12 days of Christmas

creative gift idea

The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 9, Our Favorite Things

I was never an avid Oprah fan, but every year I looked forward to her holiday episode, “Oprah’s Favorite Things.”  If you haven’t seen one of these episodes, they were pretty spectacular.  Oprah would present about a dozen or so products that she fell in love with that particular year.  She raved about it, would sometimes interviews the inventor or designer, and then with a big fanfare, Oprah employees walked in with that particular gift for everyone in the audience.  …

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gift of memories

The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 6, The Gift of Memories

Here’s an idea for something even the youngest members of your family will enjoy making and receiving: their own collection of photo memories. When my daughter was three years-old, I made a photo collage for her room.  I combined small photos of family members and close friends, a pic or two from recent vacations, and a few of her and put them in a store-bought collage frame. Even though she was just a preschooler, she loved having her own collage of memories and …

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simple christmas

The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 5, Keep it Simple, Sweetie!

Have you noticed that the most memorable moments in life are often the simplest?  Children, in particular, are happy with simple, basic pleasures.  Life is too complicated all by itself, and at Christmas time, it gets even worse! Aim for a simple Christmas this year. Focus on simple activities that make the most of family time together. To make sure they actually happen, the key is scheduling. In my life, if it goes on the calendar, it gets done.  If it …

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The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 2, Read All About It!

Every year about this time, our kids always look forward to unpacking our collection of holiday books.  During the month of December, we keep them in a basket in the family room, ready for a read-aloud or a quiet read-alone. This is the season to enjoy some really terrific books as a family. Trust me. Your kids will love a nightly reading time as they cuddle up in blankets, nibble on popcorn or cookies and listen to Mom or Dad …

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crafts for kids

The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 1, A New Craft for Your Kids

The Paranoid Dad and I have been brainstorming ideas for having a richer holiday experience with the kids without a huge emphasis on gifts and getting.  My son, in particular, needs to learn more about the joy of giving and the joy of this beautiful season.  We’ve come up with a list of twelve family activities to incorporate into the next three weeks or so.  Not surprisingly, some of these have a “preparedness” theme, but others are just for fun.  …

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