Christmastime and the holidays are upon us after a what seemed a relaxed and easy-going fall. Kids are in the last week of school before the long winter break when parents will have to plan activities to keep kids active and preserve everyone’s sanity around the home. In this article, you’ll find some simple tips to add more creativity and activity into your holiday, ensuring memorable times for people of all ages.
The sights, sounds, and smells of this special season provide comfort and time for families and friends to visit and reconnect. Family traditions shared with younger members of the family are a wonderful way for multi-generational gatherings to have meaning. So whether lighting the Advent candles at dinner, putting the Elf on the Shelf in new places each night, teaching your children-grandchildren favorite family holiday recipes, watching the Nutcracker in the theater, or taking a family walk outside to see Christmas lights, you’ll find endless inspiration to stay active together. I hope you will find something new here to inspire you to add to your own lovely holiday traditions.
Copying old family recipes and gifting them to family and friends is a way to stay connected to our past and can remind us of simpler days. I’ve framed a few of my grandmothers’ letters and keep anything else handwritten by them in plastic covers or envelopes for safe keeping. Below is a project I started for my nephew Blaine and his new wife Kayli’ wedding gift… a cookbook for them to collect favorite recipes, ideas, and holidays in. This is an idea that could take on many different levels and be used as a multi-generational project over the long break. Tracing over beautiful handwriting is an activity that you can encourage younger members of the family to do.
Our family has fun looking through the family Christmas album and seeing card throughout the year from friends and family (oh, how the kids have grown!). Decorating with your children’s art work and holiday collections adds a personal touch to holiday decor. Displaying brightly colored fruit such as green limes, red apples, cloved oranges, and red pomegranates is another inexpensive way to add to the holiday cheer. Letting kids pick out the fruit is another way to get them involved.
Having a watercolor, craft, ‘maker’s space’, and-or Gingerbread house making station set up on a card table or countertop invites your people to sit a spell and get creative. It’s a wonderful way for grandparents and kids to interact together:) Below are some pictures of inspirations I had while watching Neesha’s Paperwand online Skillshare classes. Keep your crew active by providing them the space to make their own Christmas cards, name cards for meals, gift tags, art work frames, and more. One of our families treasured items are the set of Le Houx Gien Holly dishes our dear friends the Ardemagni’s gave us as a wedding gift. I love the China blue ribbon winding through the holly leaves and berries.
And of course, get outside and enjoy the doing things together with family and friends! Get bundled up and go for a walk with hot chocolate to view the neighborhood lights. If there is a festive downtown area, like we have in McKinney, make an afternoon-evening of it. Walk around and window shop, take pictures in front of the Christmas trees, go ice-skating, and see Santa Claus:) The Dallas area has a lot of outdoor things to do this time of year. The Dallas Arboretum displays the Twelve Days of Christmas glass houses on their beautiful grounds, The Heard Museum has discounted walks through the woods, and there are some Christmas tree farms to cut down your own tree. All of these activities are great ways families can spend quality time together while enjoying the outdoors. The Blessings of the Christmas & Advent season be with you and your family this year… Until 2020… Sarah Andersen