As the holiday season draws near, you're sure to be busy making your list and checking it twice. Between balancing your budget with your children's wish lists, battling the shopping malls for the best bargains, planning family gatherings, decking the halls, preparing holiday meals, gift wrapping, and more, it's easy to see how Christmas can come and go without the time to slow down, take a breath, and enjoy the holiday season with your family.
If you're looking for ways to stop and smell the gingerbread this year while creating some precious memories that can last a lifetime, here are a few simple and fun holiday activities that will ensure your entire family has a holly jolly Christmas!
"Remember that Carol" is a simple game that both kids and adults will enjoy as they go from person to person each taking turns announcing a Christmas carol that they remember and singing a verse from it. A great game to entertain your children at home or to pass time on the road while traveling for the holidays, it will have your family making beautiful music together in no time!
Christmas Charades is fun for the whole family! Just have everyone write out 2 or 3 common holiday-themed items, characters, or decorations, etc. on small pieces of paper. Fold them all up and place them in a bowl, and then take turns drawing out one at a time and acting them out for all to guess.
Holiday bedtime stories. Dedicate 5 minutes each night throughout the month of December to read your child a bedtime Christmas story book. Let your little ones take turns picking out which book you will read each night. You can let your children choose one or two new Christmas books each year to add to their collection.
Christmas Gift Hunt. If you like to open a gift early on Christmas Eve, or hunt for presents on Christmas day, you can create a memorable fun way for your children to receive their gifts by making a simple Christmas holiday hunt. You'll need to prepare ahead and hide a trail of simple holiday clues that when solved will lead your child from one clue to the next until they ultimately reach and uncover where their "treasured" Christmas gift has been stashed away. If you don't have time to make your own clues, inexpensive pre-made print 'n' play Christmas hunts are available online for both children and adults at Treasure-Adventure.com. Simply download, print, and play instantly!
Deck the halls! Make holiday decorating a group effort. Take time to work with your children to make a few simple personalized holiday projects that can be displayed in your home or be given as memorable and unique gifts to friends and family such as painting ceramic angels or holiday candles, making ornaments or homemade candy canes, coloring and cutting out Christmas designs and applying them to windows, stockings, sleds, and other traditional holiday decor, or making a wreath together with everyone contributing. There is an endless array of Christmas craft kits you might take advantage of or just grab your construction paper, glue, scissors, glitter, garland, and crayons, and make your own holiday decorations. Your kids will love this family craft time and beam with pride as they get to show off their special creations to holiday visitors.
Finally, make Christmas eve all about family time. Turn off the TV and video games, turn on the Christmas tree lights, and play an old-fashioned family game or just come together as a family to talk and enjoy each other's company.
It takes only a little time and creativity to bring your loved ones together around a few special holiday activities and make your own Christmas traditions and lasting family memories of the joyous holiday season together.
Kaydee Grant is a co-founder of Treasure-Adventure.com, an online party game company that offers ready-to-play interactive and themed treasure hunts with custom challenging clues for all ages. Visit Treasure Adventure.com on line at http://www.treasure-adventure.com.