I really want to teach Gesserine that Christmas should be more about giving than receiving, so I always try to have her give to others. We started by participating in Operation Christmas Child which is something we have done for a few years now. All you do is choose whether you want to give to a boy or girl and decide what age age group you want to buy for. Then you fill a shoebox full of presents and goodies and Samaritan's Purse sends them around the world to children who are in need. It's really a great program and an awesome way to teach about giving. Gess enjoyed helping me pick out the gifts, I added some essentials and then together we packed our boxes. This year we chose to do both a boy and girl ages 5-9 since that is the age bracket Gess would be in.
Next we tried to find things to do for our personal family and friends. This year we decided to make homemade Christmas cards. We found some Christmas coloring pages online for her to decorate them with. I found these ones at Kaboose to be perfect for what were doing. After she colored the picture she glued it onto a piece of cardstock and then decorated the rest of the card with stickers or cut out pictures from old Christmas cards. We even cut out of some the words to add greetings to the cards. (I did the cutting, Gess did the coloring and gluing.) She made close to 20 of them and I think they turned out pretty good.
We made cookies for Christmas last year and they were simply too much work and too much mess for me. So this year I found an easy recipe at Allrecies.com for Delicious Pumpkin Bread. One recipe made 8 mini loaves of bread. Gess helped me mix all the ingredients, stir and pour them into the pans. That's all there was to it. Now we had little loaves of bread to give out with some of the cards!
Gess also bought some gifts with her own money which we wrapped together and put under the tree. She is really excited about Christmas and getting toys and now hopefully she also realizes that Christmas means you give gifts away as well as receive them. (See our blog Christmas Tree to see other Christmas activities this year.)