The holidays bring back such wonderful memories for me. But it's not the gifts I received that I remember so much, as the feelings of anticipation and excitement I felt waiting for the glorious day to arrive. Back then, I thought the presents under the tree is what made Christmas so magical. Now I know otherwise.
As I think about this, I want to teach my children to understand and recognize the true spirit of Christmas. I know they feel just as I
did as a child and I want to make sure they realize that if those feelings of anticipation and wonderment are wrapped with love and service, they will have a magical Christmas every year.
This year I've decided to make a Christmas Countdown calendar. Any calendar will do: one that you are already using or a printed or hand-made December calendar. Anything that you can hang on your wall or even set on your Christmas tree will work.
I'm going to write fun ideas or scripture verses on each slip of paper and stick it to the calendar. Each night after dinner, I will have one of them choose the slip of paper for the day and read what is on it. Then we as a family will do the suggested activity. Here are a few ideas:
- Write a kind note for someone in your family and hide it for him or her to find it.
- Show your love for a brother, sister or friend by helping him or her in some way.
- Show your parents you love them by helping without being asked.
- Sing Christmas songs with your family.
- Write in your journal about how you feel about your family.
- Work with your family to do something nice for a neighbor.
- Ask your parents or grandparents to tell you about Christmases when they were young.
- Write a note or draw a picture to thank someone who has helped you.
- Make a list of blessings that make you happy and hang it in your bedroom.
- Make Christmas cookies and goodies.
- Deliver the goodies you made to friends, neighbors and elderly. If you want to make it really fun, deliver them anonymously as a "secret Santa."
- Go caroling with your family.
These are just a few ideas that can be used. You will probably come up with more. Think of as many as you can and start your Christmas countdown according to the number of ideas you have (if you have ten ideas, start eleven days before Christmas). Try to save a special activity for Christmas Eve if you don't already have a traditional Christmas Eve activity planned.
Remember, the idea is to spend time as a family and teach your children the true spirit of Christmas.
Shannon is the webmaster of a website that offers Premade Scrapbook Pages that tell interesting information about the day you were born or married.
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