Celebrating the holidays with your kids is a great way to teach them more about the traditions that are important to your family and make some special memories in the process. Here are some of the most traditional (and memorable) ways to celebrate major December holidays with your loved ones.
Hanukkah: Taking place this year from December 10 to 18, Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. To celebrate Hanukkah (also known as the Festival of Lights) with your family, have everyone take turns lighting a Menorah after sundown. You might also want to get a book of blessings or songs to recite during the occasion to teach your kids about the miracle that serves as the bedrock of the holiday. You can also buy a box from Days (a holiday-themed subscription service), play a Dreidel game, or make latkes and jelly-filled donuts. To make the season even more memorable, create a Hanukkah scavenger hunt (where you send the kids around the house looking for items that match the theme, such as things that begin with an “H” for Hanukkah) or play Hanukkah Tic Tac Toe. Toy menorahs are also a great option for little ones and they can “play” with the candles safely.
Christmas: Occurring on December 25, Christmas is a religious and cultural celebration commemorating the birth of Jesus. To enjoy the Christmas season with your family, head to a Christmas tree farm or lot to pick the perfect pine or fir specimen. Once you’re home, put on some Christmas carols and have everyone join in to help decorate the tree with lights, tinsel, and DIY ornaments. You might also want to purchase an advent calendar so you and your kids can count down the days until Christmas and reflect on what the holiday means to your family. You can also have a family member dress up as Santa so your kids can tell him what’s on their Christmas list, decorate some sugar cookies together, or even play Elf on the Shelf. You can also hold a White Elephant gift exchange (where everyone brings a silly or unusual gift to exchange) or a Secret Santa exchange (where everyone in your family is randomly assigned a person to anonymously give a gift to).
Gita Jayanti: Taking place on December 25, Gita Jayanti celebrates the birthday of Bhagavad Gita, the sacred text of Hindus. To celebrate the occasion, teach your kids about the special moments that make up the holiday by singing, praying to the deities, and even chanting verses of the Gita together. You might want to buy your kids a child-friendly version of the Bhagavad Gita so they can learn more about this important celebration.
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