As the holiday season approaches, families begin to think of what to do for fun during the kids’ Christmas vacation from school. After attending holiday functions at their schools, kids may be hyped up about not having homework, and having days off with their parents. Here are some ideas to keep the whole family entertained during Christmas, Hanukkah or New Years.
Take a mini road trip
A great diversion during the holidays is to pile everyone in the car, drive somewhere special and spend the day looking around there. Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio; my parents used to take me out to Amish country, which was about two hours from where we lived. It was relaxing for us suburbanites to drive around in the rolling hills of rural central Ohio. We’d stop for dinner at the inexpensive family dinner places, check out the Christmas lights in downtown Millersburg, and see all the fun Amish or Mennonite run craft shops that were sprinkled around the area. There was an old steam train that came through one town as we all took photos of it. These memories are still fresh in my mind thirty years later. Drive around in neighborhoods and cities that decorate their homes and businesses with lights and decorations. Just do something that you don’t do every day, so that the experience is special.
Throw a holiday party
Have your kids invite their friends over for a sleepover, then have a pizza party, a Harry Potter movie marathon on the DVD player, or make batches of cookies or cupcakes, and have the kids help decorate them. Be creative and think of activities that fit best with your kids and their friends’ personalities. Put up a Christmas tree or other decorations, and make your home look festive for the occasion.
Make care packages and deliver them to those who need them
Having compassion for others less fortunate is a very important part of the holidays. There are kids in hospitals or elderly people who live alone who would welcome random acts of kindness. In this age where everyone is more guarded, call first to set up a time to deliver your gifts. If you show up with no prior arrangement, you may be turned away, so it’s best to be safe than sorry. What do you put in a care package? Christmas cookies, a homemade ornament, something to read, or items you think would be useful to them. If you know people who are very poor, bringing them basic food items is always greatly appreciated. Include a holiday card, too. It’s very uplifting to see faces of those in need perk up with delight when they see that they are thought about and cared for by people that they may not even know.
By showing compassion, kindness and generosity during the holidays, it sets a good example for your children, and helps make this year’s holiday something to remember. Doing something that you normally wouldn’t do is a good way to give your family a great vacation full of love, thoughtfulness and fun. Be creative and come up with activities that you’ll all enjoy together. It’ll promote a feeling of togetherness and thankfulness, and that’s what celebrating the season is all about.