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Christmas Break and the Kids

For many around the country, today is a significant day for parents. Why? It’s the last day of school until January, marking the beginning of our children’s Christmas Break. Why is this a significant event? It’s a day that many parents dread because they have no idea what they are going to do to keep their kiddos busy for two entire weeks. (Some schools are even out for three this year!) If you are one of these parents, don’t freak out. We’ve got some fun ideas for activities you can do with your kids over Christmas Break.

  • Have a Gingerbread House Making Contest – If you have grade-school age children and older, then hosting a gingerbread house making contest is a great way to keep them occupied for the day. Of course, you can’t go buy a kit at the grocery store and expect the kids to be entertained for hours. No, they’ve got to make them by scratch in order for this to be an all-day activity.
    If you’ve never made a gingerbread house from scratch before, you can do a search in Google and find the instructions, recipes and patterns you need. If you and your children have made gingerbread houses from scratch before, then you will probably be able to leave them alone (checking on them periodically is recommended) once they get the pieces in the oven. Baking and building gingerbread houses is not only a lot of fun, but it gives kids something constructive to do with their time over Christmas Break.
  • Have a Fashion Show – If you are the parent of one or more young girls, then helping them put on a small fashion show is a great way for them to spend an afternoon. This is especially fun for a group of girls to do. Additionally, it’s a great way for your girls to get some extra usage out of all those formal dresses they have in their closets!

  • Volunteer – One of the best ways to get your kids in the Christmas spirit while keeping them busy during their Christmas Break is to get them involved in volunteer work. Perhaps you are close to a local food bank that serves meals to the homeless during the day or there’s a nearby nursing home that will allow your kids to come in and sing for 30 minutes? Those are just a couple of examples of places your children can volunteer their time for a good cause, there are many more. Just look in the phone book for more ideas.
  • Get Out and Have Fun – Many parents prefer to keep their kids at home for the majority of Christmas Break, but this can just lead to bored and restless children. So, why not consider going out for at least an hour each day (or every other day) over break with your kids? A few things you can do include: going ice skating, watch a movie, go bowling, take the dogs on a walk, get hot chocolate or a mocha at a nearby coffee shop, etc. Just getting the kids out of the house for an hour will help burn off some of the extra energy they have.

Christmas Party Food

So, you’ve decided to host your own Christmas party this year! That’s wonderful as you are sure to have a lot of fun with the family, friends and/or co-workers that you invite. Aside from determining who will be on your guest list and whether it will be formal or semi-formal attire, you will need to decide what food you will serve at the party.

If your Christmas party is going to be adults only, then you won’t have to worry about age-appropriate foods as adults can eat whatever they like. However, if you are going to allow children to attend the party, you should have a table with “kid” food. The table doesn’t have to be labeled “kids only” or anything, but it should contain a lot of finger foods that kids enjoy. Yes, adults can eat from it too.

So, what types of foods are good for Christmas parties?

  • Meats and Cheeses – Plates full of rich, savory meats like turkey and ham are always great Christmas party foods, especially if your guests will be arriving before they’ve had dinner. You don’t have to go all out with all the fixings, but having nice service tray with cut slices of turkey and ham will be welcomed by your guests. Next to the meat, guests will enjoy having a variety of cheese available too. (It doesn’t matter if it’s slices or cubes of cheese.)
  • Finger Foods – Of course, some of your guests may prefer to eat simple finger foods. Many women prefer to do this when they are at Christmas parties, especially if they are wearing formal dresses because these foods are easier to eat and less messy. Therefore, make sure the menu has foods like: pigs-in-a-blanket, fruits and veggies with dips, Mexican pinwheels, cheese and crackers, pre-cooked meat kabobs, etc.
  • Desserts – A Christmas party just isn’t a Christmas party if there isn’t a dessert table somewhere full of delicious holiday treats. Of course, pies and homemade breads are always excellent dessert options. Other fun holiday desserts include: peppermint bark/brittle, fudge, festive holiday cookies, various fruits w/Chocolate fountain, chocolate covered strawberries, pumpkin bars, etc.
  • Drinks – Finally, you will have to provide your guests with something to drink during the party. Some people go all out and provide guests with unlimited glasses of wine and any other alcoholic beverage they would like to have. However, if you are having a large group of people, this can be very expensive. Most Christmas party hostesses have water, tea and punch available for their guests. You may also want to consider the traditional eggnog too.