School or homeschool is out and you are planning a holiday party for your child and a few of his or her friends. What a fabulous idea to help them spend their holiday vacation time and make sure they get to see each other! That said, it can be stressful if you start worrying about the details. That’s why you shouldn’t sweat it and keep it simple. Here are a few ideas that I’m using for our holiday get together this year.
- Keep it brief. We are meeting with our weekly homeschool group, which is three hours long. Any more time than this is probably too long for kids at this age. If you are hosting a younger age, you might even want to shorten it.
- Keep it secular. You don’t know what beliefs the other families may have—unless it’s a church group—so you might want to leave the nativity scene at home. That said, if you are a church group, taking the kids to see a live nativity can be fun. Many churches host these around this time of year.
- Skip the presents exchange. This is especially important if you are trying to teach kids about the spirit of giving. On that note, to make the season more about giving in the first place, have each child bring a new or gently used toy and book to donate to Toys for Tots or another organization. This type of donation—toys!—may really help them realize that they are lucky for what they have, and that many children will not have a Christmas this year (or any year). Other ideas include having the children make drawings for nursing homes or hospitals, caroling for a nursing center or other type of facility (we are doing this with our 4-H club), or working together to host a soup kitchen or food drive.
- If you do decide to do a present exchange, have the children make something instead of buying something. This is so much more special! In one of our groups, my daughter made her friend an ornament, and another friend made my daughter some homemade slime! How cool. You can do secret Santa or you can simply have each person bring a gift and pass it over until everyone has something new.
- Provide simple activities. You could just set up a few games for kids to play, or provide easy crafts to do. If it’s before Christmas, you could even set up craft stations that they could use to make gifts with.
- Skip refreshments if you can, but if you want to provide them, keep them simple as well: some chopped veggies and fruit, punch, and something holiday themed, like a snowman shaped cheeseball with crackers or cookies.