Do you have a “Christmas Mentor”?
I am blessed to know one. She came into my life ten plus years ago and has loved me like a big sister all these years. I know you will enjoy her tips for celebrating the holidays and creating many lifelong memories.
“Christmas Traditions with Littles, Lots, and Later”
by Johnnie K. Seago
Recently, I responded to a post by a mom who is ‘great with child’ on baby number seven. She REALLY wants to have a good Christmas for children one through six, yet while the spirit is willing the body is…well pregnant, tired, worn out!
She asked for suggestions of making the Christmas season special while home schooling. Her query took me back to those special days of digging through the couch cushions hoping find one more quarter to put toward Dad’s Christmas present and other delightful memories.
Since I have been celebrating Christmas as a wife for 35 years and a mother for 32 years I thought I could divide up some of my ideas into the seasons of my life…
Christmas with littles; Christmas with LOTS (of children and family that is, not lots of money!) and then Christmas LATER…that is me NOW with an empty home for a few days every week and a 24/7 husband with whom I am reuniting.
Christmas with Littles
Remember that these little guys have short attention spans, short tempers, and short legs.
Try to do things that make memories in short increments. WRITE DOWN every event. The little guys don’t always remember the event but they do remember reading about these events in their baby books and calendars. I use a blank calendar and write in the days and decorate with stickers. Then every day I write what we did to celebrate Christmas, taking pictures along with way. Some of the calendar days include:
- • Put up the Christmas tree and let you throw icicles in the air
- • Made red and green soup and sang Jingle Bells for grandma on the phone
- • Made hand-print Christmas cards
- • Dressed you up in Christmas t-shirt and took your picture
- • Rode around and looked at Christmas lights
- • Strolled the block after dark looking at Christmas lights
- • Taught you your first Christmas carol
- • Let you sing Christmas carols for neighbors while drumming on your drum
- • Decorated your stroller with battery operated lights
- • Made your baby doll a Christmas t-shirt and took pictures together
- • Hand printed Christmas wrapping paper
- • Made bird feeders with peanut butter and bird seed and sang “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” to the birds
- • Made a fabric nativity scene with material and stuffing so you won’t break it
- • Made a Jesus cupcake to celebrate Jesus’ birthday
- • Dressed all your toys in their best and had a Christmas tea party
- • Invited friends over for a Christmas party complete with bubbles, stickers, and balls
- • Delivered gifts to the Salvation Army
- • Wrapped Christmas presents together…you were a MESS!!!
Christmas with LOTS
The best part of Christmas with lots of children is that EVERY DAY is a Christmas party. Some of our years we celebrated with this all-star cast by
- • Celebrating Christmas Around the World: each week was a different country. We ate the food, sand the songs, read the stories, colored pictures, made ornaments, and re-enacted their traditions.
- • Christmas Through Time: focusing on different eras in history (Elizabethan, Victorian, Modern Times) we would dress up in costume, make the old Christmas favorite foods, and celebrate according to the time (every lit a Yule log? It’s a big order!).
- • Christmas for Others: select a charity and volunteer to do the shopping, wrapping, and delivery of gifts for needy families. Our family had a benefactor one year who kept us shopping, wrapping, and delivering right up till Christmas Eve! My kids didn’t even realize how little was under our tree because we were so busy delivering to others!
Other years were filled with activities that a full house can accomplish:
- • Finger paint all the wrapping paper for your gifts. For grandparents this is like TWO GIFTS in one
- • Make the Christmas tags on the back of school paper and hand drawn figures
- • Shred the old socks and worn out hair bows and use bright ribbon to make unique Christmas bows (the memories and comments will keep you laughing…”There is my favorite soccer sock!”)
- • Find a “special food” to deliver to neighbors. This can be frozen rolls slathered in butter and cinnamon or a special recipe you spend hours on…it really doesn’t matter! The neighbors will remember YOU longer than the treat.
- • Write a special Christmas poem or song to present on Christmas morning
- • Write a Christmas story that will be YOUR FAMILY tribute to Christmas
- • Get an Advent book and read EVERY DAY a devotional thought leading to Christmas.
- • Create unique Christmas cards with pictures of all the fun events from the year
- • Paint a canvas for each grandparent! They will love it!
- • Find ONE room and let the kids decorate with stickered posters and “kid friendly” decorations. You will be AMAZED at how beautiful this will seem in just a few years
- • Go Christmas caroling. Invite some other friends to go house to house in your neighborhood then the same for them the next night
- • Dress up, take pictures and then go see the Nutcracker, or A Christmas Carol…in your own backyard. Put up a sheet and borrow a projector. Make it is very special fancy event!
- • Visit the nursing home and have your ballerinas dress up and do a few Plies and Pirouettes for them. Take your budding musician and allow them to play one or two Christmas sons. You don’t have to be a large school group to get the invite.
- • Go to the mall and “people watch.” Give a prize for the child who finds the most people smiling, the cutest baby, the oldest man, etc.
Christmas fun is only limited by your imagination….think of what your kiddos love to do all year long and make it a Christmas-themed adventure. ENJOY this time.
The Laundry Moms would like to thank Johnnie K. Seago for her blog contribution this Christmas.
~Used with permission
Johnnie K. Seago – Author, Educator, Business owner, wife, mother