Invest in Holiday Memories.

by : Pamela Cole Harris

Christmas memories are never dependent on the amount of money spent or the popularity of the toy. Memories are made up of amount of heart invested and given. This year, let your children invest their time and hearts in making Christmas memories for your family.

1. Buy white or red place mats and let your children create their own artwork with fabric crayons. A placemat can be made for each guest at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Your children will feel an important part of the festivities.

2. Make paper angels and have your children write short messages to each family member stating the things about that person for which they are thankful. Your children will have an opportunity to think beyond the commercialism of the day to appreciate the blessings they already have.

3. Start a cookie exchange among the neighborhood children. Your children can make a dozen cookies for each family in the neighborhood and deliver them wrapped in a colored tin. They can then sit back and weight to see the kind of cookie surprises come to their door!

4. Allow your children to make this year’s Christmas cards. Simply buy blank cards at your favorite office supply store and let your children loose with magic markers. They can even compose a poem and message for each recipient.

5. Have your children come up with small tasks they can easily do - like taking out the trash. They can then write those tasks on plain paper angels they make themselves. Have them deliver the angels to elderly neighbors as a gift of sharing for the holiday season. Learning to give the gift of themselves can be the most valuable memory of the season!

Let your children become a vital part of the planning of the holiday season and not simply receivers of gifts. It will help them understand that giving can be as much fun (and more rewarding!) as receiving. And their memories of this holiday season may set a lifelong pattern – which may be the best holiday present of all!