In our world today, you can see a vast melting pot of the old Christmas traditions, new, modern spins on old traditions, but no matter what your beliefs, most people have a brief respite from the typical everyday grind of every day life, and somewhere inside, the spirit of a season that unites so many around a typical theme of good will is a feeling we find ourselves wishing we could preserve throughout the year.
There is no better way to teach children the spirit of giving then bringing to their attention those less fortunate, for whom Christmas is not an easy time. For this type of learning and giving, small groups of children work best. Let your children invite one or two very close friends to help.
Call your local Department of Human Services, if you have any questions about who to contact or where to go to adopt a child (or family) for Christmas giving, but try to choose someone who is not a foster child, they tend to get plenty of gifts, while other, less fortunate children may not. Angel Trees, or even local families you might recognize as being in need are good choices. Once you have chosen the child or family you wish to adopt, take your children, with a set budget in mind (it is perfect, if the child, children, family, are near your own child’s ages, because they can help choose things they would like, and even give you ideas for their Christmas Gifts) allow them to help you shop. If you can, it is also nice to make some simple food gifts, like gingerbread men, Christmas cookies, etc. to give both your adopted, and the elderly in your area a special gift to let them know you are thinking of them this holiday season.
Once the shopping has been done, gather to bake cookies, candies, and food gifts. Let the children help, and even enjoy some hot chocolate and cookies yourself, or try hot spiced apple juice, a cold weather favorite.
Hot Spiced Apple Juice
Bottled apple juice (you can use cider)
In a nonstick pan, pour apple juice and add lots of red hot, cinnamon candies.
Heat, stirring constantly, until all candy is melted.
Serve immediately, or pour into thermal container to keep it hot.
Cookies and candies can be put into inexpensive Christmas tins or Christmas bags. Keeping a supply of snacks at hand, get all the children in the middle of the floor with a pile of gifts, paper, tape, ribbons, and bows (or gift bags, if your children are small) and let them wrap the presents. When you all go to drop off the presents, take the Christmas cookies and candies, and allow the children to help take them in and wish the elderly in the neighborhood a Merry Christmas.
This is a wonderful time to have a sleep over, allowing other parents time to shop without their children, and can even be used as a tree trimming party, where children lie in sleeping bags watching Christmas Movies, to fall asleep to the twinkle of Christmas lights. What a special way to teach children that Christmas is a time for giving, at your children’s special Christmas Party.
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