Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Free - or Almost Free - Christmas Activities You Still Have Time to Do With Your Kids

Photo credit: tome213
I know...Christmas is a mere 4 days away (WHAT?!), but there is still time to make some great holiday memories with your kids. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Bake Cookies - they can be complex, or really, really simple.  They can even be slice and bake from the grocery store although you miss out on the memory-making-mess that way (pro or con?).  Regardless, everyone loves cookies and spending the time with your kids making them gives them somethings to be proud of and something to gobble up. Bake some extra and visit neighbors. It's a great way to show yours appreciation for friendships or to even meet new neighbors you do not know.
  2. Drive Around and Look at Lights - This one is easy.  If you live in a city, drive out to suburbia or just downtown to see how stores have decorated.  If you live in suburbia, I don't have to tell you how simple this is to pull off.  Just drive. You can't miss them. Even if you live in a rural area, you'll be able to find some spectacular displays. Have your kids tell you what they like most about each display.
  3. Hot Cocoa - Make some cocoa and sit around and play a board game or tell stories. Just don't turn on the TV. That's for another bulleted item.
  4. Favorite Christmas Movie - Here's that turn on the TV part. Make it special. Maybe it's your favorite as a child, like the Frosty and Rudolph specials.  Maybe it's a classic like Miracle on 34th Street or It's a Wonderful Life. Maybe it's a comedy (Elf?). Maybe it's a newer holiday movie (Polar Express, The Santa Clause, etc). Whatever you like, cuddle up together as a family. Turn off the computers and cell phones and just spend time together (with popcorn?) and settle in for some memories.
  5. Visit Bass Pro Shops - If you have one of these, they offer a huge selection of holiday fun for the kids. There is a great Santa photo op where they give you a free picture, crafts, games, coloring pages, and lots of fun things to look at in the store as well.  Seriously...this store knows what it's doing.
  6. Go Skating - Okay, so if you live anywhere in the northern half of this country, this is an option for you. Some of us in the southern half have an indoor version that would work. Regardless - even if you are no good - don't be afraid to let your kids see you as a hopeless klutz on a set of ice skates. They will remember the hilarity that ensues and I promise it will be worth the exchange of your pride for those smiles.
  7. Read the Christmas story - The real one. Open up your Bible (we do this on Christmas Eve) and read from either Matthew or Luke - whichever version you prefer - or both and share the real reason for the season.
  8. Volunteer - If your children are old enough to help, take them with you to a charity or shelter and help out. They need to see you giving back while they learn to do the same. There is still time for this.
  9. Play outside - Don't just send the kids outside - go have a snowman building contest or have a snowball fight. Just on a sled and take off down the hill.  Just get out there and enjoy the time with those little ones that won't always be around to play with.
  10. Attend a church service - Most churches have Christmas Eve services, but this year we get that seldom event of Christmas Day hitting on Sunday. Do you attend?  Do you spend that time with family? My vote is to attend - He is the reason to celebrate, right?  If that means moving your family activities to Saturday or Monday, do it. Don't skip church to celebrate Christmas. That seems a little ironic.
Do you have any other suggestions that can be pulled off between now and Christmas?  Let's here them! 

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