I am really looking forward to the holidays this year. Even though E joined us in time for Christmas last year (and it was entirely possible for him to invite himself to Thanksgiving dinner, too), he was just three weeks old and I definitely didn't enjoy the holiday season as much as I usually do (I had a hard time feeling festive on almost no sleep, though I did get to bake cookies with my mom and sister, which is my favorite thing ever, so all was not lost). But this year it's a whole new ballgame, and I think it will be a lot of fun.
We're kicking things off with Halloween (E will "dress up" in these babyGap skeleton pajamas and we will go trick-or-treating at a few houses in my parents' neighborhood), and are planning to spend Thanksgiving with my husband's family. And Christmas... I can't wait to play Santa again, and expect it will be a bit more exciting than last year, when E just kind of stared at me while I removed items from his stocking. In addition to all the usual holiday traditions of dressing up for Halloween and leaving a stocking out for Santa to fill, I'm hoping to incorporate other activities into our days that have potential to become traditions for our family (Is deciding what's a tradition a parental right? I think it is!).
When I saw that Modern Parents Messy Kids had an e-book called Hands-On Holidays, filled with "simple ideas for making memories," I immediately downloaded it. I'm a huge fan of MPMK's other book, Project Organize Your Entire Life, and was pretty sure this would be filled with cute, easy ideas. I was not disappointed.
Divided into sections for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, each holiday gets a list of suggestions for traditions, books to read, and a handful of ideas for food, decor and craft projects. While most of the of the suggestions are appropriate for older toddlers through school age children, there are a few that would work for older infants, too.
For example, two of the ideas for possible Halloween traditions include visiting a pumpkin patch and taking family photos, and to "boo" your neighbor by leaving a treat on their doorstep, both of which would make great memories if done with your baby. And of course, even the tiniest babe will benefit from listening to a holiday-themed story.
Another idea from the book I'm planning to try this year for Thanksgiving is the paper Pilgrim hat. We'll play dress-up in front of the mirror and maybe get a few cute pictures, too. I'll also be making (or planning on making, since DIY projects don't always get fully executed around here!) the homemade advent calendar made from drawstring muslin bags. [Side note: if anyone has a great list of toddler-appropriate advent activities, link me up!]
I'm sure this book will be even more helpful next holiday season, but if you're searching for easy holiday activities to try with your children, this book is a great resource.
reviewed from personal copy