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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Creating Holiday Memories: free or low cost ideas for holiday fun

I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by a large family at the holiday season. It's something I often feel guilty about with my son so I try to make the holidays (and well, the rest of the year) special for him.

This Thanksgiving, we spent it potty training my son (more to come on that someday). It meant staying indoors and keeping him occupied with activities. First up, we made one ornament for the tree, which I was completely surprised he was totally into.
We spent most of the day following a three year old and making sure he made it to the potty but we had turkey dinner around 4 pm and since Lil B didn't take a nap, he feel asleep at 5:30 pm.

The next day, we spent the evening watching the annual Bend Christmas tree lighting.  That's when I got to thinking and crowdsourced one of my favorite mom sites, Bend Moms for Moms and asked the question "What are the best holiday activities to do with your kids in Bend?"

Here are just a couple ideas from the forum:

  • hunt for a Christmas tree in the national forest (cost $5)
  • decorate the tree
  • watch a local Christmas parade (we have two I can think of)
  • watch a tree lighting
  • pick up a few pinecones, glue sequins on and you've created a mini Christmas tree
  • make homemade ornaments
  • walk or drive and look at Christmas lights
  • go to the Reindeer farm (we have one in Redmond)
  • string popcorn for the birds outside
  • pick a name off the tree of joy and shop for a child in need
  • go sledding, skiing or snowshoeing
  • make Christmas cookies
  • go ice skating
  • search for the Elf on the Shelf
  • make paper snowflakes
  • go to the Goodwill and pick out used ornaments
  • Address holiday cards as a family
  • make a gingerbread house
  • watch Polar Express and drink hot chocolate
  • watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
  • attend a holiday party

My friend Alissa also clued me into this site which has tons of ideas to make these into an advent calendar.

What are your holiday traditions? I would love to hear them. I'll also be documenting the ones we do as a family.

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