The holiday season is a time of great cheer. And holiday shopping! But, we all know that gift-giving and receiving aren’t all the holiday season is about. In fact, they play second fiddle to the fact that we get to enjoy a lot of quality time with our loved ones. This is the time of year to spend as much time with your family and friends, reiterating how much you care for them, as you can. And it doesn’t have to be done with only gifts. So, we wanted to give you some great tips to fully enjoy the holiday season without buying gifts.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy the holiday season with my loved ones is to have a potluck. No matter which holiday you are celebrating, enjoying it potluck style is much easier on your holiday budget.
Since the holiday season runs for about a month and a half, that is plenty of time to have many get together’s. And we have found that our loved ones are more than amenable to making every party a potluck. This helps us all out financially during the holidays. Plus, it lets us see each others culinary creativity, as well as creating less work for each one of us. I don’t know about you, but that seems like 3 fantastic reasons to make every gathering a potluck.
One of the best ways to approach a holiday potluck is to:
- choose the dishes you plan to make first
- then come up with other dishes that might pair well with yours
- send out a blank sign up list for the items you came up with
- add some blank spots to the list for people to add their own special dishes, if they like
Then, when everyone shows up for the holiday potluck, you know you will have enough complimentary dishes. But, since everyone has their own spin on the traditional dishes, you will also get to experience their creativity. Now this is what I call a win-win!
The fall/winter is a great time to get outdoors and see what your area has to offer. While it may be colder, there are plenty of exciting adventures waiting to be had in the great outdoors. And since some of us have more time off of work during this time of year, it is a wonderful idea to take advantage.
A lot of the activities you can partake in outside can also be free, so that can only help your holiday budget. Some of our favorite outdoor adventures during the holiday season are:
- Ice skating downtown
- Hiking some trails at a state park (here is where you can find the state parks near you)
- Bonfires in the fire pit or at a park
- Biking the greenway system in our city
- Geocaching – the world’s largest treasure hunt
- Playing with the kids at a local park while we all catch up
- Driving around to see the holiday decorations
- Tree lighting ceremonies
- Local Santa, sleigh, reindeer and hot chocolate events
There may be a lot of other options around you that we don’t necessarily have here, so get creative. After all, the holidays don’t have to be spent solely indoors. There is plenty of fun to be had outside too!Outdoor adventures are a great way to enjoy the holiday season without buying gifts. Click To Tweet
Volunteering together during the holidays is a big one, in my book. There are so many volunteer opportunities throughout the year, but they get exponentially greater during the holidays. This is due to the fact that the soup kitchens and shelters need more supplies and help. And there are also a lot of families that simply don’t have the funds to get gifts, or sometimes even food, for their children. So organizations out in full force during this time seeking extra hands to help those in need.
For most of us, being able to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves, only increases our holiday joy. So why not gather some of your loved ones together and embark upon a volunteering adventure together.
There can be so many volunteering opportunities near you, that the biggest problem can be choosing which one. So, here are some great volunteering options that may speak to you:
- Food shuttle (we have the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle near us)
- Homeless shelter (we have the Raleigh Rescue Mission and InterAct for women and children near us)
- Soup kitchens (we have Salvation Army and Urban Ministries near us, along with a long list of others)
- Help animals – if you are an animal lover, then this is definitely the way to go (SPCA and Second Chance Pet are two of them near us)
- Habitat for Humanity – if you are handy with tools and your hands, then this may be a great one for you since you will get to help build and repair homes
- United Way – they have a wide range of volunteer opportunities
Usually, you want to begin looking for volunteer opportunities early, since some organizations make you go through an orientation process. But, whenever organizations are short handed during this season, they may waive that in lieu of any and all assistance they can get. Just something to keep in mind.
Enjoy the Holiday Season Together
Overall, there are so many ways to spread the holiday cheer and enjoy your loved ones during the holidays that don’t involve gifts. After all, the main point of the holidays is to show others how much we love them by spending time with our friends and families.
Some of our favorite ways to do this are:
- potluck feasts
- having outdoor adventures
- volunteering together to spread the love as far and wide as possible
So, the next time you are trying to figure out how to spend your holiday season, and don’t want it just to be about the gifts, we hope we gave you some great ideas to choose from.
What are some of your favorite ways to spend the holiday season together that don’t involve gifts?