The Gift of Time

The Holiday break is perfect for spending some quality time with your kids.  Doing things as a family can definitely help your communication skills with your children and it can bring you closer as a group.  Also, it’s a lot of fun!
Here are ten suggestions: Try one or try them all but remember the holidays is a time for giving and what better present to give your children then your TIME!!!!!

1)      The great outdoors

If there is snow on the ground, build a snow man or a snow castle.  To keep active and fit, consider going ice skating, skiing, or sledding.  These fun, seasonal activities are perfect for people of all ages and skill levels.

2)      Bake cookies

Baking is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon together with your family.  Not only are cookies delicious to eat at home, they make great holiday gifts and are perfect to bring to holiday gatherings.  Talk about everybody’s favorite ahead of time and try to make something that each person enjoys.

3)      Host a movie marathon

Are your kids longing for their friends?  Are they complaining that they are bored?  Make a gigantic batch of hot cocoa and popcorn and invite friends over for a movie marathon.  Consider hosting a “sleep under”.  Have everyone bring pajamas, slippers, and sleeping bags and enjoy all the fun of a sleepover, without the actual sleeping over part.

4)      Learn the reasons for this season. 

There are a whole bunch of holidays during this time of year, why not find out more about them, especially if they’re not what your family usually observes. There’s Hanukkah (Dec 24 – 31), Winter Solstice (Dec 22), Christmas (Dec 25), Boxing Day (Dec 26), Kwanzaa (Dec 26), and New Year’s Eve (Dec 31).  Who knows, you might even want to incorporate some elements of their celebration into your own traditions. And of course, you don’t have to be religious to celebrate the holidays – Festivus, anyone?

5)      Make some holiday gifts

Kids love to do crafts.  Have them make a list of the people they want to give gifts to and have them create a few of their own presents.  With help, younger children can make wonderful gifts for their family.  Older children might have a craft or artistic talent that they can use to create a present for grandparents or friends.  Have a craft day and enjoy quality time with your kids.

6)      Go to the theater

There are wonderful performances throughout the holiday season that are family friendly and will help put you in the holiday mood.  The Radio City Christmas Spectacular.  Shows like “The Nutcracker” and “A Christmas Carol” are also easily found in many communities during the holidays.  Some theaters even offer special children’s showings, perfect for the 10 and under crowd, who might have a difficult time sitting still or being quiet throughout a performance.

7)      Volunteer

Many older children have required service hours for school.  Required or not, the holidays are a great time to work together as a family to help people or organizations in need.  Have your kids decide what they care most about and look for ways to do some volunteering together.  It will not only make you feel good, but help your children learn about the importance of community and helping others.

8)      Decorate the house 

A great thing to do together is to decorate the house for the holidays both inside and out. No one is as enthusiastic about holiday decorating than kids! They throw themselves into it with an energy most adults just don’t have this time of year. And that’s what makes it so much fun.It will require teamwork and creativity. You can make homemade decorations or use ones from past years or a combination of both!

9)      Visit museums and zoos

Winter break is a wonderful time to visit your local museums and zoos.  Sure, they might be more crowded, but many places add whimsical lights and displays that you do not normally get to take in during the year.  Call to see what special events are occurring and if there are any holiday discounts or freebies being offered.

10)      Check out the lights

Do some homes in your neighborhood go all out when decorating for the holidays?  Consider taking your family on a light drive.  Some are over-the-top, some are magical, and some are extravagant.  All are enjoyable, when you are listening to holiday tunes and enjoying time with your family.

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“>The bottom line is simple – the best gift you can give your child this holiday is  The Gift of Time!!!!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM The DAPC