The holiday season is full of parties, shopping, special events, baking, and traveling. Sometimes we are so wrapped up in all the festivities, we forget that celebrating with our very own family is one of the most important things we need to do. Having a holly, jolly holiday and New Year is not as hard as it might seem. Laughter and good times make for merry memories with your teen. Below are ten creative ways to celebrate the holiday season with your whole family. Make sure you have the camera nearby. I am sure many fun and crazy photos will find their way into a special scrapbook.
Have a re-purposing day to help cut costs on gifts and just plain have fun being together. Look for things around the house that are dated, not used any more, or considered junk. Put everything spread out on the table. Each person gets ten minutes to look over the items up for grabs. They are going to select one or two items, depending on how many items are on the table, to re-purpose as a gift for another family member or friend. To decide who goes first, put numbers in a basket or bowl and draw or roll a die. If there are five people in your family, put in five slips of paper numbered from one to five, or roll a die and high number goes first and lowest goes last.
Create a family T-shirt and take a funky holiday photo in it. The shirt can have a holiday theme or just a family theme. You can Google online stores that print custom shirts. There are usually stores locally that also print small quantities of shirts.
Have a holiday judging contest for your street or neighborhood. Judge the houses on your block for: decorated the prettiest, most unique, most lights, most old fashioned, funkiest… The kids can make nice size award posters that can be stuck in the grass of the winning houses. For Example: Winner of the 2013 Most Old Fashioned Christmas Theme as judged by the Smith Family. Let the houses in your neighborhood know you are going to judge them say in a week or so. That way they have time to spruce up their yard if they want to participate. You can do this by posting flyers or knocking on doors. This activity really helps build community spirit!
Have an ornament decorating contest (Mom, Dad, and kids all included). Each person submits two ornaments without their name on it. This can be as simple as modifying an old broken ornament, using a pinecone as your base, creating a toilet paper tube ornament… Be creative! Everyone gets one vote. You cannot vote for your own ornament. The winner gets to skip a chore, gets their favorite candy or ice cream cone, gets to skip one school assignment (within limits of course-ha ha), gets to pick the TV show for one night, gets to skip cooking dinner one night, gets a back rub or foot massage, wins $5.00 or a special coupon book…
Adopt a local family in need this winter. Make or purchase things for each family member, or cook a dinner for them. It does not have to be fancy gifts or gourmet food. Remember, it is the thought that counts. You mainly want them to know they are thought about and valued as your neighbor. When you deliver the gifts or food, make sure you sing a carol or two for them.
Play Name That Tune…holiday style. Split the family into two teams. Each team submits six holiday song titles for the other team to solve. Roll of a die (high number goes first) determines which team goes first. The first team up draws one slip from their basket. They decide how many notes they can get their team members to guess the song. The least amount of notes earns the most points. Catch: You will hum the song, not sing it! Score Points: 10 is the highest point value; 1 note = 10 points all the way down to 10 notes = 1 point. Have a predetermined prize for the winning team if you would like.
Teach your kids something special you did as a kid when you were growing up during the holiday season. If you cannot think of something, involve the grandparents. I’m sure they can think of something wonderful to teach all of you.
As a whole family, make predictions on New Year’s Eve. Each person should write down at least ten predictions about the future. Each prediction should be written on a separate sheet of paper with no name attached to it. The predictions should involve family members, science and technology, world situations, entertainment, the economy… and, they do not have to all be serious, in fact, humor is encouraged! When everyone is finished, you can set a time limit if you choose, gather all the folded strips of paper into a basket or large bowl, and shake to mix them up. The first person should reach in the basket, pull out a prediction, and read it aloud. Then, everyone guesses who wrote it. Get set for lots of laughter with this fun activity.
Create a brand new tradition for your family centered around the holiday season…be sure to let your teens weigh in with their ideas!
From our family here at Let’s Homeschool High School to yours, Happy Holidays and best wishes for a blessed New Year!