It’s now less than 2 weeks until Christmas, the gifts have been (mostly) bought and wrapped, the wallet is looking pretty slim, but you still want to do something fun with the kids to celebrate the season. What to do…what to do. Maybe this idea will help!
A few Christmas seasons ago our family started a new tradition and it’s honestly one of my favorites. We’ve always had the tradition of driving around town to look at the beautiful Christmas light displays that homeowners around Middle Tennessee do each year. There are many that are synchronized to music and even the ones that aren’t are still pretty amazing to look at! (Check out our list of favorites HERE) A few years ago, though, I decided I wanted to add a little extra fun to our longstanding tradition.
After a quick Google search I found some printable tickets for the “Mini-Van Express” from the Confessions of a Homeschooler blog. They were perfect! They were also FREE! You can find the printable tickets at the following link: http://shared.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/holidays/MinivanExpressTickets.pdf They do also have a set you can print that just say “The Christmas Express” in case you’re not rockin’ a mini-van.
Armed with my tickets fresh out of the printer, I decided to glue them to some yellow craft foam I had on hand. You could totally skip this step, but I found it really made the tickets more fun than just having a piece of paper. You could also print the tickets on card stock instead of messing with craft foam. I knew from experience that about 10 minutes into driving around to look at lights, my kids would suddenly become famished and would also be dying of thirst. In years past we would just pull into a gas station and let the kids grab snacks. A mere $15-$20 later, we would be back on the road. That year’s Christmas was particularly tight for us budget-wise, so I thought of a fun way to cut out our regular gas station stop and still make it special. I popped some popcorn and divided it up into Holiday themed plastic baggies. I then took some water bottles and turned them into fun little reindeer, with the help of some googly eyes, brown pipe cleaners, red pom poms and some glue. It was super easy and the kids absolutely loved it!
The last step in my Christmas Eve plan was to print out a Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt sheet for each kiddo. There are lots of FREE options online! I printed a toddler friendly sheet for my youngest, which had pictures to go along with the words. The older kiddos got a regular Scavenger Hunt sheet with lots of things to look for in order to keep their interest. I picked up 3 clipboards from Dollar Tree so they would be able to keep up with their lists easier. The kids unwrapped their new Christmas Eve pajamas, put them on, and we were on our way!
I hope this idea helps you create a little extra magic for your family this holiday season. After all…memories are the greatest gift!