Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Tip - 17 Days to Christmas! It's Time To Plan Low-Cost Celebrations With Kids

Photo Courtesy of Clipart Heaven
Article Courtesy of 101 Days To Christmas


Celebrating with kids? It doesn't need to cost money.

Putting "celebration" at the center of the season--and taking the focus off of gifts and giving--can be the key to happy holidays that don't break the bank.

Better, when it comes to kids and Christmas, cheap is good! Simple, inexpensive family activities can be as meaningful as pricey Nutcracker tickets--and no need for scratchy dresses or dress-up suits.
Try these no-cost, low-cost ways to celebrate the holiday season with kids:


Low Cost No Cost Ways to Celebrate Christmas with Kids

Celebrate with Kids

Cutting costs at Christmas doesn't mean celebrating like Scrooge. It's not about what you buy--it's about what you do!

Putting "celebration" at the center of the season and taking the focus off of gifts and giving can be the key to happy holidays that don't break the bank.

Better, when it comes to kids and Christmas, cheap is good! Simple, inexpensive family activities can be as meaningful as pricey Nutcracker tickets--and no need for scratchy dresses or dress-up suits.

Try these no-cost, low-cost ways to celebrate the holiday season with kids:

  • Christmas Camp-Out: One evening, roll out sleeping bags in the living room, and hold a family camp-out underneath the Christmas tree. Don’t forget the hot chocolate and carols around the fireplace!
  • Lights Night: Put younger children to bed as usual, but wake them an hour later. Tumble the family into the car pajamas and all, and drive out to see the Christmas lights. Pack hot drinks and popcorn for a surprise treat.
  • Shopping Date: To encourage children to give, make a one-on-one shopping date with each child. Together with a parent, help the child shop for gifts for other family members. Be sure to stop for a sweet treat. Make memories!
  • Pet Patrol: Visit the local humane society or animal shelter, and volunteer to walk homeless pets during the season. Fresh air and family time are a bonus!
  • Candle-Lit Dinner: Make an everyday dinner special by dining by candlelight. Share stories around the table as you enjoy the glow.
  • Glowing Toes: Share a mother-daughter moment: a girls-only pedicure party, complete with Rudolph-red nail polish!
  • Library Lane: Visit the local library and check out books about Christmas. Read one book each night in December as a special holiday countdown.
  • Cracker Crafts: Save enough toilet-tissue tubes to supply the family. Create Christmas crackers by stuffing tubes with tiny candies, toys and treats. Wrap crackers, and use them as place cards for holiday dinners.


Magic Elf Tradition: Will Santa's Magic Elf Visit Your Home?

magic elf
What would happen if one of Santa's elves came to your house to visit?

He'd arrive sometime before the holidays began. Sent by Santa to check on good little girls and boys, he'd roam the house at night, popping up in the most unlikely places come morning.

Sometimes, elf mischief would take place--and he'd be caught red-handed! Finally, on Christmas Eve, he'd report to Santa and hitch a ride back to the North Pole ... until next year.

If you can imagine it, you can do it: meet Santa's Magic Elf!

Sometimes known as the Elf on the Shelf, the Magic Elf tradition is an interactive holiday activity for families or school classes. Free printable letters from Santa, Elf passport and Elf report make it easy to create a new holiday tradition!

It's easy to invite Santa's Magic Elf to visit!

Choose a time for the visit
What's the right time for the Elf to arrive? Thanksgiving weekend? Two weeks before Christmas? When the family puts up the Christmas tree?

Choose a date for the Elf's arrival, and prepare for fun!

Whenever he or she arrives, Santa's Magic Elf will need a passport. Print one here: Elf Passport.

Print a Letter of Introduction
Your Elf will need a letter of introduction, explaining why he or she is visiting the family. We make it easy with a selection of free printable letters from Santa, or you can create your own letter of introduction.

Santa will need to explain that the Elf has come to report the behavior of good little boys and girls, and that he or she will be returning to the North Pole on Christmas Eve.

Given Elves' well-known propensity to misbehave, a warning about Elf Mischief might be in order.

Create an Elf Report
Santa's Elf will need a way to make his report. Give the Elf a small notebook, or print our free Elf Report--it's where Santa's Elf will record his observations for the year (and be a cherished keepsake after the holidays).

Introduce the Elf to the Family
Will the Elf arrive in a basket on the doorstep? Will he make a magical trip down the chimney? Will he be found on or under the Christmas tree?

However he gets there, know that Santa's Elf always likes to make a splash when he arrives!

Watch Santa's Magic Elf make his report
Each night, the Elf will find a new place to hide; he'll want to make a thorough report to Santa. Since he's here to look for good behavior, he'll have to travel all through the house in the course of his visit.

Elves can go to sleep in some of the most unlikely places! It's often necessary for the children to search the house in the morning to find the sleepy Elf.

Watch Out for Elf Mischief

Late at night, Santa's Magic Elf is able get into all sorts of mischief!

Elves have been known to spill sugarbowls (and leave their tracks in the spill), bounce on the sofa (disarranging the cushions), grab the remote for some late night television, check out the refrigerator, hide in pockets or leave small surprises for their young friends.

You'll find loads and loads of ideas for Elf Mischief on the MagicalHoliday Home Magic Elves message boards. Our friends know that Elves are much more inclined to get into trouble when they're away from Santa! 

Help the Elf's subjects write a letter to Santa
Naturally, the Elf is hoping that Santa will receive a good report about him, too. The children may wish to write to Santa, and tell him about the Elf's visit. They may even ask to be visited next year, so be sure the Elf has letters for Santa when it's time to return.

Return to the North Pole
Be sure Santa's Magic Elf is packed and ready to go on December 24th. He can wait for Santa in a stocking or near Santa's cookies and milk, but he'd better have his journal and any letters for Santa and be ready to leave.

Santa's in a hurry on Christmas Eve, and can't wait around for a laggard Elf!

Printable Magic Elf Letters

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