The holidays bring back such wonderful memories for me. But it’s not
the gifts I received that I remember so much, as the feelings of
anticipation and excitement I felt waiting for the glorious
day to arrive. Back then, I thought the presents under the
tree is what made Christmas so magical. Now I know otherwise.
As I think about this, I want to teach my children to understand and
recognize the true spirit of Christmas. I know they feel just as I
did as a child and I want to make sure they realize that if those feelings
of anticipation and wonderment are wrapped with love and service, they
will have a magical Christmas every year.
This year I’ve decided to make a Christmas Countdown calendar. Any
calendar will do: one that you are already using or a printed or hand-
made December calendar. Anything that you can hang on your wall or
even set on your Christmas tree will work.
I’m going to write fun ideas or scripture verses on each slip of paper
and stick it to the calendar. Each night after dinner,
I will have one of them choose the slip of paper for the day and
read what is on it. Then we as a family will do the suggested activity.
Here are a few ideas:
*Write a kind note for someone in your family and hide it for him or her
to find it.
*Show your love for a brother, sister or friend by helping him or her
in some way.
*Show your parents you love them by helping without being asked.
*Sing Christmas songs with your family.
*Write in your journal about how you feel about your family.
*Work with your family to do something nice for a neighbor.
*Ask your parents or grandparents to tell you about Christmases when
they were young.
*Write a note or draw a picture to thank someone who has helped you.
*Make a list of blessings that make you happy and hang it in your
*Make Christmas cookies and goodies.
*Deliver the goodies you made to friends, neighbors and elderly. If
you want to make it really fun, deliver them anonymously as a “secret
*Go caroling with your family.
These are just a few ideas that can be used. You will probably come up
with more. Think of as many as you
can and start your Christmas countdown according to the number of
ideas you have (if you have ten ideas, start eleven days before
Christmas). Try to save a special activity for Christmas Eve if you
don’t already have a traditional Christmas Eve activity planned.
Remember, the idea is to spend time as a family and teach your children the
true spirit of Christmas.
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