Dashing through exams, and Christmas parties galore,
Parents are counting down, for the children they adore,
Are heading home for break. And breaking mom in two.
So here are ideas to keep you sane, and keep that holiday mood. Oh!
Ok, so I’m not a songwriter. Instead, please enjoy 20 things to do while your kids are home for holiday break!
- Bake Christmas Cookies. And, I mean the easy kind! A roll of sugar dough works just as good as any other, and your kids will love to sprinkle to their hearts delight. Like these.
- Bring a Treat to Your Neighbor. The best thing about holidays is the chance to see those we don’t get to spend time with very often—including our own neighbors. Wrap up a bundle of those Christmas Cookies and take your kids on a trek across the street to bless a neighbor you haven’t seen in a while.
- Kiss Under the Mistletoe. I’m pretty sure if I asked my kids to draw a picture of Mistletoe, it would consist of some sort of artillery and feet (love those boys!). Ask your kids to do the same, and then hang them around the house for an excuse to snuggle.
- Take a Holiday Picture. Ok, so you ran out of time and couldn’t pull this together in time to send them out on a lovely card. Take some posed pics just for fun instead. Get the kids involved and let them play photographer. You’d be surprised at the candid things they will be drawn to. Love the ideas on this site.
- Decorate a Tree. I love this great idea of using ice cream cones as Christmas trees. First I must warn you: If you are unable to completely supervise this event, expect little to no candy making it onto the actual tree. (Great time to take a holiday pic, by the way!) Find out more here.
- Send a Christmas Card to a Soldier. Get out the markers and paper and ask your kids to get creative for the sake of someone serving overseas. Let them help you address the envelopes, or stick them in the box, so they can see how much it blesses them to bless others. Operation Christmas Card is one way to do this.
- Have a Christmas Movie Night. There are so many wonderful Christmas specials that come on this time of the year—both old and new! Pick one out, choose a night, and plan to watch it together. Popcorn and snacks too, of course!
- Go Christmas Caroling. We did this with a group of neighborhood kids in lieu of a party one year and couldn’t believe how much fun we had. Especially wonderful if you have elderly neighbors who don’t get out as often as they used to. More great ideas on that here.
- Make a Christmas Ornament. Despite all the beautiful ornaments people have given me over the years, my favorites are still the ones my kids made. Make some memories to hold onto by making a special ornament this year. I love these sold on etsy.
- Roast Marshmallows. I love roasted marshmallows so much; my mother swears she caught me roasting them over one of her candles when I was younger. There’s nothing better than a toasted marshmallow on a cold night. Don’t forget the pictures!
- Attend a Christmas Play. There is something so precious about small children retelling the story of Christ’s birth. If your children have outgrown this stage, attend one at your church or another local event—guaranteed to put you in the mood. I love this one on YouTube.
- Play Christmas Karaoke. Christmas CD’s are easy to find this time of year. Put one in (or simply plug in your MP3 player) and take turns singing your heart out. Just make sure your tweens don’t have a video recorder nearby, lest you end up on social media like this guy.
- Have a Slumber Party Under the Tree. Help siblings connect over the holidays by letting them have a slumber party together. Instead of ghost stories, have the share their favorite Christmas moments.
- Visit a Live Nativity. These can be hard to find, but SO worth it! Check your local newspaper, or call around to local churches to find one in your area. Amazing for small children to see it come alive right before their eyes.
- Buy a Holiday Book to Read. With time off from work and school, take the opportunity to connect with your child by snuggling up with a great story. One we love to read, with a unique take on a great message is, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”
- Go See Christmas Lights. If my husband would let me, I’d cover every single inch of my house in Christmas lights. Of course, I have absolutely none. But, oh how I love them! Go appreciate some in your own neighborhood!
- Take Them Shopping. At the Dollar Store! You don’t have to spend a lot of money for your kids to show their grandparents or other family members they’re thinking of them. You’d be amazed at the thoughtful and creative gifts kids can find on a budget.
- Donate Old Coats. Get your kids involved in cleaning out their closets over the break. Coats are especially needed at most shelters and donation centers. Gather yours together, and then let your kids go with you to get involved in helping others.
- Take Treats to a Local Fire Department. Thank the heroes in your own back yard by taking some Christmas goodies to your local fire department as a holiday thank you.
- Read the Story of Jesus’ Birth. Take turns passing the Bible around to all the readers in the family for a special—and memorable—rendition of the story of Christ’s birth. If you have a Nativity, consider allowing your children to place the items in the Nativity as they story unfolds.
As we close out this year, I pray that each of you have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!