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Aren’t the holidays the best? You get to see all of your favorite people, wear sparkly dresses and open presents from your well-meaning but generally ill-advised loved ones. (Reindeer socks? Really?)

But all that yuletide joy comes with a downside. It's expensive, you guys. 

Luckily, we’re experts at entertaining ourselves on the cheap or, better yet, for free. Here, 30 fun things to do this holiday season that won’t cost a penny.

free cookie swap

1. Throw a cookie-swap party with ingredients you and your friends already have in your pantries. Make it a competition. Get overly competitive. Cool down because who can stay mad when there are cookies around?

2. Watch A Christmas Story for the thousandth time on TBS.

3. Google-stalk “kid from A Christmas Story” and revel in how cute he turned out.

4. Research cool holiday traditions from around the world and incorporate one of them into your family celebration. (Did you know that in Japan they eat KFC on December 25th?)

5. Before all the holiday parties, set up an at-home spa with friends and paint each other’s nails while wearing DIY hair masks.

free windows

6. Go window-shopping at the swankiest stores you can find. Wonder if the mannequins secretly come alive at night.

7. Call a friend or relative you haven’t talked to in a long time and catch up.

8. Throw a Pinterest party and make some of those cool DIY holiday decorations you’ve been pinning for the past four years.

9. Grab some friends or family and volunteer together. That’s what the holidays are all about, no?

10. Take a spontaneous road trip to a nearby city or town and window-shop there.

11. Pull up instrumental versions of your favorite Christmas songs on YouTube and host a karaoke party in your living room. Subsequently realize how weird “Santa Baby” is.

free snow

12. If there’s snow on the ground, play in it.

13. Visit a museum. Seriously. A lot of them are free, and the holidays make for a more robust people-watching experience. 

14. Take your hot chocolate to the next level.

15. Have a gift-wrapping party.

free red

16. Wear something red.

17. Watch a sporting event in its entirety. Consider this your gift to your husband/boyfriend/sportiest pal.

18. Teach yourself how to juggle. You’ve always wanted to know how, plus when all the little kids are crying at Christmas dinner, you’ll be the hero for calming them down with your mad clown skills.

19. Watch the Amy Schumer HBO comedy special.

20. Watch Love Actually on Netflix.

21. Watch YouTube beauty tutorials to perfect your holiday party look.

free snowflake

22. Make paper snowflake cutouts that might seem “simple” but totally suit your toddler-level crafting abilities.

23. Light a fire, slip into your coziest pajamas, grab a good book and relax.

free decorations

24Research places near you that go all out on Christmas decorations, then go there.

25. Research places around the world that are 80 degrees in December, then fantasize about going there.

26. Bake sugar cookies and bring them to the neighbors you’ve never met.

27. Take a nap before your entire family rolls into town.

free meditation

28. Try meditation to relieve the stress of having your entire family in town.

29. Research local breweries or vineyards that offer free tours and tastings. (Because...entire family in town.)

free caroling

30. Walk around your neighborhood caroling as loudly as you can until an angry neighbor threatens to call the police.

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