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Cheap and fun Christmas family activities

The moment that first advent calendar door is opened, excitement begins to spike for young and old alike (and it’s not just the sugar rush). But grown-ups might also be wondering how to channel that festive energy in ways that don’t end in tears and tantrums.

Well, don’t get your sustainable tinsel in a tangle! Hubbub’s “parent pack" has got your back, with lots of tried and tested ideas for sustainable and inexpensive festive family fun!

These tips are part of something bigger. At Hubbub, we want to see a world where everyone makes choices that are good for the environment. Check out what we do and how your actions add up.

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Rather than making that final click in your virtual gift basket, get the family involved in making gifts that will stand out from the crowd of predictable soap sets and pairs of socks!

There is an Irish saying: “Laughter is brightest in the place where the food is.” At Hubbub, we could not agree more, so here are our top suggestions for spreading that laughter from your kitchen to the hearts of those dearest to you…    

And these perfect treats need perfect eco-packaging! With small hands ready to get creative, old jars rule. A drop of imagination and some craft materials will transform them into a unique and airtight home for your treats. If jars aren't your thing, decorate some paper bags or cardboard boxes.

Make gift wrapping part of the fun by wrapping gifts in kraft paper or newspaper and decorating with festive fingerprint creatures. Washable paint is a top tip for this afternoon of fingerpainting fun!

When it comes to gift tags, cut up last year’s Christmas cards with crinkle cut scissors, punch a hole and tie on with old ribbon or string. Don’t want anything to go to waste? If anyone was wondering how to upcycle their peanut shells... look no further than these super cute reindeer gift tags.

Why not turn the 30 second rip-open-and-stuff-in-your-mouth activity of advent calendar choccies into a special story time too. Each afternoon or evening when they have the treat from their calendar they can also cuddle up for a story. Reading together or to each other is a calming activity compared to how hectic the rest of Christmas can get! You could find festive stories online, borrow a bunch of books from the library, or read old favourites like a different Disney story each night.

Walking in a winter wonderland needn’t be reserved for snowy weather – you and yours can rediscover nature in your local area by taking a family stroll. The familiar song croons, “gone away is the bluebird, here to stay is the new bird” – which species of bird are we talking here? If you’ve never wondered, this is a sign to wrap up warm and see what’s outdoors this Winter.

Bonus tip: As well as being good exercise, spending time in nature is great habit to help develop your relationship with the environment. Whether it’s helping young ones foster that relationship early, or helping you to reconnect, nature walks are well worth doing.

While we’re on the topic of stories, have you got a bunch of films collecting dust in your Netflix watchlist? Or maybe some old favourites that are begging for a rewatch? Either way, the Christmas break is the perfect time to put your feet up and immerse yourself in the world of make-believe. Take it in turns to choose which flick to put on and let the good times roll with this Christmas activity.

Sustainable plug: WaterBear is an environmental streaming service with a wealth of stunning films and series that bring the great outdoors inside – plus it’s free! You’re welcome.

Everyone’s a year older and a DIY photoshoot will be sure to add some holiday cheer to the family photo album. Think paper snowflakes, matching PJs or hats, and DIY paper garlands before they go up on the tree - most smartphone cameras are good enough to capture all toothy grins in crisp detail, so there’s no need to hire a professional. 

The ghost of Christmas present says you won’t have to break the bank, and the ghost of Christmas future says future you will be grateful for years to come; photograph this year’s memories before they become ghosts of Christmas past.

Want to freeze your food bills this Christmas?

From pre-Christmas planning to post-Christmas sharing, it's snow joke how much money you can save on your food bills.

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Check out our tips for change for easy inspiration on how you can live in a more sustainable way.