An unknown author stated that “No amount of money or success can take the place of time spent with family.” Many look forward to this time of year as we get to spend time with family, laughing and reminiscing about old times. Homes filled with love and joy as we greet parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and of course, our crazy cousins. The holidays wouldn’t be the same without the chaos. It just adds a little pizzazz to it all.
The holidays can also bring some level of stress on families as they anticipate an extra squeeze on their wallets. Finding ways to make this time of year memorable without breaking the bank is possible.
Get the popcorn ready! Christmas movies are always a hit! Gather the family around and enjoy the shenanigans of Clark W. Griswold in A Christmas Vacation. Poll the family and make a list of their favorite Christmas movies and watch one or two a night leading up to the big day!
My top 10 (in no specific order):
- This Christmas
- Christmas Vacation
- Best Man Holiday
- The Preacher’s Wife
- Jingle Jangle
- A Christmas Story
- Charlie Brown Christmas
- Christmas with the Kranks
- Nothing Like the Holidays
- Every single animated or Claymation Christmas show
Admittedly, I could go on and on when it comes to Christmas movies, but I’ll stop at my top 10!
Another budget-savvy option for some holiday cheer, smores! Let’s face it, it’s Florida and we can pretty much enjoy outside year-round. Even when it gets Florida cold, we can still bundle up and enjoy our lanai. Gather the family on a cold night and sit outside on the lanai in front of your fire pit and roast marshmallows and chocolate. Throw on some old-school Christmas music like The Temptations’ “Merry Christmas” and just enjoy. You can find an inexpensive fire pit on Marketplace or go to your nearest Lowes. It’s a small investment for the memories you’ll make.
Gas up the car and drive through the neighborhoods with the best Christmas lights. Grab some hot chocolate and turn up the A/C because again, it’s Florida and it may be hot. As an adult, I still love seeing Christmas lights and décor in the neighborhoods. Some people even have their lights synchronized to music. If you time it correctly, after seeing the Christmas lights with family, you could find a spot to watch the Disney fireworks as a close to an exciting day.
Community events are always a plus. There are so many “light-ups” in Central Florida. You can get your fill of Christmas enjoying all the Christmas tree light-ups in cities like Clermont, Windermere, Winter Garden, and a slew of others. Most of these events are always free and offer opportunities for pictures with Santa and even the Grinch if he cooperates! Plenty of vendors are always on-site and the Christmas décor along the streets will leave you in awe.
The holidays are a wonderful time for reconnecting with family and friends. Don’t allow the stress and burden of the finances to overload you. The holidays were meant to be enjoyed and cherished by all.