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free Chirstmas gifts for kids

Free Christmas Gifts for Kids

Buying Christmas gifts for your kids can definitely be a budget buster if you let it. But your Christmas gift giving does not have to break the bank! In this article I am going to share 25 of my best ideas for free Christmas gifts for kids!


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Saving Money on Christmas Gifts for Kids

What do you give as a gift for Christmas if you have no money? If you and your family are wanting or needing to spend less money this Christmas, these free gift ideas will be perfect. Sometimes families do not have sufficient income or have savings goals that prevent them from spending a lot on Christmas.

Free Christmas gifts for kids are perfect for this situation! And some families prefer to gift experiences over physical gifts. This list contains many options for both free Christmas experiences and free physical Christmas gifts for kids!

The awesome thing is that even when you are trying to cut back on your Christmas gift spending, and even on your spending on Christmas gifts for kids, you can still have a wonderful Christmas as a family! And you don’t necessarily even have to cut back on the amount of gift giving you do, either (although that is one good way to save a lot of money!). 

In order to save money on Christmas gifts for kids, you just have to be intentional and do some planning, and you can still give wonderful gifts for Christmas, even if you have a tight Christmas budget this year!

Like many young couples, when my husband and I got married, we were in school, and we just didn’t have a lot of money for Christmas gifts.

And once we were done with school and started to learn about personal finance and managing money, we decided we wanted to get unburied from the big pile of debt that we had. So we never got into the habit of spending  a ton of money on Christmas.

Now that we have three kiddos we definitely spend more money on Christmas than we used to, but we still don’t spend a ton of money on Christmas presents.

Giving free Christmas presents to your kids is definitely one way you can cut back on Christmas spending!

You will find tons of ideas in this article for how you can save money on your Christmas gift giving for children! 💪

So read on to find my best ideas for awesome free Christmas presents for your kiddos!


Heads up! Also be sure to check out this related article for ways to make more money for Christmas! That way, you can spend more money on Christmas gifts, guilt free without busting your budget!

***Pro Saving Tip! Use the free Christmas planning printables just below to help you plan your Christmas gift giving and Christmas budget!***


Why Try to Save Money on Christmas Gifts for Kids?

I love Christmas as much as the next guy or gal—definitely! (I am happy to start listening to Christmas music in October, or even sooner! :))

But the spending on Christmas these days can be kind of over the top sometimes! It’s one day of the year!

Granted, it’s a very important day of the year. If you’re Christian like me, it’s one of the very most important days of the year. But it’s not primarily because of the toys and gadgets and all the stuff.

The average American family spent about $970 on Christmas last year. That’s about $700 more than we spent on Christmas for all of our gift giving. And that’s not because we’re scrooges, but because we do realize that Christmas is just one day a year and we want to save our money for things that we love even more than a bunch of gifts on Christmas. (Don’t worry, though; our kids already have plenty of stuff and tons of toys. They’re not deprived! 😊)

What we would rather do is spend more money on meaningful experiences like fun family vacations and saving for our kids’ (debt free) college educations and retirement, and less money on stuff that might just collect dust in a toy box, for example.

Most families have credit card and car and other debt, and if you can save some money and still have a wonderful Christmas (you can!), then you won’t add any more debt to an already strained budget.

So read on to learn some of my best ideas for how to save money by giving free Christmas gifts to the kids!



25 Best Free Christmas Gifts for Kids!

Whether you have a tight budget this year or whether you just want to cut back on Christmas spending for other reasons (or maybe you have a particularly long Christmas gift list this year!), these awesome ideas for free Christmas gifts for kids will help keep you from overspending this holiday season.

Here are some simple things you can do to save money on Christmas gift giving by giving free Christmas presents to your kids this year.


1. Teach your kids a skill to give them an awesome free Christmas gift.

Teaching your child an important or fun skill is a great gift! There are so many skills we can teach our children that will benefit them in the future. Baking, cooking, grocery shopping, piano, crafting, photography, etc. There are so many options! What does your child like to do? What kind of skills will they need in the future? Teach them something and spend some quality time together.



***Pro tip:  Be sure to grab the free Christmas budget printable above ☝️ (and other awesome free Christmas planning printables!) to help you stay on budget and plan an awesome, joyful, and stress-free Christmas this year!***

2. Give your kids a TV show or movie punch card.

 If your family watches little television or watches it only on special occasions or weekends (like we generally only do), then this gift is perfect for your family.

