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When your dwindling bank balance has left you feeling more bah humbug than ho, ho, ho, and you’re threatening to commit an act of violence if you’re forced to listen to Cliff Richard over the overcrowded shop’s sound system one more time, here’s how to indulge the young children in your life with some free festive treats without a hefty price tag. After trying these free activities with the kids, you’ll remember why it’s so special. Creating memories and starting your own family traditions doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. Here are some ideas for you to try:
My son’s face was a picture when he first watched one of Portable North Pole’s fabulous free personalised video messages from Santa. Feed in some basic information online (the child’s name, age, that kind of thing), and you instantly receive a link to their very own detailed message from the man of the moment, set in a magical wonderland.
For children, there is something very special about seeing colourful Christmas lights and soaking up the festive atmosphere.
After your children have written their letters to Santa, they think it’s so much fun when they receive a reply! Find a free template for a personalised letter from Santa here.
For children, there is something very special about seeing colourful Christmas lights and soaking up the festive atmosphere. Take a stroll along snowball-themed Oxford Street or, for a less crowded option, try Leicester Square, Carnaby Street, or The Strand from around 4.30pm daily. Your local high street or shopping centres usually stay lit up until 6th January.
Instead of a shop-bought chocolate advent calendar, we prefer to fill pockets of a re-usable calendar or even a homemade chest with little treats (sweets, small toys, a bauble for the tree or even activities written on coloured paper). Fill a jar with 24 handwritten ‘Notes of Kindness’ for your child to pick from every day. These could be simple but thoughtful deeds such as phoning a relative, donating to charity, or sending a greeting card.
Nothing gets the festivities under way quite like a rousing rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas…
Carol singing is a great way to raise funds for charity. Request a free resource pack from the Children’s Society, and you’ll find plenty of tips for organising a group of carollers at your school, church, or community gathering (If the venue is not your own, you’ll need a special permit). Nothing gets the festivities under way quite like a rousing rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas…
On Christmas Eve, we enjoy tracking Santa’s progress around the globe using Norad’s free tracking website. Using satellite, your kids can see which cities Santa’s sleigh has visited, and when he will be in your neighbourhood. This is especially reassuring for children who are spending Christmas somewhere other than their own home, such as a grandparent’s house.
Remember to check your local church for special children’s services, such as Christingle – usually held around the first day of December.
Clare Lawrence, nicknamed 'Coupon Clare' at college, lives mostly in Cornwall. Proud mum to Gregory, she'll stop at nothing in her quest to save cash!