How To Get The Most Out Of Giving This Christmas
With the holiday season upon us, you may have been roped in to help with some of the festivities around your local community. It may be tiring and hard work, but helping make someone’s Christmas special is very rewarding. If you have got the time to help your local school or retirement home, here is our list of super things you can do:
Bake – With very little financial outlay, you can whip up batches of lovely festive biscuits. This is a great activity you can take on with your little ones too. If you are looking for great kids activities, then mixing cookie dough, rolling it out, and shape cutting is perfect. Give them all the help they need and have a really great, family fun day making Christmas treats to take to the retirement home. The children could accompany you to drop them off and even say hello to everybody there. Older people within your community can be very lonely at this time of year. Dropping in with a plate of biscuits for a ten minute chat with the children could be just the gift they need this year.
Music – If your children are always singing Christmas songs and carols, tap into their enthusiasm and take them along to the village hall or community center. You could take a bucket along and try a little fundraising too. Alternatively, if your neighborhood is safe, take them caroling door to door. Perhaps you and your kids play musical instruments. You could play some music to accompany your local seasonal events like markets and bazaars.
Santa – Having a visit from Santa means the world to children. Your local hospital may be full of sick kids that can’t go home this Christmas. If you or a friend could volunteer an afternoon to dress up as Santa and distribute some donated gifts, you can help make Christmas special for the children. Rent a Santa suit from your local party store or Hollywood Fancy Dress. You can probably find lots of themed costumes at the store. Perhaps you could put on a short play or story telling session with props. There are female versions of the Santa costume too, so don’t feel you can’t help if no guys are available. You could dress your children as elves and have them help distribute the presents.
Party – If you are well and truly in the spirit of Christmas, you might like to throw a big festive party for your friends and neighbors. Kids’ parties work very well with a Christmas theme too. There are lots of seasonal twists you can give party games to keep everybody entertained. Using a sack instead of lots of wrappings for pass the parcel ensures everyone gets a gift. Musical statues works very well with Christmas themed music too. Change the birthday cake for a slice of Christmas cake or Yule log and bake festive biscuits for sweet treats.
Arts and Crafts – If you are looking after a number of kids while the moms get their festive shopping done, you could hold an arty crafty event. Kids can make so many Christmas themed items. One of the most popular would be to turn a standard box of chocolates into an advent calendar. You can cut into the lid of the box to make the doors and number them up with stickers. Stickers are great for turning the mundane, everyday object into something festive. Use them to decorate cups and boxes. You could try glue and glitter to add a bit of sparkle too. Christmas hats are lots of fun to make and reasonably simple to do with some card and bits to stick on. If you are feeling really adventurous, you could all work together to make a Nativity scene.
Seasonal Cards – If you haven’t already done so, try to get your correspondence contact book up to date so you can send everyone a card. If you have a favorite charity, you could write in each to say you are donating a little on their behalf. It is a great way to raise awareness of a charity fundraiser, but also gives them a few coins each time you write out a card. You could invite the recipient of your card to do the same for their favorite charitable organization. If you buy your greetings cards, you could purchase them from a charity. This then starts the money raising process. Alternatively, you may want to take a day with the kids to make the cards together for your closest friends and family. There are lots of stickers and foam shapes available in craft stores for the children to decorate their cards. It is also great for them to practice their writing skills.
Christmas Quiz – This is a great festive activity for your older children. If you find your kids are constantly glued to the internet, use this enthusiasm to drive a fun research project. Developing good research skills is essential as kids mature and move through the grades and onto College. Get them started now. Ask them to come up with some questions and appropriately sourced answers for a quiz. You could set them a theme, or invite them to come up with a theme. Let them know which websites are likely to be most reliable in terms of accurate information. It is also a great chance for you to reiterate internet safety. You can also provide useful guidance on search terms to use too.
When you are all happy with the questions, you can have fun with the quiz at home, or take it out to a school or pub event for a fun and festive afternoon. If the quiz is a success, you could try publishing it through social media or using it for another event next year. Taking the quiz out into the community will also give your children a chance to try their hand at public speaking. This is another essential skill they can refine to help them later in life.