Inspired Ways to Celebrate Christmas Time

This Christmas is my first Christmas on Pinterest.  That means I have found better ways to do everything.  More  authentic recipes, more precise royal icing for our sugar cookies, cuter crafts, more darling wrapping ideas, perfect picture poses…but if I had to choose one item for our ‘most improved tradition’ it would be in the area of Christmas advent ideas.  Not that there was much competition from the prior years.  Up until now we just bought little chocolate calendars from Trader Joes, and forgot to use them half the time.

Here are some very special, bond-building ideas that will be much more fun to follow through on.  I have also thrown in a few joy-inducing ideas that are meant to be done only once or twice.  Bring on the cheer!

Light Em Up

This is my very favorite thing that I have read in a while.  If done correctly, it will transform your children from the me-me-me monsters that this season has a habit of creating into little walking gifts spreading the reason for the season.  In essence, you do random acts of Christmas kindness.  This concept was brought to fruition by Christian mommy and owner of the blog Lil Light O Mine, Courtney DeFeo.  She provides 100{free or very low cost}ideas to choose from and 100% freedom to do it your way.  Her mantra is NO Guilt.  If you do it once, good for you.  There is no schedule, no obligation; just an opportunity to give from your heart with your kids watching and learning.  I would love to implement this daily, and maybe we can by handing out candy canes to everyone we come across.  I think we will also go out of our way to do good each Saturday in December.

Scripture Reading

I feel like I have fallen behind on my Christmas education duty.  Just the other day my oldest and I were talking about Jesus’ birthday and my middle one asks, “Jesus’ birthday!!  When is that?!”  I think a nightly bedtime devotional may be in order.  I found this handy sheet that is in step with the Christmas season at this blog.

Holiday Activities

This was another ‘aha’ discovery.  Rather than adding more sweets to quite possibly the sugar-iest holiday of the year, make memories instead.  Compile a list of your favoritest, most Christmas-iest things to do and do one each day.  I have seen several different ways of implementing this.  You can make a traditional hanging advent like Kimberly Petersen did above {p.s. she has a great list of activity ideas too}.  Or you can write them out on little cards and draw them out of a jar.  Or you can buy a 24 pack of blank Christmas cards and seal up each one so the kids have something special to open each morning.  Which ever way you choose to do it, I am sure it will last in your child’s memory a lot longer than a piece of {usually very mediocre}chocolate.  P.s.s. I found some more great activity ideas over here.

Christmas Books

Who doesn’t want little readers?  And what better way to get them excited about books than to wrap ’em up and put them under the Christmas tree?  Now you can do this on the cheap or you can drop a few bucks at Barnes and Noble.  The first cheap way is to wrap up some of the books your kids already have.  I know my boys have books that they don’t even remember getting.  If you do this, I suggest digging out the ones in the very back of the bookshelf so that they will be less likely to recognize them.  The other cheap route is to go get a bunch of books at the dollar store.

 The Minivan Express

This is a sneak attack.  Just go about nightly routine as usual.  Eat dinner, take baths, put on jammies, and send them off to their rooms.  While this is going on, one of the parents stashes popcorn and portable hot cocoa in the car and leaves a special ticket on each of the kids pillows with instructions to bundle up {if necessary} and meet you in the driveway.  Then take them to see the most spectacular lights in town and enjoy all of the giggles and the oohs and ahhs.

Play Elf

We will be doing this on Dec 1, that way it will give our neighborhood plenty of time to spread cheer.  To start, you put together a festive bag.  We are putting in some bells, a few silly Santa hats, some holiday tattoos, a handmade ornament, some fresh baked cookies, a holiday scented candle and a few silly toys.

Once your bag is ready, you just print out the handy little poem and few ‘elfed’ signs {one for them to post on their door and few extras for the next recipients.  I think that I am going to laminate them for more durability.}  Then you play a little ding-dong-ditch, and voila!, the cheer has begun.

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