Have you spent all your money on your holiday shopping and now you’re too broke to do anything else? Well, there are lots of FREE (or nearly free) ways to get in the holiday spirit, no matter what holiday you celebrate.
1) Visit the Free Tours in your own backyard - I don’t know exactly what businesses are in your area but I bet if you look around, there are some cool things to check out. Just speaking from my area, I can go tour a chocolate factory (sure, it's where I work but you don’t have to work here to get a tour), a Teddy Bear factory, an Ice Cream Factory and even some breweries – all offering free factory tours and even samples. Just take a moment to view your neighborhood through the eyes of a tourist. Pick up some tourist brochures at your local Chamber of Commerce and begin your adventure. And since most businesses are dressed for the holidays, you’ll get right in the spirit in no time while becoming your areas best tour guide!
2) Volunteer during the holidays – Local community programs are always looking for holiday volunteers to help wrap gifts, drop off meals, spend time with animals at shelters over long weekends, tons of stuff. And the folks you meet along the way will remind you of all the often forgotten joys of the holiday season. For me, those joys are helping my community and spending time in the presence of people at their best.
3) Take a drive and look at the lights – You don’t need to celebrate Christmas to appreciate how beautiful the holiday lights are. They’re just pretty. Grab some cups of hot chocolate, pack some cookies and take a cruise (in the car or on foot) around the various neighborhoods in your area. And if it’s snowing, why not strap on your snowshoes or cross-country skis and take a tour. You’ll get a fun workout in while enjoying the show!
4) Visit a ski area – You don’t have to ski to enjoy being at a ski area. If you’re lucky enough to live within driving distance, it’s a fun way to spend an afternoon, sitting snuggle in the lodge with some warm cider while watching skiers and boards zoom down the hill in front of you. Most ski areas have a lounge or restaurant and many even have little “downtowns” created to feel like some European winter village. Spending time on the slopes is only part of the experience, not all of it. And maybe someday, you’ll even be tempted to try getting out on the slopes.
5) Enjoy in-store demos – This time of year, many businesses (especially crafts and kitchen shops) offer free in-store demos, classes and samples. Learn to bead, watch a cake decorating demo, samples freshly crafted chocolates, whatever you find. Just check your locals stores’ events calendar.
OK, if that’s not enough stuff to get you started, I don’t know what is. This year, don’t let the current economy (yours or the country’s) keep you from making the most of the holidays. There’s lots to do for the whole family out there. You just have to know where to look. If we can make this December the best ever, just imagine what it’ll be like for all of us when the economy makes it’s way back!
PS - Don't forget to comment for your chance to win free chocolate!