Christmas is the time for giving: giving gifts and giving of your time. Give your family some time while you prepare for the holiday season. Some simple crafts for holiday decorating can become a family affair, and the results will bring you closer together. Making snowflakes from tissue paper and then hanging them on the windows can start the holiday season off but can be frustrating for smaller children. Try making small snowflakes from quarter sheets of construction paper and then glue, or staple together to make a garland.maxresdefault123

Stringing popcorn on dental floss using a tapestry needle is something most children can do. Make plenty of popcorn, because you know it will get eaten as well as strung for a garland.

Use pinecones ‘buttered’ with peanut butter and then rolled in bird seed to make outdoor decorations that the birds will love. For indoors, ‘butter’ with a glue stick and roll in glitter or sprinkles.

You can glue pinecones, ribbon, and artificial holly leaves to a cardboard or styrofoam wreath. Or for a special wreath, wrap a circle of wire from a coathanger with red or green ribbon, attaching wrapped hard candies as you go. Hang a pair of children’s scissors from the top to snip off a holiday treat.

FN_Jennifers-Iced-Sugar-Cookies_s4x3Sugar cookies are another holiday activity that can be fun. Make a batch of sugar cookies and have fun decorating them. If you use a straw to poke a hole in them before baking you can hang them from the tree. If you want a few special tree cookie decorations, make some star shaped cookies in progressivly smaller sizes, use your straw to poke a hole in the center of each star, when baked use a ribbon to string together, putting a gum drop or marshmallow between each cookie to hold them apart. You can also use frosting to attach a wallet size photo of each family member to a cookie for gift giving, or for decorating the tree.

Christmas and gingerbread houses seem to go together. Make it a family activity make a gingerbread house, or if really ambitious, a gingerbread village. Even very young children can help decorate.4e8dded10aab4d3a2600062f-1317920468

Have a taffy pull. Taffy is easy to make, and when done can be wrapped in colored plastic wrap and hung on the tree as a delightful addition to the decorations. Try decorating your tree with bows. Tie small bows with holiday ribbon around the ends of the branches. Stars made of cardboard, covered with foil, or holiday paper add an old fashioned charm to your decorations.

Children love to do crafts, and Christmas seems to be full of craft opportunities for children and adults as well. Engage children in crafting activities in order to have a good time but also to give them opportunity to learn something. Use your imagination, spend some time with your family and make the next Christmas best Christmas ever.