Inexpensive Ideas to Make Magical Christmas Memories
December 8, 2015
Holiday lights twinkle. Snow glistens. Carols fill the airwaves, holiday cards fill our mailbox and irresistible treats line the countertop. For all of these reasons and more, I believe Christmas is the most magical time of year!
What are your most treasured Christmas memories? Honestly, my favorite memories come from time spent in the kitchen with my mom. From the time I was knee high to a grasshopper, she pulled a kitchen chair up to the countertop so I could help cut out Christmas cookies. Then I’d eagerly wait for them to bake – and cool – so we could frost them.
The best part came when we delivered plates of cookies to widowers in our community. I loved the way the older men’s faces would light up when they opened the door to find us bearing treats. One gentleman, whom we called Scoop, always gave me a peppermint candy from his pocket. Another gentleman named Blair always gave me a dime. Whether I saw these men in the grocery store, the bank, the post office or when delivering cookies, they always treated me to a peppermint and a dime. That put a smile on my face, too!
It really does feel good to give! Member of my Girl Scout troop and I were reminded of this last week. There was an early out from school, so we spent the afternoon making cookies plates. Then we delivered them to residents in the local retirement center and sang, “We wish you a Merry Christmas.”
Every time a door opened, our troop was greeted with a warm smile. Some residents wiped tears as we sang. More than one person told us our annual visit to their apartment made them feel special. Others said how nice it was to be remembered. Some even wiped tears. Talk about warming our hearts! Their appreciation made all the time, effort and MESS worth it!
Does the thought of making cookie plates seem like one more thing on your to-do list? The good news is you don’t have to do it! It’s so easy to feel “holiday guilt” or “mommy guilt.” Trust me… I’ve lived it. Then one day, when my children were young, I had an epiphany. I realized I really didn’t have to do so many things during the holidays. My coping mechanism became list making. Planning my holiday activities made them become joyful rather than stressful.
This should be the season of joy, right? I think I was like 30 or 35 before I realized that I could CHOOSE JOY. It’s not a destination… joy is a choice! I choose to enjoy different activities each week between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Check out these tips for a Holiday Check List on the Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids from Val Plagge, who is expecting her fourth child. I’m also including a link to this #VintagePost by Katie of On the Banks of Squaw Creek who explains how her children Countdown to Christmas by unwrapping a new book each day of December.
Like me, Katie enjoys reading children’s books and Val enjoys cooking and baking for her children. These activities will undoubtedly create Christmas memories for their children. Another young #FarmHer I know enjoys her family’s tradition of making Gingerbread Ornaments for their Christmas tree. My teenage daughter’s favorite tradition is using the lights on a mini Christmas tree as a night light in her room. I started doing this when she was a toddler, and it’s something she looks forward to doing every year.
It doesn’t take a lot of money to make Christmas magical. For example, you could create a magical moment for under a $1 with Magic Pudding! My kids enjoyed this when they were young, so today I’m sharing this simple recipe with you.
Magic Green Pudding
What You Need:
Green food coloring
What You Do:
Prepare vanilla pudding according to the package. Place the pudding in the fridge to set.
Without children around, spoon pudding into clear cups. Put a drop or 2 of green food coloring on the pudding.
Carefully add more pudding on top.
Place the cups with spoons at tables.
Give children the instructions to not start until everyone sits together and says the magic words. (You could read a poem and ask them to stir at the end of each line.)
Instruct children to stir to make the magic happen.