I don't just want my children to love the gifts they get at Christmas. I want them to enjoy the spirit of the season, enjoy time with their family, and have some memories that last longer than opening a present. Over the years there have been a few things that we have been able to do no matter how much money we have had or haven't had. The memories of Christmas can last longer than the toys.
1. Christmas Lights!
Going through a cruise through little neighborhoods where people have their lights out. This so fun and delights the children but only costs the price of gas. I must admit- I still find the lights bright, beautiful and memorable, year after year. Free squeals of delight... I will take that.
2. Advent Calendar
A simple advent calendar to count down to the big day is something the kids look forward to every night. We have one that was made years ago and we move a little bear around. But if you don't have an advent calendar you can easily print one off from an internet sight or make one simply on your own.
A few sheets of colored paper can be cut into strips, glued together at the ends, and linked to make a chain. Make 25 of them and link them together, rip one off every night, and you slowly count down to Christmas day. To add something else, you can write down a simple service or activity to complete each night.
I know not everybody watches movies with their kids, so if this isn't your bag, go ahead and skip it. But for me, there are some wonderful holiday movies that we love to enjoy every year together. It is so much fun to just relax and appreciate some of the same movies that I loved as a child with my own kids. Don't forget the classics!
My kids love decorating the tree. It doesn't look like an interior designer's dream; there are empty patches and broken ornaments. But decorating is fun and everybody can get involved (even if the two year old limits her involvement to eating all the candy canes). If you don't celebrate Christmas, you can decorate for all the other holidays during this time of year. Kids can easily make things for the tree or other household decorations without spending much money. Popcorn chains and noodle strands are tons of fun and practically free.
Simply reading together traditional stories from your culture is a wonderful way to spend time together, enjoy the season, and share your love as a family.
The holiday season is a time for great memories! It doesn't have to cost a fortune to enjoy yourself and your family.
Have a wonderful and joyous Christmas!
Sarah Clark is a natural birth teacher, a mother of four and a board member for Birth Boot Camp. She also trains natural birth teachers all over the country. You can find her blogging regularly at www.mamabirthblog.com.