Priceless Holiday Traditions for Under a Buck

We spend weeks shopping, decorating, cooking, baking and wrapping. Americans drop hundreds (even thousands) of dollars each year gifting friends, relatives, teachers and mail carriers... bosses, neighbors, hair stylists and garbage men. And let's not forget the cash it takes to make the house look festive and the gifts feel merry. Or how you can buy a small country for the same amount it costs just to feed your guests -- it's no wonder holiday depression hits so many this time of year.

But funny enough, if you ask revelers which holiday traditions they're most fond of, you're most likely going to hear tales that have nothing to do with presents. Whether it's family crafts like these holiday ornaments, playing games like Jack Frost's Not Lost over egg nog, or even finding 8 ways to get your twinkle on (great ideas for holiday lights), it is more than possible to create lasting memories that cost no more than the price of a cup of hot chocolate. And, if you're willing to look a little uncool for the sake of some holiday cheer, you're ahead of the game!

Need some inspiration? Click here for 12 Days of Christmas Fun and read below to see some of the traditions my Facebook friends enjoy!

Kristy: When I was a little girl, my family got together with about 5 other families and we went caroling at retirement homes every year. It was fun for us and they never told us we sucked ... it was something that we always looked forward to ... even though we sang off key.

Brenda: caroling = free :) we do it every year

Val: Although [my child] is now almost twelve we still do this every Christmas Eve, read Twas the Night Before Christmas, watch the Grinch with Jim Carrey and open one present...

Megan: S'mores over the fire pit on Christmas Eve... Melissa: Making "Reindeer Food" to sprinkle on the front lawn Christmas Eve. Dried oats mixed with glitter and maybe some raisins. My kids love to make it at home, then spread it all over the lawn. It apparently helps the reindeer find the house.LOL

Jennifer: Trader Joe's gingerbread houses $7.99

Eve: Packing some fun treats and a thermos with hot chocolate for our drive around town to look at lights.

Donna: The "what'sit" challenge. Everyone brings a gadget or something antique or unique that they found that is not easily identified. We all pass them around and try to figure out what they are and how they are used. First to identify gets to keep the object. I've got a hysterical one for this year!!

Victoria: I agree about caroling -- so much fun! Cookie exchanges are good too.

Shannon: My family does a dollar gift exchange on Christmas Eve - everyone brings a gift that cost a dollar or less and then we draw #s the first person unwraps a gift the next person can unwrap or steal the gift and so on -- it's fun and harmless at a dollar a gift.

Do you have old (or even new) holiday traditions? Share them in the comments!