Rebecca Garland
Rebecca Garland
Business and Education Expert

The Christmas 2023 season is fast approaching, and American families are ready to get festive. As your family prepares for their celebration, consider ways to blend the old with the new. What fun new Christmas activities are in your area? How can they become part of your existing Christmas traditions?

As you enjoy new Christmas ideas and opportunities, remember that not everyone is in the holiday spirit. There are some who take advantage of the holidays and people’s joyful spirits. Christmas scams are always around, as families are estimated to spend more than $1.1 trillion on holiday spending in 2023. It’s up to you to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Key Insights:

  • Holidays can be expensive, but finding ways to celebrate with low-cost or free Christmas activities can boost inexpensive holiday fun.
  • To have a stress-free Christmas celebration plan ahead, be flexible, and spend time at home.
  • Focus on thoughtful Christmas ideas for gifts rather than expensive ones to personalize your holiday celebrations and create lasting memories. 

Ready to have some fun? We’ve included our top Christmas tips below to help you enjoy your holidays stress-free. 

Christmas celebration 2023

Celebrating Christmas at Home

If there was ever a year for fireplaces and Christmas movies, this is it. This is a year to deck your home in Christmas colors and stay in. To have a happy Christmas, consider new traditions for your family.

Make Christmas shopping family fun

46.6% of households are planning to shop both online and in-store, so why not enjoy it together? You don’t have to head to a crowded shopping center to find great deals – they are all online. Settle down by the fire with your various devices and have a family shopping party together by celebrating great deals and sharing discount codes.

Just be sure to read the return policies before buying. One frustrated Old Navy customer discovered the company has a stricter return policy than expected. When they tried to return items, consumers realized they didn’t have any packing slips, which means they couldn’t return the items:

You do not include a packing slip with your orders… and your customer service tells me I cannot return these items because I dont know which order number they were from.

Check for return policies, keep track of purchases and be scam savvy. If you have concerns about customer service and the customer experience, you can always check website reviews before ordering.

Bake family Christmas cookies

This is a year to enjoy some of the simpler holiday joys like baking Christmas candy and cookies with your family. Turn on the Christmas carols, line up the ingredients, and then spend a morning or afternoon in the kitchen making treats. The best part of making a batch of fudgy Christmas candy or a new batch of cookies is you can enjoy eating them as well!  

Enjoy a holiday photoshoot

What better way to capture the memories this year than with a family photoshoot? Thanks to our smartphone technology, this is very easy to do. A holiday photoshoot doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. With online printing, you can easily buy a large collection of holiday cards to send to friends and family or make larger prints of your family and children to give to grandparents and other relatives. Find everyone coordinating outfits, decorate the mantle, or find a nice outdoor location; use the timer on your camera and take beautiful pictures together!

Plan a family Christmas party

Whether you’re expecting a small gathering or a large party, you can celebrate with a family get-together. This is a great time to try out new recipes and create dishes to follow a new theme for the holidays or celebrate the Christmas traditions from older family members. Give everyone a theme and have a potluck. Or make the party less about food and more about games and time together. There are no rules when it comes to a family Christmas party! 

Budget-Friendly Christmas Activities

Americans tend to spend close to $1,000 on Christmas every year. You don’t have to go into debt to enjoy the holiday spirit! Celebrate the holiday by spending less when you can and splurging when the right opportunity presents itself.

Play Christmas games outside

There is no rule saying you should never leave your home. In fact, getting outside and getting fresh air is among the healthiest Christmas tips! You should take your Christmas games outside. If you live in an area with snow, grab your sled and take it down the hill a few times.

Try your hands – or your feet – with snowshoes. Walk around the neighborhood and look at the holiday lights. What could possibly be better socially distanced Christmas games than snowball fights and battles? Frosty would definitely agree.

Enjoy the Christmas lights

Families can travel to parks or simply drive or stroll through neighborhoods that have beautiful light displays. Pull on your coat and favorite Christmas hat. Grab a mug of hot chocolate. What a great way to make family memories! 

Go Ice skating

Unless the rink is very crowded, ice skating has all the perks of happy Christmas wishes while providing activity and being socially distanced. Pull on that favorite Christmas hat again, lace up your skates and take a few dozen turns around the outdoor skating rink. Just be sure to keep your distance from others and skip the crowded benches or hot chocolate stands.

Create fun Christmas trees

There is no rule saying you can only have a single Christmas tree. Set up small trees in every room and let the kids have a great time cutting out Christmas drawings as decorations. Worried about the cost of Christmas trees?

Check out discount stores for inexpensive small trees or shop at second-hand stores. Many households are upgrading their trees this year if they can afford it, which means plenty of heavily discounted second-hand trees are hitting thrift stores and resale shops.

