Celebrating the holidays with your children can be most joyous. The excitement and laughter the holidays can bring to children is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face.
However, not all children experience the joy and spirit of the holiday season. I once worked with a girl who attended grade school. Christmas was approaching, so I asked her how she felt about soon being on vacation for two weeks and if she was going to do anything with her family. She sadly responded that she doesn’t like the holidays because she gets bored and her family doesn’t have any money. She continued to tell me that she also didn’t look forward to the first week back from vacation because all the other children talk about the gifts they got and all the fun things that they did. I thought, how sad for this child. This is a time of year where she should be feeling happy and joyful, but instead she feels stressed and wishes the holiday didn’t exist. I have talked to many other children who feel this way. Many children don’t celebrate the holidays because their families don’t have any money.
What many families don’t realize is that the spirit of the holiday can exist for them and their children without having to spend lots of money. With a little thinking and creativity, anyone can make it happen. The following are inexpensive ideas for how you can celebrate and bring the spirit of the holidays to your children:
Visit your child’s school holiday program.
Sing holiday songs.
Take a trip to the library and read holiday books.
Develop and talk about your family’s holiday traditions.
Take a trip to the snow and make snowmen.
Go to your church holiday program.
Talk about holiday traditions in different cultures.
Make holiday treats.
Make holiday decorations.
Make holiday cards for friends and family.
Rent a holiday movie.
Dance and listen to holiday music.
Surprise your children with holiday messages and treats.
Have a holiday party with your children’s closest friends.
Discuss the reasons behind the holidays.
Be creative and makes gifts for each other using things around the house.
Use clothes and makeup around the house to make holiday costumes.
Have fun at your local holiday parade.
Visit holiday characters such as the Easter bunny at the mall.
Light candles in honor of the holiday.
Investigate holiday opportunities for low-income families at your child’s school.
Put on a holiday play with your children at a convalescent home.
Find out what types of free activities your parks and recreation district provides.
Toast to the holiday with sparkling apple cider.
Answer the phone using a holiday greeting.
Learn and teach your children holiday greetings in different languages.
Create the holiday smell in your home by boiling cinnamon.
Make your children a special holiday breakfast and serve it to them in bed.
Every day have your children take turns making a holiday symbol, such as a pumpkin on the calendar indicating the number of days left before Halloween.
Create a holiday story with your family.
Most of these suggestions are great for any holiday. Remember, most of all, have fun and enjoy watching your child get into the holiday spirit.