holiday lights

Budget Friendly Ways to Celebrate the Holidays

The holidays can be a wonderful time but they can also be stressful. Trying to create that holiday magic on a budget can be more complicated than you think, mainly because our instinct is to go all-out for the holidays.

We think it’s important to remember that the holiday season is not just about gifts – it’s about creating new memories and experiences with the people you love the most.

That’s why we decided to put together this list of five budget-friendly ways to celebrate the holidays. These ideas are all centered around spending time together which we believe to be the reason for the season!

Give a Group Experience Instead of Individual Gifts

If you are shopping for your entire family, consider getting a group gift or experience instead of giving everyone individual gifts. This is a great way to get your whole family together for the holidays, plus a lot of places offer discounts on larger groups or family tickets. This way you can save some money you would otherwise spend on individual gifts and you get to have a great time with your family (or friends!).

If you are looking for some great, budget-friendly holiday activities in Denver, then check out the Trail of Lights at Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield or the nightly City and County Building light show!

holiday lights

Homemade Gifts or Baked Goods

If you just can’t help yourself from giving gifts, it’s worth exploring more budget-friendly gift options like baked goods. After all, who doesn’t like a fresh-baked tray of cookies? Homemade baked goods go a long way and they always add a personal touch that something like a store-bought gift card can’t offer. Plus, making a simple cookie like a chocolate chip will only cost about $5 to make a whole batch!

If baking isn’t your thing, try to get crafty in other ways! Homemade throw pillows or tie blankets are a fun activity for the whole family to make together – getting the materials can be affordable if you get scrap fabrics! There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube that can show you how to make the perfect DIY holiday gift.

cookies as presents

Check Out the Holiday Lights Around your Neighborhood

One of the best things about the holiday season is that there are plenty of holiday decorations and lights around town to see without having to buy or put up our own! So instead of buying lights or putting up your yard decorations, consider making a new tradition of exploring the light displays around your neighborhood. Colorado people take their lights seriously which means there is plenty to see!

To make the night a little more fun, you could consider packing snacks or a picnic or making it a special treat with some hot chocolate and marshmallows.

holiday lights

Enjoy the Outdoors

We are lucky to live in one of the most beautiful states in the country which gives us a lot of natural (pun intended) opportunities to get out and enjoy the beauty for free! Consider driving to the foothills and finding the perfect sledding hill or rent snowshoes for an afternoon hike.

Presents are lovely but we are firm believers that creating experiences and memories is more impactful, which is why we love the idea of creating new traditions outside whenever we can!

If you have a pet that you’d like to include in the festivities, consider exploring one of the dog parks that Cherry Creek State Park or Chatfield State Park has to offer!

family winter hike

DIY Ornaments and Decorations

While you might not want to go out and spend a lot of money on holiday lights and decorations, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have any! One of our favorite holiday decorations is the classic pinecone and lucky for us, there is no shortage of them (you can even ask the squirrels!). So, pick up a few pinecones on your next walk – with a bit of glitter glue and string, you can have unique, personalized holiday decorations that don’t break the bank.

Other DIY decoration ideas include popcorn lanyards or dried fruit decorations such as lemon and orange slices. The bottom line is there are plenty of natural or affordable decorations that you can repurpose for your holiday celebrations! 

While we love celebrating the holidays with our family and friends, the last thing we want is to add unnecessary financial stress during an otherwise joyous season. So we hope these budget-friendly holiday ideas help you celebrate this season.

diy ornament

If you use any of these ideas, we’d love to see them! Tag us on social media so we can re-share.