The holidays are a time for family bonding and traditions. But sometimes your kids may be a little resistant to spending so much time with their parents. While this is natural (especially for those rocky teenage years), you can find some easy ways to get your kids involved in the holiday season. Consider some of the following activities that are great for kids of any age:
Decorate the House
There’s nothing to get you in the Christmas spirit like decorating your home. If your kids love adventure, have them get up on the roof with you to hang Christmas lights. Pick out the perfect Christmas tree that fills up your living room and get everyone together to hang ornaments and string up lights. If you’re extra bold, opt for a white tree that guarantees you a white Christmas, no matter where you live. If your kids have an eye for interior decorating, ask for their opinion on where to put your Christmas village or where to hang the stockings. You don’t have to spend hours and hours forcing your kids to decorate with you, but it’s an easy way to get them involved and create some family traditions.
Shop for Presents
Presents are one of the most fun parts about the holidays, especially for kids. Have your younger kids write out a list for Santa and put it in the mail together. Discuss what everyone wants for Christmas and brainstorm ideas with your kids about what to buy your spouse, the grandparents and their siblings. You can all go shopping together as a family, or take each kid out for a shopping date to buy all of their Christmas presents. It may be fun for everyone to explore stores together, but if it’s too overwhelming in the crowds, opt for some one-on-one bonding.
On Christmas morning, open all of your presents together. Take turns opening one present at a time so everyone can see what everyone received and be excited about their reactions.
When you think of Christmas when you were a kid, can you smell cinnamon and sugar in the kitchen? Does your mouth start salivating at the thought of licking the beaters clean of cookie dough? Pass down this Christmas tradition to your kids by baking cookies in preparation for the holiday. Teach them how to make your family recipes or try some new ones each year. Get your kids involved by having them pick out their favorite types of cookies and helping to make the batter and decorate them when they’re still gooey from the oven. While you may make them wait to have dessert until after dinner every other day, enjoy a few cookies together when they’re still warm.
Make the holiday season musical for everyone in your family and neighborhood. If you have little kids, teach them a few of the shorter songs before you go caroling, or have your older kids lead the way. Spend a night going door to door to spread some Christmas cheer with your favorite holiday songs. If you’re too shy to go with just your family, look for groups of carolers at your church or in your neighborhood. You also can spend the night singing carols along with the radio at home. This is the perfect time to eat some of those delicious Christmas cookies and drink hot chocolate between songs.