(We’re doing 50 Days & 50 Ways to have a merry recycled holiday. More about this….)
So many families feel their children are audience members at the holidays, rather than participants.
But there’s nothing so memorable, and so just-plain-fun, as participating in the preparations and plans for the big day. Don’t deprive your child of the opportunity to learn to give, as well as receive, in this season.
Let the kids make a decoration with you: Instead of spending an exhausting day at the mall spending money for easily-forgotten gifts, use that time to “make” your celebration in conjunction with them. Even cutting out snowflakes to tape to the windows is something a child will be proud of. Not crafty yourself? There are kits galore, and you may discover you’ve given birth to the next Picasso…or Pollack!
Make writing thank-you notes fun for your children and a delight for the relatives: let the kids create their own by making collages of holiday cards you’ve received or last month’s magazines, using blank or re-purposed cards as the base. Who wouldn’t love a thank-you note from a child that’s decorated with a flock of reindeer, a snowman and a Virgin Mary?
Baby’s ornaments: He’s outgrown his crib mobile but you’re too sentimental to pass it on? Those darling figures are just the thing for memory-laden Christmas ornaments! Let him hang them on the tree himself. Even action figures that have fallen out of favor with your children will be nostalgic “favorite ornaments” in a decade or two!
Teach your children the true meaning of giving with a family tradition of a charitable act. Have them clean out their toy piles and take underloved items to the thrift shop. Baking home-made cookies for the family shelter or walking an elderly neighbor’s dog are other choices.