether you prefer a real tree or an artificial one, choosing the tree can be a real adventure. Kids will love the feeling that they’ve been involved in something so momentous, and you could even let them choose a special little trinket to hang each year.
B & Q is a great place to head for real trees, or for a great quality artificial fir Debenhams and BHS are sure to have one to suit every home and budget. Moneysaver.ie features both these retailers, so if there’s a saving to be had you’re sure to find it on our discount codes and offers pages.
Decorating the tree and the house is an exciting, if somewhat mammoth, task. Get everyone in the mood by playing Christmas songs in the background (get a festive compilation from Play or Zavvi), and have a steady supply of Christmas snacks and drinks on the go such as roasted chestnuts and mulled wine to keep the troops going.
As tempting as it may be to want everything to look ‘just so’, it’s nice to let the kids chip in with decorating the tree – even if you can’t resist re-arranging it all after they’ve gone to bed!
Family Movie Nights
A family movie night is a brilliant low cost, low stress way to enjoy some quality time together in the build up to Christmas. Simply snuggle up under a big duvet, with snacks at the ready, and relax in front of a movie stuffed with Christmas cheer and good will.
Look on Amazon and Play for Christmas classics such as Elf, Santa Claus the Movie, The Santa Clause, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Home Alone – just make sure to avoid Bad Santa if you have under 18’s watching!
Christmassy Cinema Trips
If you want to push the boat out a touch more and make your movie experience more of an occasion, a Christmassy cinema trip is a nice idea. Every year there’s a must see Christmas movie released in December, and this year it’s the turn of comedy cartoon Arthur Christmas. Just make sure that you avoid the overpriced cinema snacks and this family trip out needn’t end up costing a fortune.
To save on admission costs you could check out the daily deals section of Moneysaver.ie for cut price cinema tickets, or check your local cinema’s programme for special low cost ‘kids club’ deals.
The Lights Switch On
The lights switch is a big deal in every town, so wrap the kids up and head out to enjoy the spectacle. Generally speaking, the bigger the town or city, the better the show – but you may also have larger crowds and parking issues to contend with. Have a chat with the family and decide what you would prefer – a small, local lights switch on or a busy, big city extravaganza.
Alternatively, why not host your own lights switching on ceremony at home? Whether you have lights on your homes exterior, in the garden, or simply on the Christmas tree, you can make it a big deal for little ones, perhaps giving them the very grown up task of pressing the all important switch at the right moment.
Sometimes, it’s the times spent together as a family that make the best memories – rather than the expensive gifts or the lovingly prepared turkey. Spend time, not money, on making some lovely ones this December, and you’re sure to have a very festive-feeling family come the 25th!