As much as for me, the magic of Christmas isn’t about the commercial side, it is still nice to be able to show your appreciation for your loved ones by surprising them with a thoughtful gift to open on the 25th. With this gesture can come a financial burden – you don’t have to spend lots, but it still all adds up! This can dent your budget for December, leaving less money to spend on enjoying the joyful activities around Christmas. However, there are still many ways to enjoy the season for less!
Walking in a Winter Wonderland
A free way to embrace the Christmas spirit is to simply go for a walk around your town/city and appreciate all of the lights and decorations that adorn the streets. Often you will find that places have themes to their displays – for example this year Carnaby Street’s installation in London is in collaboration with Project Zero, raising awareness of the need to protect our oceans from the effects of climate change.
Additionally, if you’re in London, it is actually free to enter Winter Wonderland! Although they have ticketed attractions, you can still wander round and admire their beautiful Christmas lights or browse their Christmas markets without paying anything. If you have the budget for it, students with a NUS card can get discounted prices on attractions there such as ice skating for £13.50 or a ride on their observation wheel for £8.00.
I love it when the Christmas movies start to be shown on TV and I can snuggle up with a hot chocolate and a mince pie, while watching festive films with my loved ones. Though there are hundreds to choose from, there are always cult classics that really signify Christmas for me – some of my favourites include Elf, Arthur Christmas, The Holiday, The Polar Express and Prancer. Alternatively, you could go and see a new release such as Last Christmas, reviewed on page 11.
Baking for the Family
This activity is the ultimate money-saving solution – find a Christmassy baking recipe and make something to gift your family and friends! Recipes like gingerbread or shortbread are ideal as they are easy to make, have few ingredients that can be found at a low price and are usually well received by most.