Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Our List of Fun Things to Do in December

This week the children and I made a list of things we want to do in December, a tradition we started several years ago. The entire month feels festive when you have something fun to look forward to almost every day. I try to keep our list simple so it isn't overwhelming or impossible to complete.

Sourced from Pixabay
I love working our way through the list almost as much as the children do. But my love for this tradition is partly because I think we are creating some of those we always moments Gwen Ellis introduces in her book, Simply Fun for Families. We always moments are family traditions that your children speak about with a fond we always. Here are some from my childhood: 

"We always had pancakes with real maple syrup on Saturday mornings."
"We always picked up earthworms in the garden to use as bait at Rice Lake."
"We always played games with my parents on Sunday afternoons."

Many we always memories are not elaborate, but even simple traditions add warmth and sparkle to family life. I want our home to be one of those warm, sparkly places the children want to return to, like my childhood home was for me.  

Things to Do in December
1. Set up our nativity scene

2. Make paper snowflakes

3. Make pancakes and serve them on our snowmen trays

4. Listen to our recording of Handel's Messiah while coloring seasonal pictures

5. Read aloud winter and Christmas-themed storybooks

6. Go Christmas caroling

7. Bake something for the neighbors

8. Send a family picture and letter to family and friends

9. Illustrate the birth of Jesus 
Some years we write and illustrate a book; other years we draw a series of pictures for the wall. 

10. Decorate a gingerbread house

11. Make a seasonal craft

12. Exchange regular mugs in the cupboard for winter ones and have hot chocolate and cookies

13. Go to Woodcrest Retreat's "Journey to Bethlehem" where the story of Jesus' birth is reenacted. 

14. Pray for Christians in persecuted areas of the world who cannot openly celebrate the birth of Jesus. 

15. Draw names and give that family member an act of service

16. Make melting snowmen out of whipped cream to go into hot chocolate
Side Note: Melting Snowmen are an adorable idea, though ours ended up looking more sinister than cute.

17. Decorate cookies with friends

18. Have a snowman-themed lunch

19. Watch Christmas song videos like How Should a King Come? and Angels From the Realms of Glory

20. Have a snowball fight, regardless of the weather
One year in Ghana, we collected trash paper for a month until we had enough wadded up papers for a snowball fight. The children and I had fun by ourselves--then we heard John return from an errand. When he opened the door, we leaped from our hiding places, shouting with laughter and bombarding him with snowballs. I think we surprised him.