For children, Christmas is magic. It’s wonder
and excitement. Often times, for grown-ups, it’s mile long
shopping lists, mile long lines in department stores and mile long
credit card bills piling in after the first of the new year.
Don’t allow the hassles and stress of the holidays to diminish
your Christmas spirit! Christmas is a time for memories, not
migraines! Here are some fun ideas for you and your family to
regain the true meaning of Christmas.
1. Ambush your kids with
a surprise late night drive around town to see lights and
decorations. Get them all set for bed, in nice warm jammies. Then,
right when you are about to tuck them in, scoop them up, bundle
them in blankets, buckle them in the car and go cruisin’! Be
sure to have Christmas tunes ready in the car to sing along to.
Older children will especially get a kick out of this special
2. It’s important to teach your children that Christmas is not
just about presents under the tree. Have your children decorate an
old shoe box with reds and greens and ribbons and bows. Then talk
to your children about gifts that don’t come wrapped, gifts that
you can’t touch, such as love. Help your children make a list of
all the gifts that they are thankful for that can’t be wrapped
and put under the tree. Put the list in the box and place the box
in a prominent spot in your home as a reminder of this life
lesson. You can pack the box away with your holiday decorations
and add a new list each Christmas.
3. Lights, camera, action! Act out your family’s favorite
Christmas story, such as Frosty the Snowman or Rudolph the Red
Nosed Reindeer and record it. Everyone knows how the story goes,
only rehearse your skit once, then capture it on film. You are
guaranteed tons of laughter and a great memory!
4. Start a Christmas tradition that each year your family will do
something new, something that your family has never done before to
celebrate the spirit of the season. It can be anything – ice
skating, caroling – have each member of the family come up with
an idea for a first-time activity and write them down, then throw
all the ideas into a hat. Then write each member of the family’s
name down and throw them into a separate hat. Mom or Dad can
choose the name out of that hat and whoever they pull out gets to
pull the activity out of the other hat. Maybe your experience will
be a one shot deal (we had a skiing fiasco in our family last
year) or maybe it will be something your family wants to add to
the Christmas traditions you already celebrate each year.
5. Get out of the house! Check your local newspaper for community
Christmas events that you and your family can enjoy together –
going to see a high school production of “The Nutcracker”,
joining an organized caroling event or attending a live nativity
6. Put together a time capsule to be opened on a future Christmas.
Have your child include their Christmas Wish List, holiday crafts
that they’ve made in school and whatever else you’d like to
add as a Christmas memory. Mark the box with “Christmas” and
the current year and then the year you’ll uncover the time
capsule – how about five years from now? Your then eight year
old will be horrified to learn she wanted a Barney tape when she
was three! You don’t have to actually bury your Christmas Time
Capsule – unless you want to – it will stay much safer up in
the attic or hidden away in the garage.
7. Tell your children the story of the birth of Jesus. Explain to
them that the baby Jesus was born poor and homeless and that even
though that was many, many years ago there are still babies born
today who don’t have what they need. Take your children to the
store and have them pick out gifts for babies born like baby
Jesus. Take your children with you to a pregnancy center or
woman’s shelter to donate the items. Say a special prayer at
bedtime that night for the babies who will receive their gifts.
8. Expose your children to Christmas traditions from around the
world. Do some research online or check out a book from the
library and educate yourself on Christmas customs from different
cultures. Then share your new knowledge with your little ones. One
of the traditions you learn about may speak to you and you may
want to incorporate it into your own family’s holiday
9. Hear ye’, hear ye’! Create a family newsletter to send out
with your Christmas cards or through email this year. Tell about
what’s happened in your family in the past year. Each member of
the family can have their own message, older children can write
their own and younger children can dictate to you what they’d
like to share. You can even include photos, recipes, a word search
– whatever you’d like.
10. Many families give their children’s school pictures or a
family portrait in a frame as a Christmas gift. Why not add a
really personal touch to an already personal gift? Help your
children decorate the frames in any manner they choose. You knew
you’d find a use for those odds and ends craft scraps of yours!
Hope these suggestions have been helpful. Don’t try to do all of
the activities or you’ll wind up more stressed than before, just
pick those that spoke to you. Christmas can be a magical time full
of wonder and excitement, even for busy grown-ups. Don’t lose
sight of what matters this time of year and don’t pass up an
opportunity to make a special Christmas memory. Even the seemingly
simplest activity can create a special Christmas memory for your
child. Maybe even one they will share with their own children
someday when they’ve turned into a busy grown-up and need to
rediscover their Christmas spirit.
Happy Holidays, here’s to the memories…
by: Revel in the ramblings of The Whack-E-Doo Mom on her
blog at whack-e-doo-mom.blogspot.com