I love to watch my kids eyes light up when they rip the paper off their presents on Christmas eve. I put lots of thought and effort, time and money into those gifts just so they will have that effect. But as my kids get older and their wish lists lean more towards the latest toy or gadget or technology I feel like I’m just buying them another thing that will disconnect them from the family. We’re all so busy and scattered nowadays with jobs, sports, friends and other activities that it’s an effort to sit down, all six of us, and look each other in the eye. I don’t have the kids clambering for my attention like they did when they were littler. “Mommy, can I sit on your lap?“ or “Will you read my another story?“ or “Mommy will you hold me?“ Sadly, I’m not the center of their world anymore and my little boys have quit asking for my hand in marriage. And while we still get the gadgets, I like to make sure that I’m also giving them the gift of memories and fun moments with their family. Because sooner than I realize they will be out of my home and it will be even more of an effort to get us all together again.
So how can we make sure this holiday season that our gifts are bringing us closer? With a little ingenuity we can give a family gift that will make memories that last well beyond their years at home. Here are some ideas.
- In a basket or fun box put a new puzzle, some microwave popcorn, instant hot cocoa and a new Christmas CD. Spend the evening putting together the puzzle and having snacks and singing along to the songs. You can even have a vacation photo turned into a personal puzzle.
- Have a cookie decorating night. Buy some rolls of prepared sugar cookie dough, sprinkles, and frosting and go for it.
- Put together a game night. Buy a few new board or card games and snacks and have a little competitive fun.
- Wrap up some new sleds to put under the tree and a package of hot cocoa. Make a homemade gift certificate for a day in the snow. Hold a “best snowman” contest where everyone wins.
- Wrap up a new video recorder and attach a paper describing an upcoming family talent show. Take funny videos of everyone doing their own thing. Or wrap up a script and give everyone a part while you record the play.
- Buy a funny book and have a read aloud night…with voices. Let the kids eat snacks while you read them a story.
These are some ideas to get the creative ball rolling. Tailor your gift around your families own interests, just make sure that it’s an idea that connects you and is fun. These would be great ideas to give to other families on your gift giving list too. Have fun creating lifetime memories this holiday season.