If you want to be a little more conscious and proactive about how much TV time your child gets, a punch card is a great idea. Decide how many TV show episodes or movies you want to gift to your little ones.

Then take a sheet of paper and design a punch card or mark-off card that the children can have and utilize when they want to watch a show. It doesn’t have to be terribly fancy or particularly nice. Draw it or use a computer and printer.

Have a circle for each TV show or movie, and mark one off or hole punch one each time your child uses it.


3. Find a free event for the kids to enjoy.

Kids love doing special things with their family and the Christmas season is no exception. The holiday season often has many free events available for families to attend. Free concerts, Christmas lights shows, going to see reindeer and Santa, live-action nativity scenes, Christmas tree light-up celebrations, and so on.

Check your community for fun Christmas activities and enjoy the whole experience as a family. Creating wonderful memories with activities like these will bond your family together and remind your kids that family is important.


**Pro tip: Find ways to make money at Christmas, too!

Finding ways to save money at Christmas isn’t the only way to have an awesome debt-free or less stressful Christmas! Making extra money for the holidays is another way to enjoy an amazing Christmas holiday season!

Check out this article with more than 80 ways to make more money for Christmas!



4. Give your children the gift of a debt-free Christmas.

Kids may be too young to know much about finances and debt and how that affects all of us adults. But they are not too young to notice if their parents are feeling happier and less stressed this Christmas because the parents don’t have to worry about credit card bills coming in January from overspending on Christmas.

Use the gifts from the list in this article and from this list of 100+ budget-friendly gifts to make it through Christmas without going into debt.

And next year use this technique to save for Christmas so you never have to worry about how to pay for Christmas again. Impending credit card bills are no fun when it’s Christmastime!

Pro tip: Learn how to have a debt-free Christmas.


Related article: For more money-saving Christmas ideas, check out this huge list of 75+ fun Christmas traditions and activities you can do with your family!


5. Design a Christmas scavenger hunt.

Designing a Christmas scavenger hunt is another fun and free Christmas gift for kids.

My kids really love a scavenger hunt. I grew up doing this at Easter but I see no reason why we can’t do it for Christmas also. At the end of the scavenger hunt can be a gift you purchased or another free gift from this list. To set it up, I come up with places in the house where I can hide the clues.

For Easter we hide the clues in Easter eggs and if you have Christmas-colored eggs, it would be fun to put the clues in those. Or you could roll the clues up and tie a Christmas ribbon around it.

After I have the places where I can hide the clues, I come up with little rhyming lines and leave the destination blank so they have to figure out where the next clue is.

For example: Christmastime is very fun for elves, look for the next clue on the book____. (shelves) Then hide the next clue on the bookshelf. You can make the clues harder or easier depending on what you think your kids can figure out. Start with one clue that you plan to hand to the children, then hide the clues in order so the next clue leads to the next place. At the very end have a special gift or treat for the kids.


6. Create a photo album for an awesome free Christmas present for kids.

My kids also love to look at photos of our family and things we’ve done together. If you have a bunch of photos hanging around, put them all together for easy viewing in a photo album that your children can look through. Perhaps you’re like me and have some unused photo albums laying around that can be put to good use. If you don’t have any physical photos printed off, consider making a photo album on your phone or laptop that the kids can look at and remember the adventures you’ve been on as a family.

7. Make treats with your kids for a fun, free Christmas gift.

What kids don’t love Christmas treats? How fun would it be to make special holiday treats with your children and create fun memories together! Also it teaches them a variety of things like cleanliness while baking, math, baking skills, chemistry, measuring, teamwork, patience (while it bakes and cools), service (if you gift some to others), and so on.

Recipes abound with Christmas treats from cookies, muffins, candies, and so on. Consider letting your kids help decide what to make. Enjoy the treats together with your little bakers! You could also make extras to take to neighbors and friends.

8. Give them your time.

Kids thrive on one-on-one attention from their parents. Set aside some time every day or every week, depending on your availability, to really spend good quality time with your child. Let them lead the conversation. If they are reluctant to talk, ask the open-ended questions.

Also let them tell you about their day. My kids love to tell me about the things their toys did or a cool trick they performed while jumping on the trampoline. You could spend the time enjoying one of the other gifts listed here—looking at photo books, making a special treat, going on a picnic, and so on.

9. Go on a picnic.

If you live in a location where the weather isn’t too cold, you could go on a picnic with your children for a Christmas gift. Kids just love these special little adventures that are out of the ordinary. Consider bringing the foods that they especially like and a special little treat for them. Perhaps you could even pack sports balls or a Frisbee to play with at your destination.

