Thursday, December 13, 2007

What to do with family on Christmas

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.

  • Make Garland : popcorn garland - garland with construction paper
  • Make :
  1. - snow globes with old jars
  2. - Christmas gifts for your family's pet and other relative's pets.
  3. - a manger scene out of playdough or clay or even construction paper
  4. - ornaments
  5. - paper snowflakes to decorate your windows
  • Have parties :
  1. - Shows party : Watch Christmas shows together with hot Chocolate and popcorn,
  2. - Slumber party : Build a fire, and have a slumber party with your kids
  3. - Wrapping party
  4. - Tree decoration party : Make Decorating the tree a family event, serve hot chocolate and play Christmas music
  5. - Cards party : Make your own Christmas cards to send to people and/or invite your children's friends over to make cards or gifts for their parents
  6. - a campout night, and sleep in sleeping bags under your lighted christmas tree or some christmas lights.
  7. - a game night
  • Donate : to a charity for Christmas Gifts from a 1 $ store, or Clothes/toys for needy children
  • If you have snow, enjoy it : make a Snowman, or have a snowball fight
  • Cook : Make a ginger bread house out of graham crackers and what ever you have in the house, or Bake and decorate cookies
  • Paint Christmassy pictures on the windows with washable paint
  • Make up a Christmas scavenger hunt : game out of hunting around the house, for things to make christmas decorations out of.
  • Plan to share a plate of goodies with any elderly or young parents in the neighborhood
  • Lights :

- Take a Special drive at night to enjoy others Christmas lights, and see who wins for the best lights in town. Make an award for the winner and present it to them.

  • Attend a Live Nativity.
  • go collect pine cones and use them to make ornaments
  • sing Christmas carols
  • have the kids write and act out a Christmas play
  • Books :
  1. - go to the library and borrow Christmas videos and books
  2. - read one Christmas short story each night before bed

  • Write Christmas letter to all the relatives with the kids all telling what they have been up to in their own words
  • Take a picture of the kids in front of the Christmas tree, and make it a yearly tradition.
  • Attend a Church service together
  • Watch all the videos or home movies of Christmas. Or, look at all the photos from Christmas.
  • color some Christmas pages together
  • share a favorite Christmas memory
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Volunteer :
  1. - as a family for the local shelter or nursing home.
  2. - kids make Christmas cards or snowflakes and take them to the local nursing home.
  3. - go caroling at a nursing home.
  4. - work in a Christmas wrap booth that gives the proceeds to charity
  5. - carry groceries for elder people
  6. - food servers at shelters that provide christmas/thanksgiv ing dinners
  7. - Visit the local nursing home and present some of the residents with homemade Christmas cards
  8. - 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.
  9. - Invite an older person/couple for a holiday meal
  • light up your walkway/driveway with handmade luminaries
  • 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
  • Learn about different cultures celebrate Christmas... . and about what they did years ago.
  • Sing silly Christmas songs with your kiddos... (Grandma got ran over by a reindeer)
  • Create a calendar that the kids can mark off the days til Christmas.
  • 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.
  • Let the kids make their own stockings out of felt and stocking "packages" out of paper grocery sacks to put gifts for others in.
  • 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.
  • 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 cottonballs 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.
  • 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!

12 Days of Christmas Gag Gift

From Sherri Osborn, about site

This is a great gift idea, especially if you have a secret santa. You present the suggested gift along with the printed verse each day for 12 days! I have even created free printable tags you can use. Of course, you should feel free to make up your own verses and I have even included a blank gift tag you can use.

ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS, your true love gave to you - a partridge in a pear tree... Sorry, but I couldn't find the partridge so I am giving you some pears from the tree the partridge flew away from.
(Leave note along with a can of pears or a few fresh pears.)
1st Day of Christmas Printable Tag

ON THE SECOND DAY OF CHRISTMAS, your true love gave to you - two turtle doves... Unfortunately, I don't have any, will candy turtles on a bar of Dove soap do?
(Leave note along with a box of turtle candy and a bar of Dove soap.)
2nd Day of Christmas Printable Tag

ON THE THIRD DAY OF CHRISTMAS, your true love gave to you - three French hens... The French hens were not available, so I'm giving you some chicken noodle soup, compliments of the three French hens.
(Leave note along with a can -or 3 cans- of chicken noodle soup.)
3rd Day of Christmas Printable Tag

ON THE FOURTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, your true love gave to you - four calling birds... I can't find those calling birds, but here are four messages they left for you before they flew off.
(Leave note along with four messages describing what a wonderful person the gift recipient is.)
4th Day of Christmas Printable Tag

ON THE FIFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, your true love gave to you - five golden rings... Sorry, I'm too poor to buy five real gold rings, but will some golden pineapple rings suffice?
(Leave note along with a can of pineapple rings.)
5th Day of Christmas Printable Tag

ON THE SIXTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, your true love gave to you - six geese a laying... You don't really want messy geese all over the house do you? How about some of the eggs they left behind?
(Leave note along with six eggs.)
6th Day of Christmas Printable Tag

ON THE SEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, your true love gave to you - seven swans a swimming... All of the swans have flown south for the winter, but here are some of the bubbles they used while they were swimming.
(Leave note along with a bottle of bubble bath.)
7th Day of Christmas Printable Tag

ON THE EIGHTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, your true love gave to you - eight maids a milking... Here's some milk I got from the eight maids - we think they must have been milking some brown cows!
(Leave note along with carton of chocolate milk.)
8th Day of Christmas Printable Tag

ON THE NINTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, your true love gave to you - nine ladies dancing... Here are some canes used by the ladies to help they walk home after they were out dancing all night.
(Leave note along with a box of candy canes.)
9th Day of Christmas Printable Tag

ON THE TENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, your true love gave to you - ten Lords-a-leapin'...
After the Lords get done leapin', this is what they use for their sore muscles.
(Leave note along with a tube of Ben-gay or other soothing lotion.)
10th Day of Christmas Printable Tag

ON THE ELEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, your true love gave to you - eleven pipers piping... Here's a pipe of your own, have fun and don't blow the whole day!
(Leave note along with a bottle of bubbles and bubble pipe.)
11th Day of Christmas Printable Tag

ON THE TWELFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, your true love gave to you - twelve drummers drumming... No drummers, we thought you could use some quiet time so here is a special treat we drummed up for you so relax and enjoy.
(Leave note along with some homemade cookies or other treats.)
12th Day of Christmas Printable Tag
Again, if you would like to print out a blank Christmas tag, you can find one here.

The Newlyweds Christmas Tree

12 Ornaments

According to tradition, 12 ornaments should be on the Newlywed's Christmas Tree:
(fill a basket & present them to the new couple)
...A heart to signify love in the home
...A house to signify family shelter
...A church or angel to symbolize God
...A basket of fruit to signify plenty
...A teapot to signify hospitality
...A bird in a nest to signify confidence in the shelter
...A pine cone symbolizes eternity
...An animal to signify peace with nature
...A fish to symbolize Christ as wells as fertility
...A rose as a symbol of the Virgin Mary
...A flower basket to represent beauty in the home
...A Santa as the symbol of giving and sharing

Advent gift ideas

Day 1- a quarter
- A quarter! This equals 25 cents. But 25 also stands for the number of days until Christmas, when God gave us His best present. Jesus told about one woman's gift and the way she gave it. Read Mark 12:41-44

Day 2- a piece of grape gum
- Grape gum!. Grapes make jelly and juice, raisins and wine. But Jesus didn't need grapes to preform His first miracle. Read John 2:1-10.

Day 3- a smiley face sticker
-Here's a smile! A smile usually expresses happiness. Jesus gave us many instructions to keep us happy. Read Mattahew 5:1-12.

Day 4- a few fish crackers
- Fish! Well, if you were surprised to find these fish, wait until you read the story today! Others were surprised to find fish, too. Read Luke 5:4-7.

Day 5- one birthday candle
- A birthday candle? As you know , we are getting ready to celebrate Jesus' birthday. However, Jesus talked about something else related to this candle Light. Read Mattahew 5:14-16.

Day 6- a small jingle bell
- You could make noise with this. But it would have bothered a certain man---until he met Jesus. Read Mark 7:31-37.

