The days leading up to Christmas can be just as much fun as the big day itself when you plan unique activities to celebrate. These ideas don't have to take a lot of time, effort, or resources - in fact there are many activities that you can do with your children before December 25th that have zero impact on the environment. They will however have a huge impact on your family and their fondness of the holiday season, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Read on to learn my seven favorite unique and eco-friendly ways to celebrate the days leading up to Christmas.
#1: Make Recycled Ornaments
One of my son’s favorite parts of the December is when we pull our holiday decoration boxes out of storage. As he carefully unwraps each ornament with his little hands, his face lights up when he “remembers” the snowflake ornament he made in preschool or that special reindeer ornament picked out just for him from Grandma. Add new treasures to your family’s ornament boxes by spending an afternoon crafting handmade ornaments from items that you find in your recycling bin and craft closet. It is a fun way to spend the day with your children and watching their eyes light up again when the ornaments are hung on the tree is priceless.
#2: Build a LEGO Christmas Village
If your child is like mine, he or she probably loves LEGO and is constantly asking you to build something with them. Your children will be delighted when you start a new family tradition that involves building your own Christmas village using those loose bricks. You will be amazed at the ideas that your child can come up and how they can transform pieces from an existing LEGO set into a winter wonderland. When your family is finished building the masterpiece, you can use it to decorate your mantle or entry way table for fun all winter long.
#3: Walk Around to See the Lights
Instead of packing the children in the car to go see the holiday lights – take them to see the displays on foot. Bundle each of your little ones up and then head out the door with a piping warm insulated mug in hand to view the holiday lights in your neighborhood. Your children will love tromping through the snow to see the beautiful lights in your own neighborhood. You will enjoywatching the amazement in their eyes when snowflakes start to slowly fall down in the dark sky – the stillness and quiet of a lovely winter evening is something that everyone should enjoy.
#4: Camp Out Under the Tree
My son will use any excuse to sleep anywhere in our house – besides his bed. Your children will be delighted when you announce that your family will be camping out under the Christmas tree. Bring the sleeping bags, pillows and blankets into the family room and cozy up under the tree together reading holiday stories next to the twinkling lights. I guarantee that this activity alone will most likely be the favorite amongst your little ones since it is so magical and sweet. And if you aren’t keen to sleeping on the floor, you can always sneak off to your own bed once they fall asleep.
#5: Pass the Compliment Stick
Take a walk around your neighborhood with your children and ask them to find a large, thick stick together. Once they have decided on the perfect stick, bring it home, wash it and adorn it with eco-friendly paints and markers. When it is completely dry, ask all of your family members to sit in a circle. Whoever is holding the stick will begin by stating one thing that they love about all of the family members one by one, then they will pass the stick to the next person who will state the one thing they love about all of the family members and so on. You can change the statement for each round that you do. For example, “my favorite way to spend the day with so-and-so is by……”, or “I think so-and-so’s very talented at…”. The idea to get each member of your family thinking of all of the wonderful qualities in each family member and telling them about it.
#6: Have an Organic Cocoa Bar
If there is a beverage (besides egg nog) that is synonymous with Christmas, it’s hot cocoa. Add a fun twist to the traditional cup of organic cocoa by having a family cocoa bar. Offer a selection of organic cocoa, soy milk, soy nog, whipped cream, sprinkles and fun organic toppings and watch your children delight in making a steamy concoction of their own. This is a fun activity to do when you have an evening inside planned – such as decorating the holiday tree or reading Christmas stories together as a family.
#7: Play Secret Santa with a Neighbor in Need
Christmas time can be a difficult time for someone who is down on their luck. If you know of someone in your neighborhood that is having a hard time this holiday season, you can add a little cheer by playing Secret Santa. As a family, bake goodies, make recycled ornaments, mix up a batch of bubble baths or other treats to leave on your neighbors front doorstep. If the neighbor is elderly, you could send the children over to shovel their driveway or deliver a basket of fresh fruits or bread. It’s a simple way to say, we are thinking of you during this holiday season.
How does your family celebrate the days leading up to Christmas?
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