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Creating Memories with a Christmas Box

Creating Memories with a Christmas Box

Welcome to Smarts-n-crafts, where you’ll find smart activities to do with your children—no matter what age—and fun craft projects for rainy days or just for giggles. You’ll be provided with step-by-step instructions, a variety of use ideas, approximate time of activity, and an age-tested skill level. Let’s get started! We’ve got “just 18 summers” to create lots of memories with our loved ones.

This month we celebrate Christmas—a celebration filled with an everlasting hope through the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Today’s craft offers practical ways to share this hope with others while also providing fun opportunities for children and parents to enjoy their time together during this busy season.

What you’ll need:

  • A container (I used a container from the powdered chocolate milk mix and removed the labels – and have fun decorating it if you want)
  • Paper and pencil
  • Child-friendly scissors
  • Hot cocoa and cookies

Skill level:

Little Helping Hands, ages 2-5: Smaller hands can help parents make the cookies and stir hot chocolate. Their imagination will also be needed for this project (fueled by the cookies, of course.)

I’d Rather Do It Myself, ages 6+: Older children will also enjoy using their creative ideas, as well as writing and cutting the slips of paper.

Time:

30 minutes

Instructions:

With cookies and hot cocoa nearby, and a pen or pencil in hand, ask the children to share some specific ways they would like to celebrate Christmas this year. You’ll want them to include ideas for themselves, for the family, and for others. You’ll also want the majority of ideas to be something that doesn’t require preparation (set these aside to work elsewhere into your holiday calendar).

Some ideas might include:

  • Going caroling as a family, or with neighbors.
  • Popping popcorn, turning off all the lights, and watching a favorite Christmas movie together as a family.
  • Putting on your pajamas, hopping in the car, and riding through nearby neighborhoods to rate Christmas lights 1-10, with 10 being a-mazing! (Jesus or other religious displays receive extra points, perhaps?)
  • Turning on Christmas tree lights, turning off all the other lights, and pulling out your sleeping bags. It’s like sleeping under the stars! (Parents, be sure to turn off the lights on the tree before you head to bed.)
  • Baking cookies or bread for an elderly person, or someone you may know who is struggling this Christmas season. Pray for the person as you bake.
  • Working on a Christmas puzzle together as a family.
  • Going through your closets and picking out three items you can share with a local mission.
  • Turning out all the lights, turning on the Christmas tree, and singing your favorite Christmas songs.
  • Staying up as late as you’d like (weekends only!).

Dig Deeper:

The Christmas box became a December staple in our house when the boys were younger. If they exercised quick obedience throughout the day (quieting the day for us all) they were allowed to draw one slip of paper from the box. They took turns drawing the slip of paper each night. If you have lots of ideas and want to allow each child to draw an evening activity, go for it!

Many of the above ideas, and the ideas your children are sure to share, will draw families closer, which is a gift in and of itself during this busy season. But some of these ideas also open themselves up for meaningful conversation. For instance:

  • After delivering cookies to an elderly person, or to someone who lives alone, it’s the perfect time to share how Christmas is sometimes a lonely time for people.  Take the opportunity to ask what they think Jesus would want them to do for them. When they realize they’re already a part of the blessing, it will help cement the joy of helping others in their hearts.
  • When riding through neighborhoods to look at lights take a moment to pray  out loud for the neighborhood as a whole or for the homes down a particular street. A couple of ideas might be to pray that Christ would shine brightly in their homes on Christmas, and every day. Or you could pray for their hearts to be drawn closer to God and to each other.

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:6, 7 ESV

By: Visit Cathy Baker @ Cultivating Creativity and www.cathybaker.org.

 Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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