Hello Readers! If you’re anything like me, you’re probably in the thick of the typical holiday frenzy. You’re braving the crowds during your holiday shopping, trying to get everyone on your list taken care of. You’re making your way slowly through the ice and snow, stressed out while trying to avoid accidents. You’re dashing from one holiday event to the next, trying to stay on top of a busy social calendar. And let’s not forget that the kids are probably bouncing off the walls in anticipation of the big day!
Like me, you’re probably stressed to the maximum, and your family is probably getting on your last nerve right about now. If they aren’t, they soon will be. Instead of snapping and dreading the rest of the season, why not focus on some family fun and holiday activities that are sure to please everyone? Let’s take a look at a few of my personal favorites.
The Polar Express. This event can be pricey, but it’s the perfect way to celebrate the holiday, and kids love it! We personally did this with my mom, my sister, and her family on Black Friday. What I love about this is that it reenacts the story that should be oh so familiar with us nowadays! Plus, it truly brings the magic of Christmas alive for kids. Bonus: kids wear their pajamas on the train, so you can give them their Christmas pj’s for this event and have them for the entire holiday season! Like I said before, the only drawback to this event is that it can be pretty pricey. In our area, adult prices for coach seating were $36, and kids 2-12 are $27. And then there are taxes and fees. So, bear that in mind when planning this event.
Movie Night-Holiday Edition I love doing this because it can be virtually free for you! However, I recommend spending a little cash on this. I recommend doing a Christmas movie night. Buy special Christmas pajamas for each child, some of your favorite hot cocoa mix, and some popcorn (either in the bag or for your machine, depending on your preference). Place them in a box with a bow on it and give them the box that night after dinner. If you have Netflix, then you are bound to come across holiday movies in the Kids account. If you don’t have Netflix or other movie subscription site, you most likely have a family favorite holiday movie among your DVD collection. If not, then check out Redbox or buy one at Walmart or Target today. Either way, spend the night as a family watching a holiday film, drinking cocoa, and eating popcorn in your pajamas. It’ll really make the holidays special to do something like this.
Holiday Lights Tour. There is, most likely, a neighborhood in your area that is known for having the best holiday lights display. Pick a night to take a drive through the lights. Stop off at your favorite coffee shop along the way and get some hot cocoa, or make some before you head out, and take your kids for a drive through that neighborhood. Don’t forget to tune the radio to a station playing Christmas music to really get everyone in the best spirits. The best thing about this event is that it costs next to nothing if you save money by making hot cocoa at home and taking it along.
Sledding. This is a family must for us! In fact, it’s almost always on the list of things to do, and if you already own a sled or two this event is free! After a big snowfall, take your kids to a nearby hill and ride the sled down together. This is a guaranteed hit among kids, and it will guarantee you a few tired kiddos afterward. The only drawback to this is that you may not have snow yet and you may not get snow right away. However, this event is great for days after a big storm when kids are tired of being cooped up inside.
Make a treat. I always remember making something around this time of the year with my mom. We made cookies for Santa, sugar especially, that we decorated. We made Gingerbread houses and decorated them. And we almost always helped my grandmother with her candy making. This is a really great way to bond with your kids and create great memories. And, best of all, you probably have all of the ingredients within your own pantry to whip up a batch of sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, or peanut butter cookies today.
Christmas Scavenger Hunt/Treasure Hunt. This one may take a little time to set up, but it can be a lot of fun for kids and for you. Buy small gifts or treat bags of Christmas trinkets and candy, just small amounts, and set up a treasure hunt for your kids. Or, create a scavenger hunt centered around your own Christmas decor for your kids. This is something that your kids will love and it can keep them busy for a few minutes. And it, too, can be cheap or cost you nothing if you do a scavenger hunt.
Christmas carols. This is something you can do to keep your kids occupied around the house. Just turn on the radio and tell the kids to sing along with the Christmas carols on the radio. This is free, but it comes with a warning: prepare for loud children. Guaranteed your kids will belt out the words to the songs, most often off key, in order to best one another. Be prepared for loudness and noise. However, it can keep your kids occupied for a few minutes, and you can even join in the fun to make some great memories. Bonus: you can turn it into dancing easily and wear out the kids.
So here are a few suggestions of some activities you can do with your family in order to celebrate the holidays and help keep your kids from bouncing off the walls. I hope you try some of them this week!
Until next time,