Budget Friendly Holiday Traditions, Paper Bag Stockings

Budget Friendly Holiday Traditions

By the time December hits, your wallet might be pretty empty, but you can still have fun with your family! I’m sharing 3 of my favorite budget friendly holiday traditions. These are easy ideas that make great memories.

Budget Friendly Paper Bag Stockings

Budget Friendly Paper Bag Stockings and Fireplace

The first of these budget friendly holiday traditions actually started by accident. We had just sold our house and moved cities for a new job opportunity and I was feeling a little bummed about losing our fireplace. 
But, I got creative with Youtube and transformed our flat screen into a crackling fire. Sounds crazy, but it felt so much more festive!

We were just missing stockings, but the hubby couldn’t find any at the store (I probably could have, but that’s a “mom skill”, if you know what I mean!) He didn’t want to come home empty handed, so he got . . . brown paper bags. I don’t know how that idea formulated, but it turned out great!

Budget Friendly Paper Bag Stockings collage of images.

We had the best time decorating those bags with craft paper, ribbon and whatever else we already had laying around the house. And, what’s cheaper than paper bags?

This is probably my favorite of these budget friendly holiday traditions because you get to stash treats in them!

We get our paper bags from Michael’s because they are large and have handles for easy hanging. 

To make these paper bag stockings even more budget friendly, try stuffing them with items from the Dollar Store. My blogger friend, Jessica, has a great list of Dollar Store items here that are good quality for every day use.

Here’s my list of items that are great for stocking stuffers (some of these items wouldn’t fit in a traditional stocking, but work great in our paper bags!):

Budget Friendly Paper Bag Stocks three, decorated hanging stockings

For Her

  • Candles
  • Candle Holders
  • Christmas Candy
  • Christmas Card
  • Hair Accessories
  • Scarves
  • Small Picture Frames
  • Socks

For Him

  • Christmas Candy
  • Christmas Card
  • Beef Jerky
  • Popcorn
  • Small Tools
  • Socks

For Kids

  • Action Figures & Cars

  • Art Supplies
  • Christmas Candy
  • Christmas Card
  • Games and Puzzles
  • Socks

Holiday Lights Tour & Scavenger Hunt

Lights Scavenger Hunt Snowman and Lights

When I was a little girl, my family and I would always go see the lights for Christmas. For us, that meant this one particular house in our neighborhood that went ALL OUT! They had a huge yard and lit every inch of it. It was so magical to my little mind. I still think Christmas lights are magical and I want my kids to be filled with this same wonder and awe.

Holiday Lights Tour & Scavenger Hunt Print-Out

One thing I’ve decided to do for my kids, is create a holiday lights scavenger hunt to make it even more fun. You can create your own, or you download mine here.

For me, there is nothing that gets me in the Christmas spirit more than seeing the lights.  With this scavenger hunt, you can have fun trying to find neighborhoods and houses with these specific decorations, and check them off as you go!

This is one of my budget friendly holiday traditions because it’s easy and won’t affect your wallet other than a little gas money.

And, if you have really little ones that have trouble sleeping, you might even get another parenting win out of it!

Puzz’lin & Cocoa

Puzzle Pieces Scattered on Table.

If you’ve got older kids or visiting family, this is a great tradition to start. But, even little ones can get involved. You can have them help sort pieces or get them their own mini puzzle. And, of course, everyone loves hot chocolate!

I love putting puzzles together around the holidays. It’s something you can do with multiple people at once and doesn’t involve a TV. It’s a great way to get your family around the table and actually have a conversation.

Nothing is worse then having family over and everyone is just sitting around twiddling their thumbs. 

Another great thing about this is that it’s an activity you don’t have to be tied to. You can work on it and then go and do other things you need to get done (like the all in-compassing Christmas Dinner) and you can come back to it later. 

Decorative cocoa and cookies on a plate.

The best place I’ve found to find the type of puzzles we like (huge and intricate) is Amazon. There is a great variety, and if you have a Prime Membership, you can always get a puzzle delivered last minute if you are a procrastinator like me.

The most you’ll spend for a 1000-2000 piece puzzle is $15 – $25, and its something that you can use over and over again.

What I Hope You’ll Take Away

We often put so much pressure on the Holidays to get our kids the best toys and feel like we’re keeping up with what everyone one around us has, but you can keep it simple and practical and still have a wonderful time with your family and make incredible memories.

My Favorite Christmas growing up, was probably super budget friendly for my parents. My mom made us custom goody boxes. To this day, I’m still not sure how she did it. They were cardboard boxes covered in fabric that matched our interests. There was a top that opened up like a treasure chest. There were different sections inside, filled with treats we liked and other items.

What I remember the most, were the mandarin oranges. Because, I loved mandarin oranges.

I don’t know how much it cost my mom to put these together, but it stood out to me, not because of the cost, but because of how creative and cool it was in my little kid brain and how thoughtful my mother had been.

I hope you enjoy these budget friendly holiday traditions, and make some of your own! I’d love to hear about them! Comment below!

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  1. Britney says:

    Such fantastic ideas! Love the personal stories as well. ❤️❤️❤️

    1. Olivia Hall says:

      Thanks, Britney! Merry Christmas!

  2. Aunt Margaret says:

    Hi Libby, l love this. Printed pictures can go on bags also. Recycled Christmas cards. Home made ornaments. Your mom created the entire nativity scene for a visual of what Christmas really is. The images are stuck in my mine. She used felt,corn shuck like material, small twine. Wooden balls,and wire. Merry Merry.

  3. Jessica says:

    I love all of these suggestions Olivia! The puzzle idea is great and I need to do that more often with my kids. And thank you for the shout out! You are too sweet ❤

  4. Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is wonderful, as well
    as the content!

    1. Olivia Hall says:

      Thank you for the feedback! I’m working hard to provide helpful content that makes life better! I’m still new to the blog world but, learning as fast as I can, since November.

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