The Playdate Kids Gazette

This blog is dedicated to all of the Playdate Kids Club Members. We will offer fun to read articles, tips for parents, ideas for arts and crafts projects and more!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

This holiday season, give your family a present that will last a lifetime- a new family tradition. It is important that your children know Christmas is more than a gift exchange, more than just one day to spend with family; Christmas is a time of tradition. Counting down the days until Christmas with an advent calendar, using old family recipes for the holiday dinner, or sitting by the fire singing Christmas carols are just some traditions that have been passed down from one generation to the next. Unfortunately, some families may not have memorable traditions, or feel their traditions are too outdated to continue- such as the annual fruitcake loaf. Fortunately, it is never too late to begin a holiday tradition of your own.

A few great traditions to share with your children could include baking cookies, making ornaments, creating a “giving tree,” or designing your own wrapping paper. For example, while you are baking cookies for Santa Claus, decorate the Christmas tree together as a family. The sugary smell of cookies baking in the oven, and the feeling of togetherness brought by decorating the tree as a family is what your children will remember as an adults and share with families of their own.

You can try making ornaments each year with your family. These ornaments can be as simple or as elaborate as you desire. Seashells and glitter or cardboard and macaroni are all the material you need for easy to make and inexpensive ornaments. If you are not the “crafty” type, purchase a new ornament for each of your children. The best ornaments to buy have the year engraved or printed on them. Then, when your children are grown and have their own first Christmas tree, they will have their own personal and memorable ornaments to hang on the tree.
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Another suggestion for a family tradition is start a “giving tree”. Designate an area in your home for donations such as canned food, toys, or clothes. During the holiday season charities make their presence especially visible, therefore it should not be hard to find a number of charities in your area. Better yet, find a church in your area that serves a Christmas meal to the needy and offer to cook a dish for them. The hands on act of cooking will fully engage your children in the giving process.

Another great idea is to purchase a roll of white wrapping paper for each member of your family. Set out markers, crayons, glitter, glue, stickers, ribbon, and such. Then have each family member create designs for their wrapping paper. This gives gift giving a fun and personal touch, as well as creating fun family time.

Whatever traditions you hold dear or chose to begin remember, it is the traditions carried out during the holiday season that your children will remember for a lifetime. Yes, presents are a wonderful way of showing love and appreciation, and of course, your children will be ecstatic to receive the latest toys available. Just remember, Christmas is so much more than material gifts, so give your children a present that will last a lifetime, and spend some traditional quality time with them.

By Amy Mosshart
M. Loring Communications

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