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Who’s Excited for Christmas?

Written by Iva Jelínková, Educational Specialist at Lipa

The last month of the year is here: December. When it runs out, we step over a threshold, change the digits in the year and make plans for new beginnings. Among other resolutions, we decide that next December, we won’t let things get so hectic and out of hand. Easier said than done, right?

There are so many things we grown-ups need to do before Christmas, but we shouldn’t forget that for children, December is a time of great excitement. It’s a time of soft candlelight, mysterious smells, and happy secrets. Some children get excited about the sweets and goodies that start appearing around the house, some about watching all those Christmas-time classics on television, and all children can’t wait to get their hands on presents. There’s so much to look forward to when you’re a kid, and time suddenly moves dreadfully slowly. We were thinking it might come in handy if we give you a few activities to enjoy as a family to speed up the days left until Christmas.




1. Let’s put on a story

Have you ever created a puppet theater with your kids? Pick a fairy-tale you love watching or reading together. If you’re worried about using actual puppets, rest assured that you don’t need to go full pro. Puppet theater is actually more fun if you use socks, scarves, or plush toys instead. It’s also easy to draw the characters you need on a piece of paper and glue them to a stick. Voila! If you need a stage, use a couple of chairs and a blanket or bedsheet for the backdrop. Have the kids perform a show for the adults and then vice versa. Don’t forget to invite grandma, grandpa, brother, sister, dolls from the dollhouse and your dog and cat. The audience will be cracking up and it won’t even matter if your fairy-tale ends up a bit unexpectedly!

 

2. Christmas letters

In December, we often send Christmas-themed emails with glittery pictures, or we exchange e-cards with New Year’s wishes in verse. But imagine finding a postcard in your mailbox – one that you know someone put some work into. Try going back to that more intimate tradition of sending paper letters this year. Cut a piece of thick paper in approximately postcard format, put a few address lines on one side and leave the other blank as a canvas for your little artist. Anyone from the family will be happy to receive an original, hand-drawn or hand-painted Christmas card that is truly irreplaceable.

 

3. Caroling, caroling now we go

A lot of families live far apart and end up missing each other the most during the holidays. Luckily, we have modern technologies to help us see and talk to everyone we want. But have you tried singing to each other while video chatting? When you contact your family and the video pops up, surprise them by belting out your kids’ favorite Christmas carol. You can put on an authentic performance and dress in costumes, or even play musical instruments. Guaranteed to end up in happy giggles.

 

4. Advent calendar as you (don’t) know it

To make the wait until Christmas day a bit more exciting, try making an advent calendar for your kids – with one window or little drawer for every day between the beginning of December and Christmas day. Kids love finding a little surprise each morning, like tiny chocolates, nuts, small presents, or even simple tasks or quests. Put up a line with pegs, and hang socks and gloves on it. Then put little cards and notes inside that give activity ideas like drawing a pretty Christmas tree, creating a decoration, or reading something in a book about Christmas traditions. You can also reverse the roles and have kids make up little tasks for the rest of the family. Or they can be topics for discussion, which the family shares over meals.

No matter how old we are, we all like to have fun at Christmastime. As a pleasant bonus, the days remaining until Christmas fly by more quickly. You might even find yourself sharing some of your children’s impatient excitement, because it’s contagious. Let’s make December a happy time, not just hectic. Christmas is just around the corner…