Take free pictures with Santa

Check out your local papers for outdoor festivals and bazaars that might include a visit from Santa Claus. Festivals, special neighborhood events and more might provide an opportunity for a good photoshoot with Santa without spending any extra funds on expensive mall Santa pictures this year.

Enjoy Family Christmas Movie Nights

We are all taking advantage of streaming services, and companies are releasing shows as quickly as possible. To help celebrate the holidays for almost nothing out of pocket, make a standing date with your family or with a friend to watch Christmas movies. You don’t even have to be in the same place – just start streaming at the same time and share commentary via text.

Stress-free Christmas

Tips to Have a Stress-Free Christmas Celebration

The holiday season is a fun time, but also potentially a stressful one. Money concerns, family pressures, and time crunches can all add up to make the holidays less than bright. Don’t get overwhelmed this year and navigate through the season with less stress. 

Here are some tips to enjoy a stress-free Christmas celebration. 

Christmas gift ideas

You can create beautiful holiday memories with your Christmas gifts and your packages without spending outrageous amounts of money.

  • Establish a definite dollar limit for the individual gifts.
  • Choose a gift card that allows the receiver to pick their perfect gift. But be mindful that there is an increasing number of gift card scams. Buy cards only in reputable venues and consider gifting them in person rather than through the mail if possible. 
  • Shop online as it is faster, sometimes cheaper, and more convenient. According to a recent Black Friday survey, 41.3% of consumers prefer shopping online, making it a popular option in the holiday season. But pay attention to scammers. Christmas is a high season for holiday scams.
  • Use price-comparison apps like ShopSavvy, ScanLife,, etc. which help scout out deals on the holiday shopping season.
  • Download a map of your local mall’s stores from their website. Think of the paths and make a list of potential presents.
  • Use free gift wrapping with each purchase which many retailers offer as an in-house service.
  • Check reviews before buying gifts for friends and family.

One customer noted in their review that “something fishy is going on here” when they ordered six items from Lands End as Christmas presents but only received two. The missing items were originally in stock but then delayed for more than two weeks. Thankfully, customers were able to speak with a supervisor who contacted the warehouse and had all the items “shipped right away.” The reviewer noted:

All items have been received and I received a $25 coupon for a future order.

In this case, the customer was one of the lucky ones who had an issue resolved before it became a holiday gift crisis. 

  • Write a free letter to Santa. And Santa will write back. Santa's Address:

    Santa Claus
    325 S. Santa Claus Lane North Pole,
    Alaska 99705

Be flexible and generous with your holiday plans

The best memories are the ones with people or activities you enjoy. You don’t need to be elaborate or wear yourself down trying to force the fun of the holidays. Focus instead on staying flexible and having fun with your holiday funds and plans. 

  • Do Christmas shopping locally

Poke around in the stores you pass on your way to work every day. Or shop from small businesses online. Let others do the Christmas handicrafts, and you can simply buy them to enjoy. Your purchase helps a small business during the pandemic, and you get to enjoy some handmade items this holiday.

  • Enjoy Christmas dish takeout

If cooking a big meal is stressful for your family this year, why bother? There are many restaurants that specialize in preparing holiday meals the day or the day before that you can easily reheat at home.

Sometimes we just want to eat good food with friends or family members during the holidays, and spending hours of stressful preparation in the kitchen diminish the fun.  Make ordering food for the holidays part of the tradition of Christmas day. You can find traditional holiday fare or make it a holiday tradition to celebrate different cuisines and order a bit from a variety of spots to make the holidays multi-cultural and extra special.

Christmas decorations and meal planning

  • Hire a cleaning service

It can be expensive but may give you extra time for holiday preparation in a beautifully clean home. Who wouldn’t feel more cheerful in a home that doesn’t have to be cleaned with your own hands? 

  • Organize your Christmas meal preparations

You can make, place in pans and freeze rolls, cakes, muffins, etc., sometime before serving. According to Callum Graham, Head Chef at Bohemia

Preparation is really key for Christmas and anything you can prepare ahead of time you should do.

  • Enjoy Christmas celebration by sharing duties

Make your Christmas celebration less chaotic by creating a chart with duties, tasks, and responsibilities of your family members for Christmas, for example, the mother is responsible for cooking, the children – for decorating, the father – for shopping. 

It's almost Christmas time, and there is so much to love about the season. Gather your friends and family. Find fun Christmas activities in your area, or make your own. Play some games or settle down to watch holiday movies in the light of your own Christmas tree. But most importantly - focus on enjoying the holidays safely and with those you care about most. 

Legal disclaimers:

  1. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide any legal, medical, accounting, investment or any other professional advice as individual cases may vary and should be discussed with a corresponding expert and/or an attorney.
  2. All or some image copyright belongs to the original owner(s). No copyright infringement intended.