Holidays are coming. Thanksgiving is just a few days away now. During this time, usually many people will spend more for traveling, foods like turkey, gifts, and toys for their kids. Spending more money on holidays is considered "normal" but is there a way to save it even a little bit? Especially for those who already had some kids.
Depend on your existing family tradition for Thanksgiving, you should start to help your kids to understand the Thanksgiving is about the tradition, and all of you should focus on it. It's not about gifts or toys or luxury decoration. It is about meeting with big families, reunion with them who live far away states, enjoy the times together for the day.
So here are some tips for parents to save money during the holidays season, especially during this near Thanksgiving day.
Tip 1: Make the decoration instead of buying it.
Make your own decoration for Thanksgiving. Make your own decoration for Christmas. Invite your children to help. Make the activity fun for them. For example, make a game with your kids to find as many as stuff to be used making the decoration. Then, over the years, such activity will surely become one of your family traditions.
Tip 2: Baking the gifts.
Instead of buying the cakes or brownies as gifts to family, you can invite your children to help baking them. But be sure they are away from the oven and stoves. You can ask them to help to prepare the ingredients or mixing the flour.
Tip 3: Avoid the crowd on stores.
Usually, most of the children insisted to join the crowd on stores. For the first time, you can show them that joining the crowd is not as cool as they think. You can show how long all of you to wait and fight for a parking space, wait in the line to get the stuff you buy, etc. Show them how those things were never fun.
Tip 4: Teach your kids to focus on families.
Ask them if they still remember how many gifts or toys or decorations they saw for the last year holiday? The chance is even you don't remember them yourself. But of course, you and your kids remembered the jokes told on the last year Thanksgiving by your grandpa or grandma, how all of you laugh together at that time, how those warm memories live on forever in your heart.
So, tell your children about it, and how they should focus on families. Also, teach them how they should not worry too much about little things like gifts or toys because they even won't remember how much toys they already had in your warehouse?
Tip 5: Set your kids' expectation and relieve their stress.
You can tell them the funniest stories to make them laugh. That will surely relieve their stress. It is also wise to set the kids' expectation about the holidays.
First, try to listen to their expectation, what they expect on those upcoming holidays? If their expectations are likely to match with your holiday budget, you can fill it up. Otherwise, you can say "no" and explain to them politely, with love.
Tip 6: Play the family game with your kids.
Play any game that allows grown-ups and kids in your family to play together, have fun, and get the laugh during the holidays. Such games can work: playing cards, hide and seek, board games, dodgeball, or make up your own game to play together with your kids.
If there is a snow already in your area, then you can also invite all of your families member including the kids to play with snow. Making a snow people, snow forts, or playing snowball fights can work, and those can be fun.
Another idea is to play "holiday alarm" game. Take out your phone and set up an alarm for five minutes or ten minutes from now, hide it somewhere else in the house, and ask your kids to find it before the alarm ringing.
Tip 7: Do thankful ritual together.
In case you were Christian then you can invite your kids to go with you to church for praying, to be thankful. Or, you can make up a thankful ritual with distributing a paper to them along with the pen, then ask them to write a few things they're thankful for on that paper. Once they're done, you can exchange the paper each other to read the gratitude things written there.
Tip 8: Do a long walk, together.
If the weather is good (hopefully it is), then you can invite your kids to go for a long walk, to a nearby area or surrounding it. Along the way, you can say hello to neighbors or any people you met. Or you can just enjoy the scenery and the weather.
Tip 9: Video call with far family members.
There is a chance that some of your big family members did not have a chance to come along and meet with all of you during the holidays. If that's the case, why don't you invite your kids to initiate and arrange a video call with them?
Tip 10: Let your kids cook for the meals.
You can do this when your kids are old enough to cook the meals in the kitchen, alone. Let them pick up and collect the ingredients, plan the menu, etc. Don't get surprised if your feast will be just an ice cream and cookies.
Tip 11: Picnic to park or the garden in your area.
You are lucky if you live in the area where there are many available free open space. Kids love to visit there, so why don't you take them there, and ask them to prepare the things for themselves. They will love to do it.
Tip 12: Visit local library or museum or any historical places.
Yes, this will cost you little bucks. But usually, the library and museum offered a cheaper price for the kids. Why don't you take them there, they can also learn more from those places.
Tip 13: Go to a camp.
You can even let your kids to camp out in your own garden. In case they are too young to be left alone or sleep alone outside, you can join them there on the night or ask them to go back when the bedtime comes.
Tip 14: Go to family-friendly holiday events.
Usually, there are some free family-friendly holiday events held for free, by some volunteers. You can find them out and attend it with your kids.
Tip 15: Clean and tidy up the toys.
You can ask your kids to help cleaning and to tidy up anything. For example, you can ask them to list the toys they already had, then ask them to tidy them up, and while doing this, you can ask them to tell the things they remember about the toys.