5 Ways to Involve the Kids in Christmas Prep
Traditionally the holidays have represented spending time with family and friends, new and old, a time to get together in a communal setting, and a time for sharing love, laughter, and the making of great food. Typically it’s a stressful time, from choosing the tree to purchasing gifts, but this holiday season leave the stress behind and get the children involved.
Choosing a Christmas Tree and Lights
Photo via Flickr by Jo Ann Deasy
Kids love to feel that their opinion counts. Have them help you decide, and you make the final decision, what type of tree and lights to get for the holidays. Discussing real trees versus artificial helps kids to make important comparisons. Once you’ve decided on the type of tree, shopping for the lights from Christmas Lights Etc., gets the kids involved in making good choices. They’ll learn about mini lights, incandescent, and LED lights. Finally, picking out either battery-powered, speed-controlled blinking lights, or continuously on lights is fun too.
Planning the Christmas Dinner
Involve children in planning the holiday meal. Have them find foods they would like to have on Christmas, plus new foods they’re willing to try. From there, have them use their best handwriting to make a grocery list. They can put foods into categories such as meat, fruit, and vegetables, helping them with organizational skills. Kids like being involved with food preparation and can help in various ways, depending on their age. Give the younger children easier tasks like counting out potatoes, peeling vegetables, and measuring. The older children get to chop and slice, then explore with the use of spices and oils.
Giving to Others
Some children and elderly people aren’t as fortunate as others during the holidays. One way your children can learn the spirit of giving is to make up a Charity Box. Choose a shoebox and let them decorate it depending on whether it’s going to a child or an elderly person. Next, choose some age-related gifts to place in the box, then wrap it. Finally, when the day comes to deliver their Charity Box, you’ll see a proud look of satisfaction on your child’s face.
Expanding Children’s Creativity
Have tech-savvy teens update your contact list from the Christmas cards you receive. Then, have them address cards to those on your list. Involve the younger children with coloring place cards for the table and coloring pre-printed black and white gift tags for presents. By making personalized Christmas cards for Mom and Dad, their imagination swells with color and style. Take a walk and find some pine cones. Show them how to paint the tips of the cone, giving it a snow-capped look. All ages can host a dance-a-thon, choosing music, snacks, and drinks.
Traditional Ways to Involve Kids
In the past, kids had fun decorating their own small tree or making new Christmas cards from old ones. Although today’s possibilities seem endless compared to then, those simple traditions can still invoke the spirit of Christmas. Having a plan to involve children with Christmas preparation takes some work on your part, but in the end, the feeling of usefulness and satisfaction shines through. Why not make this a family tradition year after year?