How to Keep the Children Entertained During the Holidays
Entertaining Children During Christmas
If you are entertaining kids during the holiday season, their food, activities, and entertainment must be well planned and carried through. Keep the food simple so you'll have time to be with children instead of hustling in the kitchen. For teens, a potluck party works well, having everyone bring something to put on the pizza or a favorite snack (pickles, chips, or soft drinks) to go with hamburgers, chili burgers, hobo sandwiches, or whatever you prefer to serve as your main course. Plan on some type of amusement for the children at their party. Hire a puppeteer, rent a movie or video, take them tobogganing or roller skating. Children are all pretty much excited at this time of year so plan beforehand. Play some active group games like floor hockey at the local school gymnasium, volleyball, or quiet games in your home. There's no need to keep the children all day; just a few hours is enough to make them feel like they've had a good time and it's often long enough for the host or hostess too.
A popular party activity that children love is decorating cookies or small cakes, or constructing graham-cracker houses. Putting on aprons and chefs caps adds to the fun. (Purchase paper aprons and caps at a restaurant-supply store.) Have prepared bowls of colored frosting and decorating condiments. Another well-liked party activity is creating ornaments and decorations. Have the supplies ready for the children to make a simple project they can bring home when the party is over.
December birthdays are one type of entertaining that must not be avoided. One parent explains, "We have a son whose birthday is Christmas Eve, and we always felt it was important to make that a special day for him, not because it was easy, but because it was his special day and it must not be postponed or substituted for another day. After all, it was not his fault that he was born on the day before Christmas, and he should not be penalized by not being allowed to celebrate as other kids do. We always had a birthday party for him and found that it did not make a great difference to our Christmas preparations. We made him a cake of his choice, but we did use Christmas ornaments as our theme and Christmas trinkets as favors. Since the house was generally already clean, it really was not a big deal to sponsor a party. This birthday was carefully separated from Christmas Day and we never permitted ourselves to combine birthday and Christmas gifts, so our son did not feel cheated in that way either. Birthday gifts were wrapped in traditional birthday paper all of the time."
When Christmas celebration day draws nearer, build a climax by granting more time to be with your kids, since they need extra help passing the time and handling their feelings of excitement and anticipation. Picking a compassionate service project that your children can participate in will also help the time pass rapidly, and it will draw their focus away from "What am I getting?" to the fun of giving.