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20 free (or very cheap) ways to sprinkle some Christmas magic with Money Saving Expert

With all the Christmas adverts on the TV and shops full of Christmas gifts we can all feel under pressure to make the ‘perfect Christmas’. This can leave us stressed and worried that we’re letting our children down if we can’t provide the latest toy or expensive gifts. But most children (and us adults) often remember the fun family traditions much more than the resents we receive.

Making a magical Christmas for you and your family can be easier (and cheaper than you think) with a little bit of planning ahead.

Here are some quick cheap and child friendly ideas to spread a little bit of Christmas magic:


  • Make some reindeer food: simply mix some oats or crushed up cereal (not sugar coated or chocolate) and some bird feed if you have some in a little bag (tie with a little ribbon if you have one) and  let your children sprinkle it in the garden or on your balcony for the Santa’s reindeers. It’s environmentally friendly so the birds will be happy too. They can also leave a carrot for Rudolph too. Download a reindeer food recipe here.


  • Snuggle down with a Christmas movie: Many TV channels have a great selection of Christmas movies on during December. Make a date to all sit and watch it together or arrange a Christmas Movie day with some of your child’s friends. Make some homemade popcorn, get some blankets and snuggle down. Check with friends and family or with your local library if they have a Christmassy DVD you can borrow. If you have got friends with older children they may have grown out of their Christmas movies and will be more than happy to lend you their favourites.


  • Have a secret Santa for your child’s friends: it can get expensive if you have lots of children to buy for, especially if your child is in school or nursery. Arranging a Secret Santa with parents with a set value of say £5 means that each parent only has to buy one gift and the child has all the fun of pulling a name out of a hat. It also means that your child can really focus on getting something special for that friend. Packs of Children’s Christmas books for just £1 each can be purchased from places such as The Works or Poundland.


  • The Christmas Tree Game: Whenever you are out and about count how many Christmas trees you see. If you have more than one child each child can take one side of the road and whoever finds the most wins. You can do this whilst walking, on the bus or in the car.


  • Make some Christmas biscuits as gifts and for yourselves: Children love to get a bit messy and grandparents, aunts and uncles love to receive homemade gifts. Tesco has a lovely recipe here. Or simply decorate some shop bought biscuits with some icing made with icing sugar and water and a few sprinkles.


There are 20 fantastic ideas here from Money Saving Expert

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