Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Just say the word presents and my kids get visibly excited this time of year. But I'm trying very hard to combat the mentality that Christmas is all about the presents that "I" get. To that end, today we're going to make homemade wrapping paper to wrap presents for others.
Just start with a roll of white craft paper, or you could even use newspaper. Stamps can be made from potatoes or with foam stickers and bottle caps. You can also just decorate your wrapping paper with handprints and finger paints.
When we were done painting, we left the paper outside to dry in the sun until a little later in the day.
Once our wrapping paper was dry, we sat down as a family to wrap presents for teachers and family members. I'm not a fantastic present wrapper myself and the craft paper we painted earlier is thicker than regular wrapping paper, so it was easy to not worry about how all the presents looked wrapped. I gave the kids some basic instructions, lots of tape, and pretty much let them wrap.
Next I wanted to teach them a little bit about traditional presents around the world. I found a travel blog that provides a brief list of traditional Christmas gifts in other parts of the world (it's not a kid's site, so I read from the laptop, they listened). The kids were really interested in the Mexican tradition of Christmas pinatas. I also challenged them to see if they could come up with a rhyme to go with their present to their siblings like the Sweedish tradition listed.
Volunteer at a wrapping station for charity.
Peanut butter cup stuffed brownies:
Make brownies according to the box directions. Half way through cooking, remove the brownies from the oven and push peanut butter cups down into the batter. Return to the oven to finish cooking.
When the brownies are done, each brownie will have a surprise peanut butter cup center.
The 12 Days of Christmas
All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth
I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
What God Wants for Christmas, by Barbara Rainey
Christmas Gifts, by Susan Heyboer O'Keefe
A Gift for the Christ Child, by Tina Jahnert