6 Ways to Have Fun During the Holidays on a Budget

By Olha Vovk

It’s official. According to a survey by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies, half of Canadians view 2020 as the worst year ever.

It’s a small wonder since according to Statistics Canada, 12.4 per cent of local paid workers aged 15 to 64 were laid-off monthly since February. And, as we’re in the thick of the second wave of Covid-19, the situation does not seem to be getting any better. But there’s good news! You can still have a festive, fun holiday season with your teens, even if you’re on a budget.

Educator and counselor, Sarah Fewson, recommends focusing on balance and positive well-being during the winter holidays. “Attempt to engage in outdoor activities, fit in exercise, and do not forget to spend a few minutes a day in mindful silence to remain connected to your thoughts and feelings.”

Need more ideas to spread the Christmas cheer? Cultural and developmental service worker, Diana Prokofieva offers up these tips on how you can still enjoy the festivities of the holidays on the cheap.

Bring in the New Year in the Backyard

If you have an adventurous nature and are not afraid of the cold, welcome New Year’s Eve outdoors.

Gather your family around a bonfire in your backyard, decorate your trees and spend time roasting marshmallows, sipping hot cocoa and singing Auld Lang Side at midnight.

Start a family potluck challenge

Parties may be out this year, so why not try a family potluck challenge instead? Each day a new family member can prepare a dish. Zoom your extended family members, exchange recipes with your friends and post your Insta-worthy pictures of your masterpieces on the Gram.

Deck Your Halls

Instead of buying a Christmas tree, incorporate home plants and decorate them with decor from a dollar store or Christmas ornaments you already have at home. Before you know it, the Santa hats, twinkle lights and Christmas stockings will fill your home with festive flair.

Play The “Elephant” Game

The “elephant game” is another way to save money on presents. Instead of buying gifts for the whole family, consider preparing one present per person, nicely wrapped. A host puts pieces of paper with numbers into a hat and gets every participant to pull a piece from the hat to determine their order of turn. Each player then chooses whether to open a new present from the bunch or steal the gift they like among the opened ones. Each player is only allowed to steal twice (the first time and when someone steals from them) and is left with the third option forever. This adds some fun and excitement to the game while everyone receives a gift.

Get Creative and ReGift

If purchasing presents is not an option, look for unused gifts you may have in your house such as beautiful candles, handmade cards or Christmas toys. Alternatively, you can also offer homemade coupons for your services such as a haircut, manicure or massages for your family. Moreover, there is always a possibility to cook something yummy as a gift.

Make a Goal Board

Create a Goal Board or Vision Board for the New Year. Take old magazines, several large sheets of paper and let everyone create their visualization for 2021. Showcase your collective work on the wall and manifest for a bigger, brighter future!

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