What are some activities that will help the kids focus on others and giving during Christmas? It's hard to change the focus when our children are being bombarded with ads for toys.
Many cultures have their own celebrations at Christmas. Try to use a tradition from your own culture to get ideas or use these:
One idea with have used to help turn the focus away from what the child wants is "hay in the manger." Take an empty box (a manger) and each time a child does something for someone else they put straw (strips of felt, yarn, fabric, etc) in the box. The idea is to make it comfortable with "good deeds." On Christmas Eve place a baby doll in swaddling clothes in the manger.
Go caroling! Retirement communities or nursing homes are glad to welcome you. There are some who do not have families and enjoy the company during the holidays.
Make homemade ornaments! Involve the whole family in making ornaments. Store bought ornaments are beautiful, but add that special touch by making your own. The kids will love adding their own style and love to their own ornaments. Also, encourage them to make ornaments for others.
(Check out Kas's ornament page!)
Kas Winters, the "Mother of Family Ideas", provides resources to help families thrive. An author, illustrator, publisher and public speaker, this grandmother creates books, offers hundreds of family activity articles on her website and does workshops for parents and children. She also represents almost 70 other authors and helps writers get their words into print.
Kas is passionate about helping children develop a positive self-image, providing hands-on experiences that give them confidence, and building strong supportive relationships. Her basic philosophy is that children learn best when they think they are having fun and her book, "Mother Lode" includes more than 5,000 simple, activities for toddlers through teens making learning on any topic enjoyable and developing children's imaginations. Her ideas use everyday materials, usually free, which helps to make parenting easy. Kas has been the resident "family activities expert" on Pregnancy.org for a couple of years.