Monday, November 15, 2010

Holiday Ideas

Images from Tokien's Letters from Father Christmas

Our last meeting was on the Holidays and there were some great ideas so I thought I'd post them all here. This is really just a list of my notes from the evening of things other than the typical advent calendar, caroling, etc. that are in no particular order. If you have any great ideas to share, post it in a comment, we'd love to hear about it!

World Vision Gift - Consider giving up something as a family - a dinner out, a few extras at the grocery store, one gift each - and put the money in a jar instead and give a World Vision gift - for $75 you can give a goat to provide for a family with healthy milk or for $25 you can give a family 2 chickens to provide eggs.

Advent Calendar - instead of candy or chocolate every day, make it a scavenger hunt where they find a clue behind every door.

Jotham's Journey: A Storybook for Advent (Jotham's Journey Trilogy)

For Thanksgiving, taking butcher paper, crumpling it up, hanging it on the wall and adding a leaf for each one thing you are thankful for. Makes for a very thankful Thanksgiving wall decoration.

Jesse Tree by Dale A. Brueggemann

12 Days of Christmas - anonymously leaving items on a neighbor's doorstep for each of the 12 days of Christmas.

Ambleside Online Holiday Page with links to poems and living books for the holidays.

Homemade Wrapping Paper - A little paint, some hands and feet and voila! Homemade wrapping paper for the holidays. This can also be done by collecting some leaves, placing them under the paper, and having the kids rub color pencils over the leaves to make a nice fall wrapping paper.

Pajama Swap - Giving PJ's to everyone in the family as a tradition the day before Christmas so everyone has cozy new jammies for Christmas morning.

Wrapping 24 Christmas books, one for each day of December to be opened and read together - admittedly, this had only been done one year or so. An alternative option would be to get one new Christmas book every year.

My Christmas
Andrea Botticelli's Christmas CD

Making a handmade flannel pillow case for each cousin - inexpensive, easy to make, and versatile!

Coupon Book - When money is tight, a little coupon book can go a long way. 'One free Mommy clean up a mess in your place.' 'One free sleep in Mommy Daddy bed.' 'One free donut at the store.' 'One free skip school and spend the day outside.' etc.

Thanksgiving place cards - making place cards for Thanksgiving and writing down what is unique and special about that person on it.

Bake & Deliver Christmas Cookies or yummy bread to a neighbor - seems neighbors have been asking when they can expect this year's delivery :) Another alternative is to leave a basket of goodies at their door and play ding-dong-ditch.

Sing Happy Birthday to Jesus first thing Christmas morning and share a special treat.

Rethinking Christmas - A community of advent conspirers - many great ideas for ways to give without spending money.

Letters from Father Christmas, Revised Edition Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tokien - a beautiful book compiling the letters Tolkien gave to his Children each year from Father Christmas.

Personal Letters to Each Child - Keeping a tradition of writing a special letter to each child with your innermost thoughts about them as a gift each Christmas or on their Birthday or at New Years. Those whose parents did this for them attested to the priceless value of what those letters have meant to them.

Snowflake Patterns
- paper snowflake patterns for beautiful snowflake decorations and a challenging cutting project for the kids.

Black Apple Doll - a simple, adorable rag doll you can customize and make as gifts.

Ravelry - knit and crochet community with tons of free patterns.


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  2. Sounds like it was a wonderful meeting, sorry to have missed it. Thanks so much for posting all these wonderful ideas!

  3. Thanks! I was so sad to miss it! Last year we joined some friends and ate rice and beans each night and took the money we saved on meals and gave it to Jesus/an individual in need, organization, church... Some did it for a week, some all of advent. It's fun to end it will a yummy feast on Christmas eve. To make it really sink in with kids you can have some one put the desired amount into a wrapped box with a slit at the top each night.