A couple years ago I was thoroughly done with all of the stuff and clutter that had accumulated and Christmas was fast approaching. We used that as motivation to declutter and give away unneeded and unused clothes and toys to those that could use them. However, I didn’t want to be right back where we started after the holidays. I also wanted to be sure that I was sticking to our budget, especially with a new baby due that spring. That year we gave the children what we called the ‘Twelve Christmas Adventures’. It was a set of ‘coupons’ that explained that we were giving them one adventure for each month of the year. It was a great experience that added lots of time well spent and no clutter to our home. It also allowed us to spread out the expense over the entire year.
We did a variety of different adventures that varied in time and expense but you could easily do ones that were only local day trips and free to little expense. We did have to adapt a few of them for various reasons throughout the year but we did twelve adventures and had a great time as a family.
We did a couple of things that were overnight trips for our family. Our very first adventure was an overnight trip to Raleigh to see a children’s play. The children really enjoyed the play and still talk about it several years later. Our next adventure was a trip to our local bird park. Since we have annual passes to our local aquarium and this is part of our reciprocal membership, our only expense was the gas it took to drive to the park. We even included grandparents and a great-grandmother on this trip which was a great way to spend time with family. The children loved the park, especially feeding the flamingos. Our Aquarium membership is $145 for two years and includes admission to three aquariums, the zoo, and the bird park in our state, 10% off additional purchases and lots of free and discount tickets to other museums, aquariums, and zoos. We feel that it is a great value for the money.
Knowing I was due with our third child that year in April, we planned a very low key trip to the fireman’s museum in our town for that month. This way we still got an adventure but it was easier to manage. Over the course of the year we did things like a camping trip (this can be to a park, campground, or even your own backyard), a family hike, and a ball game (again it can be as simple as a local high school or if you are close by it might be a professional game). If you are looking for discounted tickets to events and attractions near you check out Groupon, they sometimes have some great deals. This can be a great way to come up with ideas you might not have thought of, or just to get a discount at the places you are already interested in.
These adventures could be free things like taking a picnic from home and enjoying it at a local park, going on a nature hike, finding somewhere fun to spread out a blanket and look at the stars. During the summer you could make ice cream sundaes and eat them on the beach or at a lake. The important thing with this plan is that you are finding fun ways to spend time together as family.
There are many different ways to present this idea to your children. Ours love opening gifts, so we did an envelope to both of them that explained that we would be doing twelve trips or adventures and then had a paper about each one wrapped in a separate box. They divided up the boxes and opened them to find out what awaited them over the coming year. If you want to get away from a lot of different boxes, you could easily explain it all in one card or box. You could even spread it out and have them open a box each month instead of all on Christmas Day.
If you are looking for other ideas check out our Clutter Free Christmas Ideas and stay tuned tomorrow for our post on sales and deals on home school and children’s gifts over the holiday weekend.
Also check our free resource library for two new Christmas freebies, Christmas Traditions and a Christmas Bucket List.
When you sign up for our free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.
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Deals and Freebies
Amazon has put Heroes Next Door: Hornet 24 on sale and there is a coupon on the page to make it even cheaper! This is a great Christmas gift.
Free I”m Thankful For…. Book from Amazon! (Always check prices as they are subject to change)
The 2018 Lego Advent Set is on sale right now for only $21.97. If you are looking for one grab it soon because they typically sell out!
The World of Peter Rabbit and His Friends Only .99 on Kindle! We love Beatrix Potter’s stories and this one includes her original illustrations.
Sunny Under the Sea Free (always double check because Amazon changes prices regularly!)
Wind in the Willows on Audio for only $2.95
Alice in Wonderland on Audible for less than $1!!
FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!
FREE Fantasy and Fairytales StoryBuilders from Write Shop!