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Children’s Corner: Christmas festivities

You don’t have to be Christian or Catholic for that matter to enjoy this weekend’s festivities. Although you may not need to find an excuse to buy your children more presents, this Christmas can be a time for making presents for each other–for wrapping and unwrapping–even for getting together to decorate a tree or bake some cookies. The weather has been a little chilly so this week’s Children’s Corner takes a look at what fun things you can do at home over the weekend!
Friday the 24th–Setting up…
Let Friday be wrapping day–pick out toys that your children no longer play with and take scrap paper or colored paper and wrap them together (your kids will be so excited at the chance to use scotch tape), while deciding which gifts to give to whom. It’s likely there are people in your neighborhood or people who work in your home who would appreciate these toys. For older children, help them practice writing by writing names on packages with a marker. Younger children will just revel in the opportunity to play with crumpled paper (an activity most one-year-olds find fascinating).
For a traditionally Santa related activity, at mid-afternoon it would be appropriate to bake a batch of cookies to leave out for Mr. Claus–an energy boost to get him through his night of gift delivery. Branch out from the regular chocolate chip and try making reindeer cookies–make your favorite cookie and once baked, press mini pretzels into the top of each one to make antlers. After cookies have cooled completely, stick mini M&Ms on for eyes and a nose. Use these family friendly opportunities to bring out a video camera, flip camera, Vado, etc. to make a couple home MP4s.
Saturday the 25th–Presents and cocoa
Saturday morning, if you’ve laid out presents, expect to be woken up early by eager children. Be prepared with hot chocolate and marshmallows–the perfect morning wakeup for Christmas. If you’ve wrapped gifts for others, you and your children can go for a Saturday morning walk to deliver gifts. Get everyone to stand near the Christmas tree and set up a tripod for a Christmas family portrait–if you print it out at Kodak or at Fuji you can get it made as a card and sit together to write cards to family and friends. Another option would be just to get red colored paper and make Christmas cards with kiddie drawings of Santa.
If you want to Christamas-ize breakfast, make pancakes with beards of whipped cream and strawberries for little hats. Chocolate chips or pieces can be used to make eyes and draw out a mouth. You can also prepare bran muffin dough ahead of time and bake that morning for a fresh and healthy breakfast.
Other activities
For a less enthused version of a Christmas weekend, look to paper, glue and glitter for making snowflakes or Christmas trees out of cutouts you can find online–or make yourself. Many Christmas themed coloring pages are available for print for free online as well, so turn on your printer, get out markers and expect your children to be occupied for at least an hour. Christmas songs are always a big hit with children–try out your singing voice to some of the most traditional tunes: “Oh Christmas Tree”, “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” and “Jingle Bells” are just a few.

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