Free Fun for the Holidays: Tree Trimming Night. One of the challenges during the holidays is trying to save money, while still creating meaningful family traditions. Heather at Inexpensively recently shared with us a wonderfully creative, and inexpensive, way to do just that during the holiday season:
Heather says: Tree Trimming Night is a fairly recent, but sacred tradition in our home. It is the one night every December that we set aside for just our immediate family. The evening is not about the gifts. In fact, they often completely forget that they do get a present that night – a new ornament to add to the freshly trimmed tree.
Each year, we spend December doing the World Tour of Christmas – visiting one family group one night, another on a Sunday afternoon, even more family for the weekend. We have had as many as 7 Christmas celebrations in one season. Between the family celebrations, the school plays and the holiday parties, we were exhausted and never had an evening to spend alone as a family.
I found myself trying to work in family time with my girls by hitting Christmas at the Zoo or Children’s Museum, spending more than we wanted in a desperate attempt to create memories for my girls that didn’t involve presents or the chaos of a loud, boisterous family. It finally occurred to me that we were allowing the perfect opportunity to slip by year after year.
We have always decorated a Christmas tree, but it was usually thrown up one evening after dinner or attended to in the midst of a busy day of laundry, dishes and shopping. Now, we set aside one evening in early December for Tree Trimming Night. I fix an appetizer buffet so we can munch while we decorate, and the girls go to town placing their favorite ornaments on the family tree.
Our only expense is a 6-pack of Santa Coke bottles that I just couldn’t resist working into our new tradition. When the sodas are empty, the food is consumed and the tree is sparkling, I take the girls’ picture in front of their handiwork. I have even used the Tree Trimming Night photo for our holiday cards rather than expensive holiday portraits (keeping it frugal, yo).
The girls are already asking when this year’s Tree Trimming Night will be. I’ll have to pick a night that works into our schedule and add it to the calendar soon. We have a variety of annual traditions, but this is probably my favorite! My team and I will be sharing even more of our ideas for frugal fun around the holidays at Inexpensively as we countdown to Christmas.
Heather Sokol is the married mother of three beautiful, active girls who have created in her a Montessori Mom, Scout Mom, Allergy Mom and avid coupon clipper. She shares deals and advice for living life Inexpensively and reports progress on learning to be a grown up at Just Heather.