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Old 11-27-2009, 08:44 AM
Ben Ben is offline
Master Penny Pincher
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,157
Default Making Christmas special this year.

Make some traditions the kids will want to do every year.
What are your memories of Christmas past---all the gifts you got and can name them or do you remember the things you did?

Slow down and enjoy the season. Take time to enjoy your loved ones. (Rad though here and put some of these ideas together for one or two special nights during the holiday season.)

1. Have a Christmas movie marathon Watch Christmas movies with the kids for free and start a new tradition. Borrow them from the library or get a free one from Redbox just for signing up. Or watch them for free on your computer: www.Hula.com http://www.ovguide.com or www.fancast.com/movies. (Examples:The Polar Express, Miracle on 34th Street, and A Christmas Story.)

2. Make a giant chocolate chip cookie using frozen cookie dough (the smaller package, not the huge one) ...using coupons and catching it on sale.... and spread in a pizza pan (you can get the cheap throw away pan at the Dollar Store or Wal-Mart). Making one giant chocolate chip cookie from a frozen log is less messy than making a bunch of cookies from scratch. (Since it is a giant choc chip cookie the kids might not even want to decorate it.)

3. Read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

4. Have a family slumber party in the living room using sleeping bags or pallets. There is something special about going to sleep under the Christmas lights.

5. Christmas caroling as a family or with friends can be so much fun!

6. Drive around town to look at the Christmas lights, drinking hot chocolate from a thermos. Have fun voting on which neighborhood has the best display.

7. Look at pictures in photo albums from Christmas past and share with kids some of the things you did as a child at Christmas time.

8. Work on a jigsaw puzzle together, as a family. It is fun to do over several nights so you might want to start it early in December. Sharing like this invites family members to talk. (Jigsaw puzzles can be purchased at garage sales.)

9. A White Elephant gift exchange with friends will leave you rolling with laughter.

10. Simmer some hot cider, either using a good and simple recipe or just heat up some bottled cider.

11. Write a Christmas letter, with everyone in the family telling their own story of the past year. Start the letter with “Dad’s Turn” and work down to the youngest child’s turn. It’s fun to read everyone’s differing perspective on the past year.

12. Make a video for Christmas- sing songs, tell stories, and just have a good time. Your relatives will appreciate seeing how the kids had grown over the year.

13. Go for a walk to collect pine cones, acorns and such for decorations.

14. Take your family’s picture in front of the Christmas tree. Make it a yearly tradition.

15. Send a card to a U.S. soldier that you know. If you don’t know a U.S. soldier, consider making a donation to an organization that supports the troops. Or contact your local National Guard to see how you can help.

16. Record your children singing their favorite Christmas carols so that in twenty years you’ll have the recording to see how much they have changed over the years.

17. Go to a Christmas Eve Service. It’s completely free, and it will put you in the right frame of mind to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.

18. Fix a special Christmas breakfast- Cinnamon Buns and Christmas Breakfast Sausage Casserole are good ones because the bulk of the preparation is done the day before.

19. Have a birthday party for Jesus. complete with a cake. Invite the neighborhood kids over. For gifts, you could give time or make a commitment to read your Bible, pray…whatever you can think of!

20. Have your family volunteer- Deliver meals at Christmas for Meals on Wheels, at a food bank, help serve a Christmas meal on Christmas Day at a shelter or mission, volunteer at the pet shelter.

21. Have a family fun night where you spend playing a board game. Kids will like it so much they will want to keep having them.

22. Get out the picnic blanket and picnic basket and sit under the twinkling lights of the tree to eat sandwiches and drink Welchs Sparkling grape juice from your fanciest glasses--The bottle with a bunch of curly ribbon around it looks festive; like a celebration itself.

23. Find a candy that the kids have never had (maybe from your childhood?--even more fun if you are the grandparent), wrap it up in colorful paper and let them unwrap it. The fun part is to let them see the package and let the excitement build over a few hours and then sitting in the room with the trees lights (or when you have finished caroling) explain how you loved it as a child and let them open it). A new tradition is born.

24.) Make an ornament they can hang on the tree that they can take to their own tree when they are grown. Doing this each year is a fun tradition.

These aren't going to last, but aren't they cute? http://familyfun.go.com/christmas/ch...aments-661236/

25. On Christmas Eve by candlelight, Christmas lights and Christmas music playing very low, present the stocking you made http://familyfun.go.com/christmas/ch...mas-stockings/ full of freebies that you have collected all year http://www.pinchingyourpennies.com/f...d.php?t=131758
http://www.pinchingyourpennies.com/f...splay.php?f=11 that have cute tags on the gifts you give: http://www.pinchingyourpennies.com/f...ad.php?t=75654

26. Video a time capsule to be opened in 5 years. (That is a very long time to kids.)

27. Figure out ways to make things. I'm not a kid but I'd personally love this: http://www.pattiewack.com/candygram_bouquet.html or the older ladies might like this. I do! http://www.pattiewack.com/bouquet.html)

What Grandma wouldn't love this in the guest bathroom? http://www.pattiewack.com/snazzy_soaps.html

And what kid wouldn't love making these? http://www.dadcando.com/default_MAKI...tagory=PomPoms

I could see a boy loving this idea: http://www.pattiewack.com/tiretracks_tshirts.html

28. Giving money? Then fold in cute shapes:

29. Want to make your own boxes? http://familycrafts.about.com/gi/o.h...m=27&f=20&tt=1
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:01 AM
brockflock2 brockflock2 is offline
Professional Penny Pincher
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 364

Great ideas! This should get us in the right holiday spirit! Thanks.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:40 PM
Shanae's Avatar
Shanae Shanae is offline
Premier Penny Pincher
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Hooper, UT
Posts: 782

Awesome! Thanks! I have decided to do an activity for our advent calendar instead of daily candy. This gave me some great ideas!
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:14 AM
Ben Ben is offline
Master Penny Pincher
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,157


What a wonderful idea you have now given me!!!
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