Free Christmas Activities for Santas and Scrooges

It’s that time of year when many of us are feeling broke.   Maybe we’ve spent too much on Christmas once again but the damage is done, so if you’re looking for a few free seasonal activities, or ones which require very little money, then read on. 

Take in a small town Santa Claus parade, preferably one at night with lots of  lights.   

Christmas parade Santa Claus

I love being able to walk down to the corner of my subdivision and see our little parade.  It gives you a chance to see with all the neighbors who have been hibernating inside this time of year, and later you can visit the town square for free hot chocolate and cookies.  There are the same floats year after year but who cares, it’s tradition, plus Santa is the main attraction.   Sure beats the city parade where you have to leave so early to get a parking spot and then stand in the cold for hours staking out your curbside space.

Splurge on a fancy specialty coffee at the mall.   $5 for a Cup of Christmas Cheer, complete with burnt brown sugar topping.   What a marketing tool – sign me up. 

Christmas Coffee in a Cup

Verdict – a bit too sweet, but the perfect antidote to shop til you drop.    Personally, I avoid the mall but some people enjoy all the last minute hustle and bustle and need the extra calories to brave the crowds. 

Take in A Free Celebration of Lights Bus Tour:   The city provides special transit buses for half hour tours of the lights, all for the price of a donated can of goods.

Celebration of LIghts

If you don’t have a Celebration of Lights in your area, then take a walk around your neighborhood and enjoy the twinkling displays.  

Christmas Holiday Lights

Avert your eyes when you come to The Inflatable Village, (lost count after thirty), because it shines brighter than Rudolph’s nose. 


Oh my nose!

Go skating.   Many local arenas sponsor free family hours once the kids are out of school.  

Skating Rink

Go Caroling in the Snow.    Many years ago, I had a group of grade school carolers at my front door – what fun they were having!   Our local paper still publishes a free carol song book, but I wonder what happens to the stacks of free copies in the grocery store now that so many people don’t read a print newspaper anymore.   

Carol Song Book

No carolers in your group, then attend a church Christmas cantata or carol sing. 

Carol sing notice

I’m a big fan of those old church hymns from years ago, although the last time I attended church there was folk music?   Christmas Eve mass belongs to Hark the Harold Angels Sing and The First Noel, and always Joy to the World at the end.    Not a church goer, dust off your old albums in the basement and crank up the vintage turntable.

Mitch Miller

Set up your traditional nativity scene, the reason for the season if you are Christian.   My dad made this one back in 1950 from old barn board, long before barn board was fashionable, and my mother bought the figurines at Kresge’s dime store.   The star he made in grade school always sits atop the snow on the roof. 

Nativity scene

Sit in your living room and stare at your tree, or twinkly lights if you don’t have a tree, or light some candles.   

Christmas tree

Open a box of Pot of Gold chocolates ($3.99 on sale), and indulge in your favorites.    

Pot of Gold Chocolates

Watch your favorite classic Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, The Sound of Music, A Christmas Carol or all of them.

A Christmas Carol movie

Or make reading the book an annual tradition.

A Christmas Carol

Enjoy a wee small glass of port and a slice of Christmas cake late on Christmas Eve (my Irish family tradition), watch midnight mass on TV and wait for Santa to come.    Track his progress on the eleven o’clock news.  Merry Christmas to one and all!

santa and his reindeer



8 thoughts on “Free Christmas Activities for Santas and Scrooges

  1. Anne says:

    We will be sweltering in the heat but have just cleaned our swimming pool in preparation for the arrival of our youngest grandchildren tomorrow: this is the best time to have family around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      We will be having a green Christmas here, as it’s 40 F and the same forecast for the next week. Not so nice for the kids who like snow, but good for all the travelers! Merry Christmas Anne – enjoy the kids and the pool!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. lindasschaub says:

    I like all the images and how precious is the nativity scene made from your father’s own hands and the star from his own childhood … many years old. I laughed at the Pot of Gold chocolates as we had just discussed them. I heard the Mitch Miller album when growing up as well – it was on the stereo every Sunday along with other Mitch Miller favorites. The free things are the best activities – they have the most meaning, will leave the best impression in your mind. When you are old and gray, will you remember strapping on ice skates and going onto a rink or a pond or going to Black Friday and Super Saturday sales? We have a live nativity scene a few blocks from us every mid-December. I have watched the still shots on the church’s Facebook page … I’d like to go but it means crossing past Memorial Park in the dark to get home and I’m not ready to do that and will not drive 1 1/2 blocks to watch it either as I never go out in the dark. For now I have to enjoy it vicariously.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Linda. We have a live nativity scene at one of the churches here too, but it’s a half hour drive, so not for me either! Next year I’m going to download some of the old Mitch Miller church hymns from the ITunes store, it’s a less commercial aspect to Christmas when you’re tired of listening to all the jingly-jangly stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I looked at the photos on their Facebook site – they advertise their FB site on the church marquis so I looked before after seeing it advertised. It was really cold and they had down-filled parkas or puffer jackets on under their costumes and in some cases the costumes did not fit properly and I think someone had gloves or mitts on – sign of the modern times I guess. It is a nice display, and about as authentic as you can recreate. They don’t charge anything to view it where some churches have a “drive-by fee” of $5.00! I actually got a little sick of the Christmas tunes – they were nonstop on two stations and began on November 1st. I would put the station on and told myself “the first screamy song I hear and I’m shutting it off. I only like the songs from yesteryear, whether they are carols or fun kids’ songs. Needless to say, within a half-hour’s time, the radio was off.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s