- Holidays and Celebrations
Twenty Five Christmas Activities To Do With Children
Ice Skating Union Square Downtown San Francisco
When the kids were little we read Twenty Four Days Of Christmas, by Madeline L Engle every year. This book took the Austin family through the busy time leading to Christmas. It was a specially hectic Christmas for the whole family, but the tradition of doing a little something special each of the 24 days before Christmas Eve helped them keep Christmas in focus.
This seemed like a good idea for our family. This idea helped divide the preparations for Christmas into little steps. I watch friends without kids proclaim on Face Book their decorating is complete and I smile.
The steps can be big or little; the idea is to start on a day in December. If you don't start on the first no big deal. The goal is to make this year special for your kids. They won't remember the extravagant decorating or gifts if Mommy and Daddy are too busy making Christmas extra special to include them. We were at a dinner last night where each of us was asked to tell our favorite Christmas memory. The most fondly remembered thing was Christmas Caroling. Something that is so easy to do and reaps big rewards.
Christmas is busy so, keep you daily activity simple and suitable for all ages.
One Of My Favorite Christmas Stories
These activities don't have to be done in any particular order. Some just make better sense to do earlier in the month .
- Start an advent calendar. Its fun to open two doors, gives small ones some concrete perspective of how long it will be until Christmas.
- Look through the newspaper or The Patch (On-line local newspaper) for community events. Like city Christmas Tree lighting party, Do it Yourself Messiah, Holiday Ice Skating Rink or HolidayTrain ride. .
- Bring Decorations out of storage slowly. Start early in the month and put up one or two decorations at a time. We frequently start with the wise men from the nativity. They go into a bathroom or bedroom and travel around the house until Epiphany. (January 5)
- Build a fire in the fireplace and roast marshmallows over the coals. (Mom or dad supervising) Make snow man cookies out of your marshmallows.
- Investigate giving gifts through Angel Tree. (Prison Fellowship helps connect the children of prisoners with presents)
- Make gingerbead houses. These can get beastly expensive unless you buy the candy at the Dollar Store or some variety store like that. Thought for next year. Freeze Halloween candy and use for ginger bread houses. There are also kits that don't cost a lot. Some of them are already assembled. Tiny kids can stick candy on globs of frosting and have fun with this too.
- Decorate the outside of your house with lights.
- Buy and decorate a Christmas tree. A living Christmas tree is a fun idea if you have a green thumb.
- Think of ideas for gifts you can make. Have your kids make cards for a shut-ins? Cookie cutters can be used to make designs on cards as well as make cookies.
- Make Christmas cookies to give as gifts to neighbors and friends this may have to be repeated if you eat too many in the process. Start with a list of cookies you would like to make. Make sure you have all the ingredients. Then make a list of who you want to give cookies too. Christmas paper plates, or decorated paper bags, make attractive gifts out of these tasty treats.
- Sleep under the Christmas Tree. What better way to go to sleep than dreamily looking at the lights on the tree? If you are concerned about going to sleep with the lights on hook up a timer.
- Make paper chains from construction paper. Red/green/red/green teaches small kids dexterity and sequential patterning. Throw in a white stripe for decadence periodically.
- Use either glass wax or Christmas tree flocking to make decorations on a window.
- Take food items to a food bank or soup kitchen.
- Cut paper snow flakes.
- Write Christmas cards (kids can paste on labels and help write a family newsletter.)
- Make ornaments
- Watch,"White Christmas or Charlie Browns Christmas in the uncut versions.
- Gather a group of friends and go Christmas Caroling. Enjoy hot chocolate and cookies afterwards. You might even add jingle bells and homemade instruments to the fun.
- Read a Christmas story with some kids. Best Christmas Pageant Ever and Twenty Four Days of Christmas are my favorites. We spread these stories out over several nights.
- Find a Church that is producing a Christmas Play and attend (Ours is producing "A Partridge In A Palm Tree") Churches will have these posted on their websites.
- Take sleeping bags or blankets and go star watching. We lay on tables at the park or on the trampoline in the backyard.
- Make fudge.
- Watch It's A Wonderful Life.
- Read the Christmas Story from the bible.
Think of simple things to do at Christmas. If it is too difficult it detracts from the beauty of the season. If the adults are stressed the children get yelled at and don't have any fun. All the beautiful decorations in the world can not make a wonderful child's Christmas. If children get everything they want, there is nothing for them to desire and they are not grateful. How to be grateful can be taught, but that is another subject for another time. Remember Christmas is of the heart not the advertisement.
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