If the weather is too cold where you live, perhaps you could have a picnic in the living room or somewhere inside your house. Bring some fun little games they can play on a blanket laid on the floor. What a fun way to spend some time together and do something out of the ordinary!

10. Make a personalized coupon book for a fun and free Christmas gift for your kids.

You can easily make a personalized coupon book for your kids on your computer. Make a coupon book on your computer with a few coupons on each page. Again, it doesn’t need to be overly fancy or professional looking. We aren’t trying to compete with all the Pinterest-perfect coupon books. Just something simple is fine.

You can create coupons for things such as making a special treat with Mom, going out to eat with Mom or Dad, popcorn and a movie at home, and so on. Print out the pages, cut each coupon out, and staple together on the side. Voila! With the coupon book you and your child can look forward to a special, unique experience as a regular occurrence.

11. Tell your kids a super fun bedtime story about themselves.

This is another fun idea for a free Christmas gift for kids. Kids love bedtime stories! And they love hearing about themselves. 🙂

Instead of the regular prince or princess story adapted from a movie or book you’ve seen or read, this time make up a fun story about your special little listener. Perhaps involve them in a story about their favorite TV show or book.

My kids love Paw Patrol so they would love a story of them saving Adventure Bay right alongside the lovable pups. I bet your kids would love to hear this story over and over and you can tweak and embellish the story and make it better with every telling.

12. Go look at the holiday lights.

Christmas lights are just delightful to look at with kids. I enjoy the holidays more now that I have kids and can watch them experience the wonder of Christmas. It’s wonderful to see Christmas through their eyes.

Many houses and neighborhoods go all out with light displays. Some even have their lights synchronized with a local radio station. Keep an eye out for wonderful displays that you can go visit with your kids. They will love it!

13. Enjoy leisurely, unhurried days as a fun and free Christmas present for your kids.

We live in a frenetic society. Covid-19 has opened many eyes to how a slower life is possible and (for many) desirable. Spending more quality time with family is good. Give your kids the gift of your unhurried time so you can pay attention to them and have time to play with them. Kids thrive with time to use their imaginations and play. Give them time to let their imaginations develop and grow.

14. Gift your kids a year’s worth of outings.

Similar to a coupon book, you could gift your child a year’s worth of outings. A restaurant of their choice, a hike, a trip to the pool or hot springs, a special playground or splash pad that you don’t usually visit (when it’s warmer), and so on.

Use your imagination and think about what fun things you can come up with that your child will look forward to every month. You can have the entire thing full of more free gifts and outings, or if you have room in your budget to spend on outings, you can include some things that will cost some money.

15. Make a song album for them.

If your kids love music, a song album of their very own could be the perfect Christmas gift for them. What kinds of songs do they like to sing to, dance to, fall asleep to, listen to in the car? You could make a special album for Christmas, learning songs, everyday songs, and so on.

This is a gift that they can enjoy for months and years to come. I grew up with my parents singing songs in the car on road trips that are so iconic to my childhood. The memories make me smile and remind me of some really good times. You can help your children develop such memories with song albums they can listen to.

16. Create lasting memories.

Your kids will often not remember the gifts you gave them. But they will recall the memories you make with them! Give your children the gift of lasting memories. There are many ideas in this list that will help you have wonderful experiences with your children and create lasting memories.

Good experiences coupled with movies or photo albums to help them remember the adventures is a great idea.

17. Put together a time capsule.

Putting together a time capsule with your kids could be a great adventure and is another awesome and free Christmas present for your kiddos. What items will they want to put in the capsule? How long will they be willing to wait to open it again? This could be a great way of preserving some memorabilia to enjoy in the future.

Imagine opening the time capsule in five or ten years and pulling out your (sanitized) 2020 mask! Opening the time capsule in the future will be fun to remember the kinds of things they were interested in when they were younger.

18. Help your children learn how blessed they are.

This is something that every kid needs to learn. It comes more naturally to some kids than others. How you choose to teach your kids this depends on your family and situation. Often kids see what their friends have and think they want whatever it is.

It’s hard for kids to realize that they are very blessed when all they see is other kids who have more than they do. Perhaps consider involving your children in donating supplies to a charity organization. Explain to them that some families have very little money and don’t get big Christmas gifts or perhaps no gifts at all. Some even struggle to buy everyday things such as clothes, shoes, school supplies, hygiene supplies, and even food.

