Christmas is an exciting time for children, and that’s great – but it can be stressful for parents to maintain the positivity when money is a worry.

However, there are lots of ways to sprinkle some Christmas magic without spending lots.

Read on for six ways to entertain the kids this festive season – for free!


Get crafting

You can make all kinds of fun festive decorations from things found around the house and reduce waste at the same time. Here are just a few ideas.

● Use kitchen roll tubes, tissue paper and string to craft your own crackers.

● Collect pine cones, dip them in PVA glue and sprinkle with salt to create mini snowy Christmas trees.

● Create a herd of mini reindeer using bottle corks, twigs, buttons and string.


Go to an all-age church service

It’s very likely that your local church is hosting various all-age services and events over the festive period.

Christingle and crib services are great for young people but take a look at your church’s website or notice board to find out exactly what they have going on.


Watch a free fireworks show

This is a great one for New Year’s Eve. Have a look at a map and find an elevated point nearby that’s easily accessible by foot or road.

When it gets dark, take a walk or drive up and watch the various fireworks from across the area.

Take a flask of hot chocolate and some blankets for a cosy evening under the lights.


Put on a living room show

Challenge the children to put on a Christmas-themed variety show in the living room.

They could sing, dance, read poetry and act out a Nativity scene. This will keep them busy for a few hours while they practise, plus all you have to do is sit back with a brew and watch!


See the local Christmas lights

Take a walk or drive around your local village or town to see the Christmas lights.

You could even make a game out of it by getting the kids to keep a tally of how many of a certain character they see, such as a Frosty the Snowman, Santa or Rudolph.

There are lots of wonderful things about the Christmas season, especially for children, but remember that it’s not worth getting into financial difficulty.

If you’re worried about debt, coping on a low income, budgeting or finding work, visit to find out about the free support offered by Christians Against Poverty (CAP) in partnership with local churches.

From all of us at CAP, we hope you have a very happy Christmas and New Year.


Jonathan Hayward is the manager of the West NI Debt Centre operated by the Enniskillen Presbyterian Church in partnership with Christians Against Poverty (CAP) which is a UK charity with over 580 services across the UK delivering free Debt Counselling, Life Skills and Money Management courses. ALL these services are freely available to everyone in Fermanagh and South Tyrone. Visit to find out more.