10 Fun Ways to Celebrate the Christmas Season with your Child.

rsh_admin   >  18 December 2014

I might be described as a bit of a Christmas fanatic. I am a little excited about Christmas and I try and impart my love of Christmas to my children. Every year we have a few things that we do that are free (or close to free) and some have developed into our family traditions. See our list below and I'd love to hear if you have any ideas of your own for the next few days leading up to Christmas.

* The Myer Christmas Window. In the city this year the window is about Santa Claus and the Three Bears. The kids love the story and the moving bears were a special treat. Look out for the super cute Christmas tea set on the bears breakfast table. This was definitely our toddler's favourite part of the window. You can also bring a baby along to enjoy this as the story is simple and there are lots of moving parts and sparkly things to look at.

* Kmart Wishing Tree One thing we like to do each year is get my children to choose a gift or toy they would like and donate it to the Kmart wishing tree. It is to remind them that there are children their age who will go without presents and Christmas lunch this year. It is also to remind them to share what they have with others and the giving spirit of Christmas. I also remind them on Christmas that somewhere in Australia some child is opening the gift they chose them and that they might have made a small difference in that child's life for Christmas day. Warm fuzzy feelings all round.

* The Christmas Parade. Here is a tip, if you get to the parade early and get to the start of the parade line you usually can pat the animals and get a sneak peak and maybe even speak to Santa. This is a lovely way to spend an evening with the children as you celebrate the Christmas season. Dressing up in Christmas clothing is a must for this one!

* Christmas Carols in the car. This is free and fun. As much as you might know the words to Jingle Bells and Rudolf the red nose reindeer, I need to remind myself that my little toddler is still learning the words. What better time to learn than while driving in the car! So crank your Chrissy tunes and hear the angels sing!

* Christmas Craft. I am not sure why I get so excited about Christmas craft but maybe it is because the kids love it so much and we get such cute decorations for the house and tree out of it. We have plenty of inexpensive Christmas crafts on our blog, just check out the craft tags. This is a time where all the children are sitting down quietly working on their craft and talking to each other. It is a great bonding time for siblings as well as for me.

* Cousin Camp. When I was young my parents would take me to my cousins place for a few days. We would all hang out together, play together and sleep over in each other's rooms. It made Christmas even more special as we got to spend it with a big group of kids. Christmas is so much more fun if you outnumber the adults. This costs nothing but may take courage, depending on how many cousins there are in your family. However, it is well worth all the happy the memories.

* Decorating the House Everyone decorates the tree and once it has been done, the fun seems like it is over. BUT... the kids can decorate their rooms and play areas with hand made decorations. Kids love to be able to decorate their own spaces as it gives them a sense of ownership and control. Grab some paper, pens, glue, glitter and string and let their imaginations run wild. You will have a festive looking house in no time. Even the little kids can get involved, I always give my baby Christmas stamps and a pre cut Christmas shape. All the baby has to do is stamp Christmas images all over it and the decoration is done!

* Christmas Baking Without a doubt, Christmas baking is my absolute favourite thing to do with the children. Yes, the kitchen will get messy but think of all the fun to be had. Gingerbread men and gingerbread houses are always a must at our house (along with the traditional Rum Balls and Christmas Cake.) Almost everyone can get involved in pouring in flour or mixing the mixture in the bowl. No one ever says "no" to licking the bowl, just make sure you have enough bowls or spoons to go round all your kids at the end. All the baked goods can then be kept for Christmas day or Christmas eve or given as gifts to people.

* Wrapping Gifts If you are like me and have a big family, wrapping gifts isn't easy. I look at it like a basket of ironing that has to be done. However to children wrapping gifts is making secrets and getting the inside info on who is getting what. It makes their day even more exciting if they know that they wrapped the gift they are giving to Grandma. So I try to get the kids involved in helping me cut, and tape and label the gifts. Many hands make light work and my helper elves also make it much more fun. So consider getting your kids to help you wrap this year.

* Donate Canned Food for the Needy . This may cost a little bit but you can even choose cans already in your cupboard. Make sure you explain to the children why you are choosing different types of can food and who it will be going to. The city council library usually has a can food drive run by the salvation army or other charity. Go for a trip to the shops or just to your pantry and collect some yummy tinned food to pass onto those who are in need this year. This gets to the heart of the Christmas Spirit.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Let me know what you got up to this year for Christmas with your baby, toddler or big kids.