5 Favorite Fun & Frugal Activities to do with the Kids during the Holidays

With Thanksgiving just a few days away and Christmas not far ahead, I have been considering fun and frugal activities to do with my girls around the Holidays. When TwitterMoms and Nickelodeon introduced this blogging question as part of a Dora Christmas Carol Contest, I couldn’t resist sharing my thoughts.

Here are 5 things our family does throughout the Holiday season:

1. Who doesn’t like playing games?

My favorite thing growing up was, all the kids would gather together and we would pull out the board games and play. We could play though all the games, one by one.

With all the deals on board games lately, I have been interested in expanding our games closet with all the fun games I remember playing (Battleship, Monopoly, Connect 4), along with all the new ones they create (Elefun, Connect 4x4, Partini).

2. Who is in charge of placing the angel on top of the tree?

Of course, the day after Thanksgiving is our traditional day to put up our Christmas tree. Although, it does take a lot of self control for me to not break down and put it up earlier than Thanksgiving.

I love this time with the family. It seems like it is all smiles as everyone works together to make this beautiful addition to the family room d├ęcor. Then you get the next month (maybe two :) ) to be in awe over it.

3. What is your tradition on Christmas Eve?

I have heard the most wonderful Christmas Eve traditions throughout the years. Some traditions are passed along generation to generation and some families create their own traditions.

Our family traditions are no exception. When I was growing up, we would beg and beg my parents to let us open just one present on Christmas Eve and so I have integrated this tradition into our family. The children open one gift every Christmas Eve (which happens to always be pajamas – shhh – I’m sure they will catch on one day), they change and then we all work together to make our Christmas Eve pizzas, for dinner.

4. Do you think all the children will pose with Santa this year?

It is always a lot of fun to head down to the mall and get pictures taken with Santa (and one of his reindeer last year!!) The girls are so excited as we finally get up to Santa. They are picture perfect in their best Holiday dresses, hair in ribbons and pig tails. They hop up on Santa’s lap, with a sparkle in their eyes, tell him just how wonderful they have been this year and pose with the biggest smiles on their faces and off we go…

…. Yeah right! Usually they are impatiently standing in a line (which has 200 other families with their kids nicely behaving) pulling their hair out of their pigtails (which took 2 hours to get them all finished) all to get up to Santa… and one runs off screaming, the other one has a “I don’t have to look at him, talk to him, or smile… but I will stand by him, as long as its 8 feet away” attitude, and then finally my oldest (who has already been through all of these stages) will actually get on his lap and I might get a picture, but it’s nothing to write home about. But we do this every year, not because it ever works out how it’s supposed to, but because the children do get really excited about it.

5. Santa makes a list and checks it twice, have you?

Of course I saved my favorite fun and frugal activity for last… writing letters to Santa. Each year we collect the toy books from Target, Walmart, and Toys R Us. The children then each get a different colored crayon and go through the catalogs and pick out their favorite toys (not very often that EVERY SINGLE TOY isn’t circled).

Then, we begin writing our letters to Santa. I usually print out the formal greeting, “Dear Santa,” on some adorable Christmas bordered paper and let them write out their lists. Of course it has always been a jumbled mess of letters and scribbles, but I reassure them Santa can read their letters. In the past, we have cut out a few of the toy pictures from the catalogs and pasted them on the letters or they have even drawn the pictures themselves.

I find this my favorite activity because we spend time together being creative, the children talk about Santa, the best… the don’t fight and argue about who has which color crayon… because Santa will know they are being bad.

When they are finished, we then send the lists off to Santa (or sometimes bring them to him at the mall).

So what are your fun and frugal activities with your children?


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