|Decorating the Christmas tree is definitely an event that most members of any family look forward to. It not only is a time and energy to reflect and remember where the various ornaments came from or who made them, it is also an exciting time that really brings Christmas right into the home.
There are a selection of activities you can incorporate into bring the Christmas tree into your home. Some families enjoy singing "Oh Christmas Tree" as the tree is brought into the home. Make a fun activity of this whereby everyone has to come up with an original verse to the song (since few know the actual words). This can keep everyone entertained while someone else works to find the tree standing up straight.
Once the tree is in a stand and ready to be decorated, produce a game out of the ornaments. Put all the homemade ornaments aside and work with those first. Start with the first family member and get them who made the ornament, where did it come from? Once the details are out of the way, ask the crafter (likely a child) when they remember making the ornament. Should you're the parent, tell the child what you thought whenever you first saw the ornament. This really is fun, since it reminds children that the things they make and bring home are meaningful towards the parents.
There is always one ornament that's just ugly, or plain silly. Play "hot potato" with that ornament. Whoever gets stuck using the ugly ornament must say one nice thing about it, including "well, there's a large amount of glitter on it which's pretty", or "Dougie made it, so I like it". It's a silly method to remind children to find good in everything. It might even remind them that situations are just things. This really is a good lesson for this time of year.
Some individuals use an advent calendar to count down the days until Christmas, and also this is the way it's traditionally done, but there is one fun activity sure to be a hit with children. Similar for the concept in Germany (the location where the advent calendar originated) this involves providing one small gift for children every day until Christmas. In Germany, it's only done for several days before Christmas, but you can get it done for the 24 days of the month until Christmas arrives.
Buy tiny handled gift bags on the craft store. Buy 1 for each of your children. Have the children decorate the bags, as well as on each of the 24 bags, have them place a number as well, 1 through 24. When you decorate the tree, find space for each of these little bags. Because they have handles, they can hang right on the tree like an ornament, or tie ribbon on the handles so they really use a more graceful swing. Each night, fill the right bag with a tiny prize or gift. Therefore it's the night of December 14, you'll take bag #15 (all the bags with earlier numbers will probably be gone) and put some little trinket in it. It might be a piece of candy, a tiny ornament for your child's own tree, a tiny car or small eraser. The concept here is always that it's a small gift, but come morning, that's the first activity your children will engage in - discovering what little treat you left on their behalf the night before.
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