12 Ways to Teach Your Children
About the Holiday Spirit
by Christine Louise Hohlbaum
Diary of a Mother
Jesus’ birthday is the most widely celebrated one in the world, and yet many people seem so busy at this time of year. With budgets tighter than usual this year, you still want to make this celebratory season a special one. Children can be involved in preparing for this season of light with a few simple tips.
1. Create a book of thanks with your children. Ask your children what they are grateful for. Have the kids clip out magazine photos, paste photographs of themselves, their friends, family, pets, etc. onto several sheets of paper. Staple the paper together in the middle.
2. Integrate the message of giving into your craft activities. Free
printables and coloring pages can be found at these sites:
3. Make a loaf of bread together and give it to a neighbor.
4. Go through your children’s closet together and donate items to a nearby homeless shelter.
5. The National Database of Nonprofit organizations has a web site which features over 850,000 non-profits and their respective ratings. Check out
www.guidestar.org to find your favorite organization. Donate a sum in someone’s name.
6. Create your own Twelve Days of Christmas song and act it out.
7. Make a calendar with old photos and write captions under them.
8. Decorate holiday cookies with your kids, place them in colorful bags, and give them to friends as gifts.
9. Start a new family tradition (for example, lighting the same candle every year, going for a hike, sledding, or making your own Christmas ornament for the tree…).
10. Create your own crèche and read the story of Jesus’ birth from the Bible as you set it up.
11. Reuse the tops of old holiday cards and send them as postcards. Have your children write cards to relatives and friends with you.
12. Instead of making a wish list, ask your children to make a list of things that they wished someone else had. The list may not be long, but it will make them think.
Have a happy, healthy, and loving holiday!
Christine Louise Hohlbaum, author of Diary of a Mother: Parenting Stories and Other Stuff, is a freelance writer and busy mother of two. She holds a BA in political science from Smith College and an MA in International Relations, German and English Literature from the University of Constance, Germany. Visit her web site for more of her writing
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