You could have your kids think of things they are grateful for every day. Consider having them give thanks for their blessings in their prayers.

19. Make a movie of your kids for an awesome free Christmas gift for kids!

My kids love to watch videos of themselves that I have taken on my phone. If you think your kids would like this gift, take a little extra time and effort to create an extra special gift for them that they will enjoy for months and years to come. Hey, maybe they will even show their future spouse and kids many years down the road!

Perhaps record some special videos to add if you like and make a compilation of videos that you have taken. Gift the recording to your kids on a DVD or on YouTube. They will love watching it again and again. Perhaps you’ll enjoy the process so much that you will continue making family videos and create a wonderful family legacy.

20. Make Christ the center of your Christmas.

Teaching your kids that Christ is at the center of Christmas is so important to their lives.

Does your family have Christmas traditions that focus on Christ instead of presents? Growing up our family always read the nativity story out of Luke. We still do that with my family, and all the grandkids act it out and it is a really special experience.

We sing Christmas songs and enjoy the little nativity play. Some people bake a birthday cake for Jesus. Consider starting your own family tradition that brings Christ back into Christmas.

Christ was always serving those around Him. When you schedule your Christmas plan, consider including service (see more in number 21) and explain to your children that we want to serve others just like Jesus did.

Find more than 20 ideas for how to enjoy a more Christ-centered Christmas.

21. Serve in the community.

Having your kids serve in the community will help them develop character and a heart for service. Few gifts are greater than the ones that develop good character in your children. We all want our children to grow up to be good people and teaching them to love service is a great thing.

There are many opportunities for service all over the country. You and your family could serve in the food kitchen, visit the elderly in retirement homes, sing carols to Christmas shoppers, fill a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child, give a gift through an Angel Tree, and so on.

Research the opportunities in your town to see what your family could do to serve others.

22. Make play dough for them or with them.

My kids love playing with play dough! It makes a mess that I have to clean up afterward but they love it.

Each time they play we lose a little more play dough. How fun would it be to make your own play dough, either with your child or as a surprise for them to play with?!

23. Make a paint sample bookmark.

If your child enjoys reading or is at all artistic a paint sample bookmark is a perfect gift. This bookmark is so simple, so adaptable to their likes, and so inexpensive.

Just run to the closest hardware store and choose a paint sample card in a color they would like. Trim off excess parts of the card and shape it like a bookmark. Write a note on it or not, whichever you choose is fine.

If you would like to add a tassel of yarn or embroidery thread, punch a hole in one of the thin ends. String the yarn or thread through the hole and create a tassel.

And lastly, gift the bookmark to your little bookworm. If you worry that the bookmark will get ruined because it is not tough enough, you can laminate it if you have laminating supplies at home. If not, put a strip of packing tape on each side of the bookmark and trim the excess off the edges. Perfect!

24. Sign your kids up for free lessons.

Perhaps there is something you want your kids to learn but you don’t have the skills to teach them. Consider seeing if there are classes in your area to learn the skill for free

The 4-H program is a great option for this. Check to see if this is an option where you live and research what kinds of classes they offer. My sister took crochet lessons through the 4-H program for six years or so. If you don’t have 4-H in your area or what your child wants to learn isn’t offered, perhaps there is an online class your child could take.

Or see if there are videos on YouTube. A different sister went to a few crochet lessons but didn’t stick with it. Fifteen years later she looked up some videos on YouTube and is now can crochet fantastic things.

25. Get financial help if you need it.

If your family is really struggling financially this year and you cannot afford to buy any presents for your children, there are programs such as Sub for Santa that can help. Consider searching and applying for assistance this Christmas. 



Related article: Learn the 5 simple steps for a debt free Christmas here!

And to help you plan for a wonderful debt-free Christmas, grab one of these awesome Christmas savings trackers!


free Christmas Savings Tracker printables









Or grab this fun Christmas savings tracker printable!











Final Thought on Free Christmas Gifts for Kids

Whether you are trying to spend less money this Christmas season or perhaps you just want to branch out and give your child a special, unique gift, the gifts listed here are wonderful things to give your children. Saving money at Christmastime is a great way to boost your financial goals for the new year.

Make Christmas exceptionally fun this year by gifting your child something different, something they will cherish for years to come. Whether it is a physical gift or an experience, the cost isn’t the thing that matters.

What matters is that your children know you love them and you create wonderful memories together that will bind you together forever.



What ideas do you have for fun, free Christmas gifts for kids? I would love to hear your ideas and thoughts, so please leave a comment below!


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