Photo cred - Espace pour la vie

December has dawned, and while you're all excited for the start of the holiday/Christmas season in Montreal, you're also dreading the mad cheddar you'll have to drop to buy gifts for all those pesky friends and family in your life. They're the worst, we know, but hey, at least you'll be getting some presents from them too. If not, drop 'dem scrubs.

Christmas shopping aside, December can get pricey just from all the new winter gear you have to buy, and when you join that with your steadily increasing heating bill, your budget is undeniably strained. No worries though, because December in Montreal is stacked with free things to to throughout the month.

Save a penny and get in that nigh-sickeningly cheerful holiday attitude with the list below.


1. Stroll through the St. Henri Christmas Market


2. Visit the Nutcracker Market, and potentially win some tickets to the ballet performance


3. Watch the Empire City Troopers urban snowboard competition on St. Denis street


4. Check out all of the new comic book lightboxes attached to lampposts along Mont-Royal avenue


5. Go to the free skating and hot chocolate day at the Old Port skating rink, if you can still get a ticket


6. Get all festive at the Mont-Royal Christmas Parade


7. Then watch fireworks in Parc La Fontaine on Saturday, December 6th


8. Then head to the free Canailles Christmas concert in Parc des Compagnons after the fireworks are over


9. Enjoy the new Winter Village at the Olympic Stadium and skate for free at the skating rink


10. You can also skate for free at the Jeanne-Mance, Sir-Wilfrid-Laurier Park, Beaver Lake, Walter-Stewart Park, Jarry Park, Jean-Drapeau, and many others. See 'em all here.


11. Walk up St. Laurent and enjoy the 2.5km of Christmas lights that will line the Main later this month


12. Explore the Permanent Collections and Discovery Exhibitions @ the Museum of Fine Arts


13. Volunteer at a local charity, because 'tis the season to be charitable, or at least donate some old toys


14. Go sledding/tobogganing down Mont-Royal, once enough snow hits, and it will


15. Look to the skies in awe for the Old Port Winter Fireworks festival


16. Experience the immersive Prismatica installation in Quartier des Festival during Luminoptherapie


17. Also see the Fascinoscope audio-visual light projections and the carnival games outside of St. Laurent station


18. Check out the Botanical Gardens Christmas Candy Exhibition


19. Wish with all your might someone buys you tickets Cirque du Soleil 30th anniversary performance as an early Xmas present


20. See free holiday movies at Place D'Youville


21. Get some gratis coffee and hot chocolate from the 24H comfort team in the Old Port


22. Have a weird encounter with an Old Port Holiday-themed street performer


23. Make your Xmas wish at the Old Port Wish-A-Phone


24. Go say hi to Santa at Place D'Armes


25. Get free sweet samples and hot chocolate at the Nestle Turtles Big Presents at Place D'Youville and Square Victoria


26. Warm up at the Old Port Hot Spots at Place Jaque Cartier


27. See some free Christmas concerts at the Museum of Fine Arts on Saturdays


28. Get a little crafty (but not witchcrafty) at the Salon des métiers d'art "craft festival" at Place Bonventure


29. Be serenaded by carolers during Old Port Xmas concerts (by donation)


30. Build a snowman, but beware enchanted top hats, we don't need some possessed snow-creature running amok


31. See what a Victorian Christmas was like back in the day


32. Celebrate at Parc Lahaie during Noel dans la parc


33. Or if Parc Lahaie isn't in your area, celebrate Noel dans le parc at parc des Compagnons-de-Saint-Laurent


34. Bake some sweets and knit a stocking during the Chateau Ramezey Xmas celebrations


35. Discover the real Santa at Pointe-à-Callière, which is technically free after you've already paid entrance into the museum


36. Check out the wares of local artists and designers at Puces Pop 2014


37. Join the Recyclash crew for the second annual Pop Up Collectif


38. Decorate your Xmas tree with your friends and family (free after purchase of said tree, obvi)


39. Enjoy the Xmas activities at plaza St. Hubert every weekend of December starting on the 6th-21st


40. Learn more about all things Santa Clause at the themed exhibit at Musée Stewart, which will be free for the season


41. Get some eco-friendly gifts and eats at the Botanical Gardens Christmas Fair


42. Head downtown and enjoy all the holiday-themed activities


43. See Santa in your nearest mall


44. Check out the Christmas displays in storefront windows on St. Catherine


45. Make some Montreal bagels from scratch because its just too snowy outside to leave your house and go to Fairmount/St. Viateur


46. Get a little more drunk than you should at your office Xmas party


47. Pray for a white Christmas, then hate yourself when it happens because it's all going to turn into gross slush in 12 hours


48. Re-watch your favourite Christmas movies


49. Plan your New Year's Eve, because it is never too early


50. And if all else fails, just go to the Old Port NYE Party


Photo cred – ben soo

Are you looking for more? Click here for 13 Montreal “First World” Problems Everyone In The City Lives With >

For more on all things Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte

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