Although my S.O. and partner and crime is not actually with me this holiday, I still wanted to write a post about my favorite couple’s holiday-related activities. Sean, if you’re reading this, take notes for our first Christmas!

Since Sean and I will be in graduate school for the foreseeable future (2 years and 4-6 years respectively), most everything we do will be on a budget. Luckily, there are tons of things to do around Christmas that don’t cost a thing!

So, without further adieu, here is your budget-friendly guide to Christmas activities!

On a budget

1. Holiday Movie Marathon & Snuggles

Because we all know, there is nothing better than snuggles. So, grab a blanket and snuggle up with your babe, pour some hot cocoa, and binge watch your favorite Christmas movies.

2. Local Christmas Parades/Festivals

Check out this post for the Lighted Boat Parade in La Conner I went to, and this post for the annual Christmas Lighting Festival in Leavenworth! There are tons of local activities that are usually free and only require driving! fullsizeoutput_560cfullsizeoutput_5517

3. Go to a Christmas Market

I haven’t gone to an actual market this holiday but I do have a new friend in Europe that has dedicated her winter travels to visiting some of Europes best Christmas Markets! Check out her blog here!fullsizeoutput_55ddfullsizeoutput_55fb

4. Volunteer together

Couples that volunteer together stay together! I already wrote a post on gifts that give back but you can also give back by volunteering! Just this week I volunteered by bagging lunches for children. There are many families that can’t afford regular meals. Many children get lunch from the schools but then don’t have lunch to eat over the weekend. There are programs that collect and bag food for these children.

5. Decorate the tree together!

This is an easy one. You’re probably already going to decorate a tree so do it together! Pick a day (I usually decorate the day after Thanksgiving), bring out the decorations, and get to filling your house with some decorations! fullsizeoutput_5248fullsizeoutput_522d

6. Winter Photo Shoot

Ask a friend to help and have a winter photo shoot! Pick the best/your favorite photo and use it for your Christmas card to send out to family and friends.fullsizeoutput_5530

7. Hold a Christmas Lights Competition

Take a walk or drive around your neighborhood and hold your own Christmas lights competition. Leave a treat like cookies or candy canes for the winner!IMG_0080fullsizeoutput_55f6

8. Go Snowshoeing

So I did this for the first time last weekend and it was awesome. If you’re an avid hiker, don’t let the cold and snow stop you! Rent a pair of snowshoes and hit the trails with your favorite adventure partner!fullsizeoutput_5568fullsizeoutput_556c

9. Go Ice Skating

I haven’t done this in years and years but I think I’ll have to scope out a place. Some places get cold enough weather to have ice skating outside. Otherwise you’ll be inside skating beneath that classic disco ball.

And for those times you want to fancy things up or splurge…

10. Take a Christmas Train Ride

This probably depends on where you live. The Leavenworth Snow Train goes through the mountains to take you to the German town of Leavenworth. You are served breakfast in the morning and enjoy bands, carolers, magicians, and Santa on your way to Leavenworth. Check out this post to see what you can do while in town. After the Christmas Lighting Festival, you board the train again for dinner, hot cocoa, and more entertainment. The snow train is pretty pricey – tickets range from $229 – $359.

11. Tickets to the Nutcracker

Going to see George Balantine’s The Nutcracker is about as Christmasy as you can get. This Ballet is actually playing in Seattle this holiday. Second Tier tickets range from $26 – $61; first tier $61 – $170; and gallery $65 – $79.

12. Carriage or Sleigh ride

They might do these in WA but I honestly have no idea. These are probably more common in areas with more snow and colder weather. Either way, this is super romantic and fun!