How to: Have a lovely Christmas with your children, without breaking the bank

By Allison Ervin, Age 11 (Allison is a budding journalist and daughter of Glenda Lehman Ervin, Lehman’s VP of Marketing)

There are lots of easy and inexpensive ways to have a great Christmas for you and your loved ones, including your children. I would know, being a kid myself. For instance, I know I love a great big Christmas meal, with all of my and my family’s favorite foods. Smaller gifts, such as crafts or candy, make great presents, too. After all, good things come in small packages.

Presents aren’t always objects, you know. You could take your family sledding, ice-skating, or to a movie. Those things are even better than toys sometimes. You could also make things, like a cozy quilt or a brightly colored scarf. I love getting things that I know were made with love.

You should sometimes give gifts that you know the person in specific will like, such as the time I got my dad a big basket of hot sauces, because I know he loves that. Family members you don’t see a lot love getting pictures of you and/or your family, maybe in a cute picture frame. Another simple gift I love giving and getting is a handmade coupon book, with things in it like “free back massage” or “help with the laundry.” When it comes to gifts, always remember, it’s the thought that counts.

One thing I love doing at Christmas that doubles as fun family time is making ginger bread houses. When we do it at my house, my mom goes out and buys lots of candy. Then she puts it in bowls and my brother and I make the actual house, then we go crazy putting candy on the house wherever it will fit. Yum!  (You can find lots of good Royal Icing recipes online but remember, it hardens quickly because it is the “glue” that holds the house together so you have to work quickly.)

One of the most fun and traditional things you can do is visit family that you don’t get to see very often. I know I love seeing my cousins and grandparents that I don’t get to see a lot. You can go Christmas caroling, which I love, too. Watching Christmas or home movies are really great ways to enjoy Christmas.

Who says that you can’t do every day winter stuff like making snowmen on Christmas? Those things can be very fun.  I love Christmas, and more people than not do too, so you should try to make Christmas a super special time by doing lots of things that you don’t do a lot. You don’t have to spend lots of money, though, because there are so many things you can do to make Christmas the best day of the year that are so simple and fun that you will be overjoyed.

The very best Christmas activity that you can do is spending time with family and other loved ones. Even with how much I would love getting all the things on my Christmas list, I know I would much rather have my family by my side on Christmas.

I think the best gift you can get is a handmade one from a loved one. Cards and other things can actually be very fun to make, especially for kids like me. Those are some simple and enjoyable ways to have an unforgettable Christmas every year.

Top 10 best fun and simple Christmas activities:
10. Make a snowman.
9. Decorate the house in a Christmas way
8. Hang stockings
7. Go Christmas shopping
6. Watch a Christmas/home movie together
5. Do a fun craft together
4. Open presents
3. Decorate the Christmas tree
2. Have a delicious Christmas meal
1. Visit family