Last updated on Jan 22nd, 2015 at 08:25 am

“It is the season to be jolly”…  Children, if asked, will choose more time with their parents over gifts, so begin by making yourself available to your children this holiday. Tuning in to their needs and connecting with them is the greatest gift you can give them. Their giggles, smiles and hugs in turn will make you feel like a million bucks. Plan fun activities with your children that don’t involve spending tons of money. Children are creative and will think of fabulous ideas. Who knows, you may even start a new tradition. Here are some ideas guaranteed to put a smile on your face and lift your spirits:

  1. Arrange a games and dessert evening where friends are invited to bring a pudding and compete against each other. Games could include charades, stalk the lantern, egg and spoon race, rugby, cricket, and swimming.
  2. Invent a new dessert with your children and make it. Children love baking and cooking. Give your pudding a quirky name and have a dessert competition at your games evening.
  3. Camp out in the garden, play room or living room. Pitch the tents, switch off the lights and tell campfire stories by torch light or firelight.
  4. Make dough from flour and water and shape it into decorations for the Christmas tree or ornaments to give to friends as gifts. Decorate the ornaments with mosaics, beads, and pieces of metal. Bake in the oven and paint when cool.
  5. Collect flowers from the garden or make a winter bouquet using dry twigs, pine cones, and pine needles. Go to your local retirement home, frail care centre, charity, or hospital and visit with someone who rarely has company. Listen to their story.
  6. Host a musical concert where friends and family all have a musical instrument to play, even if it’s just a rattle. Sell tickets to the concert and donate the proceeds to charity.
  7. Walk the dog as a family and greet everyone you meet stopping to talk to those neighbours who you’ve been meaning to chat to for ages.
  8. Ask your children to choose some of their art work to give away as presents. Frame their pieces using scrap wood or cardboard which can then be decorated by them.
  9. Help your children write a story for their friends and cousins using their friend’s name. Include photos and illustrations. The story can be bound together to form a book which makes a wonderful personal gift.
  10. Put all the family photos lying at the bottom of a drawer into a book for mom or dad as a gift. Ask the children to add their hand prints, locks of hair and personal comments. This is guaranteed to bring tears of joy to the recipient.
  11. Do something you enjoyed doing as a child and which you haven’t done in years. Invite your family to join you as you ride a bike, dance, paint, kick a ball, climb a tree, build a toy or bake a cake.
  12. Meditate together as a family. Focus on clearing negative energy from your mind and opening your thoughts to new positive ideas.
  13. Make a gratitude tree. Help young children write on cards everything that they are grateful for. Tie your cards on an indoor tree as a daily reminder of all the good things in your life.

Children bring love and happiness into our life which we take for granted, yet it is they who can show us the way back to happiness. Cherish the time you have with them.

Article by: Claire Marketos  www.inspiredparenting.co.za 

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