How about starting a new tradition this year? Relax with the family
and make small, individual memories that will be remembered fondly
for years to come.
This can be easily accomplished by designating
a time each day, perhaps right before bedtime, to turn off all the
entertainment gadgets, and everyone stops what they are doing and
spends a few moments together.
One option for what to do in this time is to pick up a good
old-fashioned book, a book with real pages and colorful pictures.
Then read it aloud as a family.
There are dozens of books out there that are suitable for
holiday-season reading, and they are attuned to all age groups.
For the young family, here are a few suggestions:
Start the season off right with "Elf on the Shelf." If you aren't
familiar with this little trick, this year could be the perfect time
to get acquainted. "Elf on the Shelf" features a real elf you can
introduce to your children on Thanksgiving night.
We all know that Santa knows everything about us. But do we ever
wonder how he gleans all that information?
Well, here is your answer. He has elves that he commissions at
the beginning of the Christmas season. He appoints one to watch over
each family and report back to him who is naughty and who is nice.
Read the story, and when the children wake up the next morning,
announce to them that the reading of the book brought the elf to
their house. Each day until Christmas Eve, the kids will look for
the elf in a new location in their home. In addition to keeping a
watchful eye on them, the elf also causes a little bit of mischief
on its own.
Of a night, while they are sleeping, the elf is prone to play
tricks on the children. The tricks are harmless, and parents can be
very creative in what tricks the elf is allowed to play, making it
an activity that is fun for the young and old alike.
When Christmas Eve comes, Santa picks up the elf and takes it
back to the North Pole with him, where the elf will rest up and
think up new jokes to play when it returns next year.
"Elf on the Shelf" is available locally at Mary Todd Hallmark and
is available in a boy elf or a girl elf. The elf and book combo may
seem a little pricey, but remember that once the elf comes to stay,
he or she will return year after year.
Another activity book is the "1,001 Things to Spot at Christmas."
This book offers puzzle pages where children identify objects in
colorful picture pages. The book provides several hours of
entertainment, depending on the age level of the child, and could be
spread across multiple days by solving one puzzle each night before
Other books that can go on the list of bedtime reading could be
those about the magic of Christmas: "Frosty the Snowman," "Rudolph
the Red-Nosed Reindeer" or more contemporary books such as "The
Polar Express." And, it doesn't have to be a one-book-per-night
situation. Choose longer, more complicated storylines for older
children and divide the reading into nightly "chapters," timing it
to come to a conclusion on Christmas Eve.
As the holiday season progresses, Santa becomes an important part
of the season for children. Books such as "How Santa Got His Job"
and "The Night Before Christmas" are sure to be favorites. It might
even be wise to designate "The Night Before Christmas" as the
special read for Christmas Eve.
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