’Tis the season to be jolly, and what better way to celebrate than by diving into some fantastic free or very low-cost activities? After all, if Christmas involves spending, then why not make sure it’s about ‘spending’ time together with loved ones and not just spending in the shops.
Here are some fun activities you can do together, that won’t break the bank and – naturally – there are a few book and reading related suggestions. Well, we are book designers and illustrators after all!
- DIY your decorations: get crafty by creating your own decorations. Paper snowflakes, garlands made from old magazines, or ornaments crafted from recycled materials can add a personal touch to your home. Why not channel your drawing and colouring skills to make decorations to hang up or stick in a window?
- Get out and see the lights: take a stroll or drive around your neighbourhood to admire the beautiful Christmas lights. Many people really go to town and Christmas lights look wonderful, all lit up from house to house.
- Host a movie marathon: get friends and family over for a binge of your favourite film franchises. Here’s a nod to children’s literature; why not pick ones that are based on books for younger readers, like the Harry Potter series? Or How to Train Your Dragon? There are many to choose from.
- Do some volunteering: charity shops and homeless shelters may need an extra pair of hands over Christmas, and your time and effort could make a huge difference in someone else’s holiday season.
- Bake and share: cook up some delicious holiday treats and share them with your neighbours, colleagues or friends. It’s a fantastic way to spread cheer and show appreciation without spending a lot.
- Go carol-singing: register with a charity so you have their official documentation, then gather a group of friends and family, and go carolling around the area. It’s a great way to spend time together, out in the fresh air, and you may even get the odd mince pie as a bonus.
- Make your own cards: people so appreciate receiving something that care and attention has gone into, so why not get crafty and make your own Christmas cards this year.
- Get outside! We all overindulge at Christmas, so one way to counteract this is to get outdoors and into the fresh air for a walk. Why not go to different places in the locality and take time to explore. You could even gather inspiration and items for decorations, like holly and pinecones.
- Host a potluck dinner: organise a bring-and-share meal with friends and ask everyone to contribute a dish. Set a budget or see what you can all whip up with Christmas leftovers, without spending too much.
- Start a story-telling tradition: this is totally free and thoroughly entertaining. Gather the family, switch off the television and challenge everyone to tell a story – real or made up. They could read a story of they are short of inspiration. It’s wonderful to hear stories read aloud.
This last idea is our favourite, because guess what? If someone comes up with a cracking, original tale for children, they might even want to write it down, then seek out a brilliant book designer (er… we happen to know of an excellent team – just saying) and get to see their story in print.
Remember, Christmas is all about giving and sharing and we hope some of these ideas will be picked up by your family this Christmas. And we would love to hear about traditions and activities that you enjoy every year. Why not get in touch with the Happydesigner team.
And in the meantime…
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Written by Jo Smyth (www.wordworker.co.uk)