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  Children's Ministry Today    

Today's Featured Article

81 Ideas to do With Your Family at Christmas
                    By: Patty Getz


Christmas is about so much more than presents and parties, and yet, each year, that is the focus that we as a society place on it. Christmas has become a stress for some, and financial hardship for others. Where there used to be a holiday, to celebrate Family, we have some how lost touch with our roots, and a meaningful soulful Christmas.

Following is a list of of Ideas that cost little or no money, that you can do with your family this Christmas. Set aside some time, and lets all get back to the basics of Christmas. Take this list, and let each family member choose one, and then set aside an evening, for each activity, you will be surprised and amazed how much this will Change your and your families outlook on Christmas.

1) Make a popcorn Garland

2) Make garland with construction paper

3) Watch Christmas shows together with hot Chocolate and popcorn

4) Make Decorating the the tree a family event, serve hot chocolate and play Christmas music

5) Make your own Christmas cards to send to people

6) Go Christmas shopping at the the Dollar Store And Donate to a charity for Christmas Gifts

7) Donate Clothes or toys for needy children

8) Make a Snowman

9) Have a snowball fight

10) Make a ginger bread house out of graham crackers and what ever you have in the house.

11) Paint Christmassy pictures on the windows with washable paint

12) Make a game out of hunting around the house, for things to make Christmas decorations out of.

13) Build a fire, and have a slumber party with your kids

14) Bake and decorate cookies

15) Have a wrapping party

16) Plan to share a plate of goodies with any elderly or young parents in the neighborhood

17) Go Caroling

18) Go for a drive and see who wins for the best lights in town.  Make an award for the winner and present it to them.

19) Attend a Live Nativity.

20) Take a Special drive at night to enjoy others Christmas lights!

21) Invite your children's friends over to make cards or gifts for their parents

22) Go collect pine cones and use them to make ornaments

23) Make bird treat with peanut butter and birdseed

24) Sing Christmas carols

25) Have the kids write and act out a Christmas play

26) Go to the library and borrow Christmas videos and books

27) Have a game night

28) Take a walk or drive around a neighborhood that has their houses all lit up and decorated

29) Shovel the snow for your elderly neighbors

30) Read one Christmas short story each night before bed

31) Write Christmas letter to all the relatives with the kids all telling what they have been up to in their own words

32) Go sledding (a personal favorite) and come back to the house for hot cider and hot chocolate (we do this and invite the kid's friends to join us)

33) Take a picture of the kids in front of the Christmas tree, and make it a yearly tradition.

34) Visit the local nursing home and present some of the residents with homemade Christmas cards.

35) Do a random act of kindness for a neighbor that you know is sick or feeling down, like take them a plate of cookies or some homemade ornaments.

36) Attend a Church service together

37) Invite an older person/couple for a holiday meal

38) Have a campout night, and sleep in sleeping bags under your lighted Christmas tree or some Christmas lights.

39) Make up a Christmas scavenger hunt.

40) Watch the all the videos or home movies of Christmas. Or, look at all the photos from Christmas.

41) Make some ornaments

42) Color some Christmas pages together

43) Share a favorite Christmas memory

44) Help your local church/library/community center organize a special holiday reading of Twas the night before Christmas, A Christmas Carol, etc. Invite seniors/families. Maybe get a local store to donate some cookies or cocoa.

45) Have a birthday celebration, complete with cake, and birthday decorations.

46) We make a video of ourselves decorating the tree, making cookies, singing Christmas carols and telling the Christmas story. then we make copies of it for all the far off relatives (beats a humdrum letter).

47) Volunteer as a family for the local shelter or nursing home.

48) Have your kids make Christmas cards or snowflakes and take them to the local nursing home.

49) Organize your scout troop or Sunday school or homeschool group and go caroling at a nursing home.

50) Scout or youth group could also offer to paint the windows of local businesses for the holiday with washable paint.

60) Ask the local supermarket if your youth group or older kids can help carry groceries out for senior citizens. Those turkeys are heavy to pick up and put in the car!

