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Quick ideas for a cosy Christmas Eve on a budget

Quick ideas for a cosy Christmas Eve on a budget
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Have a magical Christmas Eve without overspending

Christmas Eve – you’re buzzing from shopping and planning and partying; the children are too excited to sleep; and the house is full of lovely food that no one is allowed to touch until 25 December. And on top of that is the pressure to dress in matching PJs and do something magical, preferably involving a bespoke Christmas Eve box.

But there’s no need to plough through your Christmas budget with a last-minute overspend. Planning something low-key for Christmas Eve will dampen down some of the agitation and (maybe) make Santa come more quickly. Here are some ideas for inexpensive family time the night before Christmas.

Christmas Eve movie night

Make an event of a Christmas movie night. Draw the curtains, dim the lights and snuggle up on the sofa with one of the many, many Christmas-themed films. DVDs of Christmas movies are often available for pence in charity shops, or use a streaming service, or record one off the telly. You could also ask friends for loans or swaps. Popcorn and a few sweets can make it even more fun.

Enjoy music as a family on Christmas Eve

Make time to listen to a few carols by putting together a Christmas playlist and sharing music with your loved ones. Singing together is a lovely way of bonding – there’s no pressure to perform if you’re with close family.

If your family is musical, Christmas Eve is the perfect time to enjoy playing together. Try a new piece of music from Musopen, or play something familiar. Younger children might enjoy jingle bells or a kazoo.

Christmas Eve books

A reading party is a way of making a sociable space for reading. Everyone can read the same book and discuss afterwards; or they can read their own choice of text. All you have to do is provide a cosy space, good lighting, snacks and drinks and some agreed rules – perhaps no chatting except during the first and last twenty minutes.

For a more family-oriented event, younger children enjoy being read to – and even older children might enjoy it, too. The combination of cosiness and nostalgia is hard to beat!

To add a festive flavour, bring out some of your family’s favourite Christmas books. Our blogpost on Christmas reading has some recommendations of enduring classic festive stories. Source new-to-you Christmas books from charity shops or the library to mix up your offering. And it doesn’t just have to be fiction – poetry, cooking, art books and even festive magazines all add to the fun.

Go out looking for neighbourhood Christmas lights

There’s always one person in every street who goes all-out with the Christmas lights. Wrap up warm and take a walk round your part of town to see who has got the best display. To plan your route, search out decorated houses when you’re out and about during the day, and get tips off your neighbourhood social media sites.

Video call to friends or family abroad

These days, it’s possible to make international calls – even video chats – for free. Christmas Eve is a good time to call family and friends who live in different time zones. You can get your family in Sydney (11 hours ahead) out of bed at a reasonable time on Christmas morning if you call them between 8pm and 10pm.

Or you could catch your friends in USA, Canada and South America during the afternoon of Christmas Eve – Eastern is five hours behind GMT; and Pacific is eight hours behind.

If you are calling Europe, early evening is best, as they are a couple of hours ahead.

Remember friends and family who are in the same time zone but who are working or living away over the festive period. A call on Christmas Eve is no less special than a call on Christmas Day, and may be much less pressured, too.


Question and Answer


Can I keep a musical instrument in my storage unit?

Musical instruments can be kept in storage units and will be covered by your self-storage insurance. Climate controlled storage is a good setting for storing musical instruments that may be sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity found in attics and cupboards at home.