Creating (not paying for) Christmas magic

Creating (not paying for) Christmas magic

Do you want Christmas that’s full of joy, magic, and special memories? Of course you do! It’s easy to be seduced by glossy magazines and seasonal displays. Companies do a damn good job at Christmas advertising and who can blame them? They make a killing from us!

Deep down, there’s a truth that we all know.

Christmas magic can’t be bottled and sold; it’s created with love by you

We put so much time into thinking about the gifts, but there’s a whole day to have fun in. These are some of the things I do with my family do to create magic and sparkle that the stores are trying to tell us that we can buy from them.

Christmas treasure hunt

Last year, the ‘naughty elves’ hid presents around the house and left clues. It was exciting watching my niece scamper around the house, following the clues and every now and then scolding the naughty elves. And the excitement when one was found. Nearly a year on and she still refers to the naughty elves. Good fun for the big kids if you’re a household of adults too!

Christmas quiz

Make your own family Christmas quiz (it’s mostly a normal quiz, with a Christmas themed round). Everyone loves a quiz and its up to you (or the delegated quiz master) to come up with fun topics and crazy questions to amuse the family on the day.

Homemade advent calendars

You could very well end up spending more than on a normal advent calendar, but a homemade advent calendar with a mix of activities, I-O-U vouchers and chocolate is much more special than a store bought calendar. And it’s entirely up to you how much you spend.

Quite honestly, 24 days of I-O-Us for washing up, ironing, vacuuming, <insert other boring household chore> would be the most magical Christmas ever to me!

A Christmas day walk

Christmas day is one of the best days of the year to go for a walk. There’s nowhere to rush to, everyone you see will respond merrily when you wish them a Happy Christmas and it’s the perfect way to spend time just enjoying each others’ company. If your plans mean you can’t fit in a walk on Christmas day, definitely make up for it on boxing day. If you’ve got kids, why not visit the local duck pond and take some bread for their Christmas dinner (the ducks, not the kids)?

Think of others

Christmas is the worst time of year for some people, so take time to be considerate of how other people may be feeling.

Using even a fraction of your Christmas budget (or your time) can make someone else’s life better, whether it’s giving money or donating clothes to a homeless shelter, buying gifts for children in hospital or spending time with a lonely neighbour or distant relative.

Thinking of others helps you see your own excess. Last year, tt made me waste less money on food I didn’t need, on those little ‘top up’ gifts that make their way into your basket, and on luxury wrapping paper.


If you put a little thought into it, there are so many ways you can make Christmas magical without spending huge amounts of cash. Making homemade mince pies or gingerbread, making cards by hand, enjoying hot chocolate with mini marshmallows whilst watching a favourite Christmas film. Rather than spending money on a Christmas jumper,  you could even have a family competition to make your own!

For more ideas this Christmas, check out my other Money Saving Christmas tips.

I’d love to know if you have any traditions that make Christmas magical for you that don’t come out of a catalogue, so feel free to share in the comments below.



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