Tag Archives: Christmas

Christmas

Printable Holiday Planner

ChristmasThe upcoming Holidays are a truly wonderful family time, provided you can stay cool and out of the stress zone. The frenetic pace of activities, the childhood anticipation, the expectations- these and more all contribute to the potential for that stress. The bulk of the holiday responsibilities fall on the parents, and parental stress contributes to the kids’ anxiety levels and behavior, and pretty soon it’s all in a spiral.

Do yourself a favor and take a little time this week to sit down and get yourself organized. imom.com has a great 7 week printable planner you can download and use to get it done: Printable Holiday Planner What I like about this planner is it goes beyond the menu and the shopping to include thinking about your activities and visitors, your charitable efforts, and often forgotten things like those teacher gifts.

I’d suggest getting the whole family in on the planning process. Everybody can contribute, and if it’s committed to up-front, a bit of the burden is lifted from your shoulders. The kids can do some of the decorating, perhaps under Dad’s watchful eye- it doesn’t ALL have to be yours to do. That alone will help to keep the stress hormones under control!

Advent Activities

Advent Activity Countdown

Advent ActivitiesSorry for being 5 days late in getting this Holiday Advent kids activity to everyone– I just found it! Not that we all need to build more excitement toward Christmas, but it IS fun!

Thanks to Activity Mom for this printable, downloadable series of advent kids activities. The printables include countdown cards, the activities and materials list, all to make the countdown to Christmas fun AND educational.

Make a big deal out of the countdown cards and your child will look forward to everyday’s new activity. Activity Mom has several good suggestions for how to do this, but my favorite is to choose the activity in the morning so they have all day to look forward to it. Pick the activity card out of a Santa Hat, unwrap it ( if you’ve got the energy to wrap each one), pluck it off the Christmas tree- the how doesn’t really matter.

The Advent activities themselves are both games and crafts, so if you want to order them (as opposed to a random pick each day) to vary the activities- go for it. And it’s a good idea to gather up all the materials needed for all the activities so you can just grab and go.

Looks like Activity Mom has lots of good ideas for little kids – take a look. It’s always a good idea to have a storehouse of things to do you can pull from when you hear ‘I’m bored’.

Money Grows On Trees

Teaching about Money this Holiday Season

Money Grows On TreesSorry to say it, but this holiday season is also a teachable moment that we parents shouldn’t let go to waste. Teaching our kids about money and financial responsibility isn’t easy, so the sooner we start the better it is for all concerned.

Our economy makes it pretty clear that an awful lot of people don’t have sufficient financial responsibility, but that’s not a good reason to pass the curse along to our kids. Perhaps some allowances can be made for adults who didn’t really grow up with easy access to credit, so never learned about it as kids. But we owe it to our children to teach them what we’ve all learned from our mistakes.

And the Holiday’s “I Want…” time is the perfect place to start. USA Today had a great article with practical tips for using the holidays to begin teaching about money and financial responsibility.

The kids tip I like the most is the idea that giving some money as a gift is a good teaching tool. It puts the child in the position of actually experiencing the trade-offs between high or over priced goods and more reasonably priced items that don’t take all the money. A very valuable lesson, to be sure. Combined with a family charitable gift during this season of giving, a gift in which all participate and give up a little something, and a whole lot has been taught.

There’s also a piggy bank with sections for spending, saving, charity and investment that is a terrific teaching tool and potentially a good holiday present as well.

So while giving your kids a great holiday season this year, give them a little extra by teaching about money and being financially smart.