Day 7- two candy fish
- These would not go very far if you were really hungry! But Jesus could make much out of little. Surely He knew how to multiply! Read Mattahew 14: 13-21.

Day 8- two cotton balls
- These cotton balls would be helpful in a thunder storm, wouldn't they? We could use them for ear plugs to muffle the loud noise that thunder makes. But we know Someone who doesn't need cotton. Jesus can control the weather. Read Mattahew 8:23-27.

Day 9- a piece of road map
- People needing to use other parts of this map are in trouble! Don't you get lost today! Read John 14:1-6.

Day 10- a small piece of soap
- It's soap. Do you like to wash? Your hands and face? Behind your ears? Washing turn out to be a happy time for a man who met Jesus. Read John 9: 1-7.

Day 11- a few candy hearts
- Hearts. Wordlessly, they speak of love, don't they? Jesus spoke some commands about love. Read Mattahew 22: 37-40.

Day 12- a pin on button with a cross printed on it
- we use crosses as a symbol, representing Jesus. Do you know why? Read Philippians 2: 1-11.

Day 13- a small packet of salt
- Ordinary salt. Yes, Jesus related salt to us and our behavior. He also gave us some advice. Read Mattahew 5:13 and Colossians 4:6 (Notice that He doesn't recommend pepper!).

Day 14 - a small bag of sand
- Don't try to eat this ! It's sand. It reminds us that Jesus knows something about architecture, about buildings----and building lives. See His inscructions; Mattahew 7:24-29.

Day 15- a small artifical flower
- Flowers are pretty, aren't they? Jesus used flowers to teach us a reassuring lesson. read Mattahew 6: 28-34.

Day 16- a little box of raisins
- Raisins! Many children are given raisins instead of candy for a snack. That's because they are a health-promoting and delicious fruit. Jesus told us how we can produce good fruit. Read John 15: 1-5.

Day 17- a few flower seeds
- Jesus told a story about seeds that a man planted. Then He explained it, revealing its deep meaning. Read Mattahew 13:3-8 and Mattahew 13: 18-23.

Day 18- a sheet of musice taken from a pamphlet type Christmas carol book
- Christmas is just a week away! And here is an appropriate song. Sing it loudly! Read Psalm 100.

Day 19- a little stone
- A hard stone! Can you change this stone into a piece of bread? Do you think Jesus could? Jesus was asked to do just that. Do you know how He handled it? Read Mattahew 4:1-4.

Day 20- a piece of crumpled aluminum foil
- Try to smooth out this piece of foil and use it as a mirror. It's hard to see your reflection plainly, isn't it? Many circumstances are hard to understand, but someday everything will be clear. Read 1 Corinthians 13:12.

Day 21- one mustard seed placed between two pieces of clear contact paper
- The mustard seed is the smallest there is! When it sprouts, it grows into one of the largest plants! See what Jesus said. Read Mattahew 17:20.

Day 22- a tiny plastic dove
- We've learned the cross represents Christ, but do you know what the dove stands for? Read Mattahew 3:13-17.

Day 23- a swatch of wool cloth
- The thread that compose this fabric came from the wool of a sheep. Jesus called Himself the Good Shepherd. Do you know who his sheep are? read John 10:7-18.

Day 24- one blue marble
- A marble! Do you know what is sometimes called the "Big Blue Marble"? The world. God made the world for us. What does God continue doing to the world? And who is the world? Read John 3:16.

Day 25- a small photograph of a baby
- Isn't this baby cute? When he was born, he made a whole family happy. Jesus was born a baby, too. He came to make the whole world happy. read Luke 2:1-20. Enjoy your celebration today. Continue to learn about Jesus---and love Him forever!

Cute Letter from a mom to Santa

Dear Santa,

I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor and sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes: I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze, but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store.

I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.
If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music, a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals, and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.

I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your brother," because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.

If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is calling and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold.

Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet. (you promised me last year you would lose some weight with me so next year you and I could be a cute size two blonde...ok, some requests go too far, but none the less.....

Yours Always,


P.S. One more can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children, healthy, safe and of course, young enough to always believe in Santa.