How to Awake the Jingle Bells in Your Kids
Can you hear it? The Christmas carols are already echoing in the air, and there is so little time left between today and that magical holiday. Whether you’re religious or not, Christmas is a symbol of unity, gratitude, friendship and kindness – values that parents always aspire to teach their kids. One would think that shiny ornaments and Christmas presents are sufficient to awaken the holiday spirit in children, but there is so much more you can do in order to make this jolly season even jollier for them and teach them about the true meaning of Christmas.
Decorate the Tree Together
Sure, you would probably love to have a Christmas tree decorated as the ones in fashion magazines – with perfectly combined colors and subtle ornaments. Guess what? You have kids, so you don’t have that luxury. Christmas tree is not special because of its appearance, but because of its symbolic. It is a family tradition that can be fun, pleasant and bonding. Extra hint: it doesn’t hurt to decorate the tree and hang the ornaments throughout the house a couple of days earlier.
Make Your Own Decorations
Store-bought decorations are nice, but you can make your tree truly unique by making your own decorations (for both the tree and house) together with your kids. Some simple and kids-friendly projects are winter scene jars, Christmas cards with hand-prints, wool-wrapped trees, sock snowmen, button baubles, etc.
Decorate Their Room
Don’t limit your decorating efforts to the living room alone. Bring Christmas into the kids’ room, so that they can wake up every morning in a festive mood. This means including a mini-tree (it can be an artificial tree, a tree made of palettes, a tree drawn on their wall, etc.), hanging a garland, and, of course a string of Christmas lights.
Read Christmas-Themed Books
Kids’ books nowadays are amazing, and there are a lot of educational stories about Christmas. So make December the month of Christmas bedtime stories. Kids that attend an early learning centre will surely learn about similar topics there, but you should still talk with educators and remain well-informed. Older kids might enjoy Christmas movies and cartoons.
Listen to Christmas Music
Play famous Christmas carols, kids’ songs or a famous seasonal album, such as “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, in the background while you are decorating the house or preparing the food. Try to sing together, and teach some of the songs to your kids. Talk about popular holiday songs when you were little and compare them to the ones of today.
Bake Seasonal Treats
Anyone said Sugar cookies? It’s the true aroma of Christmas. Older kids can participate in preparing the cookies, while younger ones can play with dough while you are baking or decorate the already baked cookies with sprinkles and frostings.
Gift giving is one of the most popular Christmas traditions among kids, or at least gift receiving. Even the youngest kids can give a present to someone, and that can make them get into Christmas spirit even more. The gifts don’t have to be something special: a drawing, a cookie, a story, a song, a Christmas-themed play for the entire family… you can’t put a price tag on these things.
Give to Less Fortunate
The true spirit of Christmas is reflected in kindness and sharing. There are a lot of other kids whose holidays are not as jolly as they should be. Your children can collect their old clothes and toys and give to those kids. Make care packages for them together. School kids could write a letter expressing their best wishes, and who knows, maybe even get a pen pal?
Christmas truly is the happiest holiday there is and all kids should enjoy it as the holiday in its entirety, and not just while unwrapping gifts. Motivate them to fall in love with this holiday just this once, and they will keep that feeling forever.
About author: Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in hers parenting articles. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”