Our family isn't religious. Do you have ideas to engage children in the community during the holidays that aren't focused on religion?
When the Christmas season starts, we all know the lights go up and people start driving around enjoying them. Well, turn this into a time of giving! Take along someone who wouldn't normally be able to get out and enjoy the lights. (Many senior citizens cannot get out) After viewing the lights go back to your house, make hot chocolate and enjoy your own lights.
A friend writes a thank you note and wraps a small ornament. While driving around viewing the lights she has the kids vote on the best lit house. The winner gets the ornament award in their mailbox. It doesn't matter how elaborate the ornament is, the important thing is spreading the Christmas cheer!
Be a Secret Santa for a family. Many businesses have trees with names of children or families in need. Pick a name and have a blast shopping knowing that you are helping someone enjoy the season.
Have your children go through their own toys and pick the toys that are still in good shape to pass on to women's shelters.
Kas Winters, the "Mother of Family Ideas," provides resources to help families thrive. An author and public speaker, this grandmother creates books, offers hundreds of family activity articles on her website, EverythingFamily.net, and does workshops for parents and children. Kas is passionate about helping children develop a positive self-image, providing hands-on experiences to give them confidence, and building strong supportive relationships. Her basic philosophy is: children learn best when they think they are having fun. Discover more than 5,000 activities for toddlers through teens to keep them busy while helping them become successful and happy adults in her book, "Motherlode." Jump-start children's imaginations with unstructured materials and possibilities. Encourage creative play that builds skills, confidence, and relationships with active fun, the arts, science, literature, life skills, and hands-on experiences. Ideas use everyday materials, usually free, which help make parenting easy. Winters has written, illustrated and/or published almost 100 books for families and writes family articles for magazines. As the "Family Activities Expert" for Pregnancy.org, Kas posts articles and answers questions related to this topic.