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It’s that magical time of the year again and it can sometimes feel like you need to spend over the odds to enjoy a very merry Christmas.

So, as part of our ongoing Money Matters campaign, here are six top festive activities to do with the kids without breaking the bank:

1. Transform your home into a winter wonderland

Open the craft box, put your creative hat on, and make some homemade decorations with the whole family. Increase the fun by assigning everyone in the family a different role – from Christmas light technician, to tinsel specialist, to bauble colour consultant. Whether it’s festive pom poms, Santa advent calendars, snowflake ornaments, or Christmas Tree decorations you’ll find lots of ideas online to keep everyone occupied – you could even run a friendly competition for the best one!

2. See some Christmas lightsChristmas lights

If you don’t fancy travelling to a Christmas lights switch-on event, how about walking around your neighbourhood, and rating the luminous holiday displays you encounter? If you want to go slightly further afield, you could also download your favourite Christmas songs onto a playlist and drive around some local housing estates to see who has the best lights.

3. Family game night

A great way to bring the adults and kids together (and reduce some energy costs in the process) is by hosting a family games night. Classics like Charades, Pictionary, or Trivia are great for slightly larger groups, or you could try getting really creative and making your own Christmas tree bowling game! If you don’t have many board games to hand, you can pick up perfectly good items from most local charity shops for a fraction of the price.

4. Make a Christmas Eve box

Inspired by countries like Brazil or Germany where they open their presents on Christmas Eve, you could start your own family tradition by creating, decorating, and filling a Christmas Eve box for the whole family. Use any old cardboard box, crate, or wooden chest and then pack it full of anything you like – Christmas socks, stocking fillers, storybooks, films, and board games!

5. Lights, camera, action! Christmas movie timeFather and daughter watch a Christmas movie together

Grab some popcorn and a hot chocolate and watch a timeless Christmas movie with the whole family. Either dust off that old DVD collection or check-out the extensive television schedule over the festive period. You shouldn’t be short of options because 2021 saw a record-breaking number of new films released with the word ‘Christmas’ in, and that’s not forgetting your classics like Home Alone, The Grinch, and White Christmas!

6. Personalised Santa video

There is a great website called Portable North Pole where you can create and send personalised video messages from Santa! Download the app, upload a photo of your child along with a snap of the gift they’d most like for Christmas, and hey presto, a wonderful Christmas message is waiting for your loved ones. As with most apps, you can upgrade to the paid version for even more features but the most basic version is absolutely free!

Have a very jolly festive season and if you have concerns over your rent or other household bills, please speak to your neighbourhood coach in the first instance who is always here to help.

Communications specialist - whether it's telling customer stories, proactive and reactive media relations, social media, or photography, I'm your man!

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