61) Help sort food for a food pantry that does food baskets for the holiday.

62) Make paper snowflakes to decorate your windows

63) Organize or volunteer to work in a Christmas wrap booth that gives the proceeds to charity -

64) Volunteer as food servers at shelters that provide Christmas/Thanksgiving dinners

65) Light up your walkway/driveway with handmade luminaries

66) Collect pine boughs and pine cones and make wreaths - can be shared at nursing homes or with elderly ones nearby

67) We decorate our stocking each year. I buy the ones from the Dollar Store, and whatever we wish to decorate with. Last year we used sticky foam shapes, this year we used glitter glue pens

68) Get out your old records - or borrow your parents- and listen to the Golden oldie Christmas songs from your youth, and share the memories of Christmas past with your children

69) Learn about different cultures celebrate Christmas.... and about what they did years ago.

70) Sing silly Christmas songs with your kiddos... (Grandma got ran over by a reindeer)

71) Find an angel tree and have your kids help pick out a toy for the needy child's name on the angel tree.

72) Make a manger scene out of playdough or clay or even construction paper. Whatever is handy.

73) Create a calendar that the kids can mark off the days til Christmas.

74) Have a Christmas Past, Present and Future evening/afternoon.
Get out your photo albums/scrapbooks and talk about Christmas Past, remembering those who are no longer here to share it with us; for Christmas Present, discuss what one thing makes Christmas special for each person; for Christmas Future, talk about your hopes and dreams for the coming years ahead.

74) Make Christmas gifts for your family's pet and other relative's pets.

75) Take a little Christmas tree and decorate it with your pet's toys and set it in the livingroom with your bigger tree - just for the pets! Wrap up some treats and place them under the pet's tree, too, like a small can of some fancy cat food or a package of doggie treats. (Hopefully the dog won't tear it apart to get at it until Christmas day.

76) Let the kids make their own stockings out of felt and stocking "packages" out of paper grocery sacks to put gifts for others in.

77) Gingerbread people made out of brown grocery sacks are very cute, too and inexpensive and make great tags on presents and ornaments for a tree or wreath. You could glue on google eyes and a small candy cane to the gingerbread people, too and make them even more dimensional and if using two sides, you can tape or glue them together and stuff them with cotton balls to fill them out if you want to make them puffy.

78) Let your child decorate their bedroom door for Christmas. A wreath with some small trinkets on it is charming on every door inside the house, too.

79) Make snowmen out of styrofoam ball ornaments or styro balls or old Christmas bulbs (the breakable kind) in 2 sizes (one larger and one smaller glued together), paint white or glue on cotton balls or fake snow and add glitter. Use google eyes or dots punched out of a paper punch for eyes, Orange pipe cleaner twisted to a carrot shape for the nose, little buttons or mini m & m's or small pom poms can be buttons or even the gold top of a paper fastener clip. Also can use yarn for eyes, smile, eyebrows or braid yarn for a scarf.. use your imagination and whatever you have around the house, toothpicks or tree branches for arms, etc. An old sweater and flannel shirt can provide scarves and hats, mittens for all the snowmen and snowwomen which can be grouped together under a tree branch from outside. Provide all the scrap materials you have and let the kids have a great time making them.

80) Make some snow globes with old jars.

81) Create a God Can for family members here is how
use a tall odd shaped can, the one I found was a solid gold color, was maybe 6 inches tall and semi squared with a rounded bubble shaped lid. (Found it at Dollar Tree last year)

This is what I attached.

God Can

When your worries get too heavy

Follow this little plan

Just write it on a little note
And drop it in this can
You know that any problem
That you place in Our Lord's hands
Will soon be taken care of
Because we can't but God Can!

Article by: Patty Getz is Is a Sahmom with a mission to educate families, on the alternatives, to high debt, fast food, and fast living. She is the Owner of www.totallyfrugal.com and the author of several articles on Frugal living, cooking, and Simple Living.

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