The best thing about the holiday season is having the chance to spend valuable time with loved ones, show appreciation for one another, and give thanks. While families look forward to sharing time together, many parents may find it challenging to think of activities to entertain the whole family. With a little imagination, you can make this holiday season fun and stress-free while creating warm family traditions that may last a lifetime.
Take a trip to the library and gather up all of your holiday favourites. Cozy up under a warm throw and enjoy classics like Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, or Roch Carrier’s The Hockey Sweater. Consider picking up a few books about how various cultures celebrate during the holiday season. If your children are just learning how to read, let them kick off your family read-a-thon, but make sure that everyone has a chance to pick a book and read it aloud!
Visit a Tree Farm
Start your family’s holiday festivities off right by bundling up and heading to a local Christmas tree farm to search for the perfect tree. Chances are, you’ll find so much more! Many tree farms offer hayrides, sleigh rides, and other family-friendly activities – not to mention hot chocolate and apple cider.
Whip up some holiday cheer by gathering family members to bake and decorate cookies or cupcakes. Assign youngsters manageable tasks like pouring pre-measured ingredients, stirring, and making shapes with cookie cutters. Older kids can measure wet and dry ingredients, crack eggs, and roll out the dough. When the cookies are cooled, the best part begins — decorating (and eating)! Lay out assorted coloured frostings, sprinkles, and small candies. Delight in watching everyone’s imagination soar as you make cookie creations like snowmen, snowflakes, dreidels and candy canes. Share the results with friends, family, and neighbours.
The holidays are a great time of year to do arts and crafts projects with your kids. Let them use their creativity to make some holiday decorations for the house or to give as gifts to friends or family. The internet has a wide range of great kid-friendly craft ideas. Here are a few of my favourites to help pass a snowy afternoon:
- Pasta Snowflakes (Parents.com)
- Make Your Own Snow Globe (TodaysParent.com)
- Yarn Snowman (GoodHousekeeping.com)
Sharpen Your Skates
There’s only so much time you can spend indoors before your little ones start feeling restless. Go skating, sledding, cross-country skiing, or enjoy any of your family’s favourite outdoor activities. Walk around the neighbourhood at night and admire your neighbours’ beautiful displays of lights and inflatable decorations. Just don’t forget to dress warmly and wear reflective clothing.
While the holidays are a joyous time for most families, take the opportunity to teach your children how they can help make the holidays a little brighter for those in need. One idea is to donate to a family through a local “Adopt a Family” or “Giving Tree” program. Let your child help pick out presents and clothes for a less fortunate family in your area. Explain that not everyone can afford to celebrate the holidays, but you can help make sure other kids have gifts to unwrap this year.
However you decide to spend the holidays, here’s to creating lifelong memories and reconnecting with family and friends. We wish you and your family a very safe and happy holiday season.
What does your family do to celebrate the holidays? Tell us in the comment section below.