Remember when you were a kid, and how anxious you were for Christmas to get here? Things were less hectic then. People did more things together as a family. Today, in many cases, both parents have to work and time is at a premium. Many kids spend as much time with the baby-sitter as they do with their own family.

During the Christmas season, make it a point to plan some special activities as a family. Forget about those chores around the house. The laundry will wait and there is nothing good on TV.

One nice Christmas activity is looking for a Christmas tree. Do some research and locate the nearest Christmas tree farm. Dress everyone warmly, pack two or three Christmas CD’s into the car, and hit the road. Crank up those CD’s right away and make sure everyone sings along. Don’t be afraid to have fun. Use a funny voice, make a few funny faces, tickle someone, and most importantly LAUGH.

When you arrive at your destination, grab a saw from the proprietor and head on out. Sing your favorite Christmas carols as you trudge along in search of the perfect tree. If your family is as picky as mine, it will take an hour or more. Again, don’t be afraid to have fun. The funny memories you create today will make your kids laugh for years to come!

After securing the tree, sing Christmas carols all the way home. Have a contest to see who can do the best Santa imitation. See who can come closest to guessing the total number of needles on the tree. (Pretend you know.)
The real magic of future Christmas gatherings will be based on the memories that you create now. Some of my fondest memories involve simple inexpensive things that we did with (and for) our kids when they were young.

Make an effort to create memories that will last a lifetime! It doesn't have to be expensive. Our annual Christmas tree excursion is an example of the fun things you can do as a family that can bring a lifetime worth of laughter.

Get involved with your kids, do crafts, projects, and activities with them. I recall one activity; using nothing more than an inexpensive piece of cloth, we created a gift for our five-year old. It was a simple inexpensive gift that we made for less than a dollar. The real value in the gift was the wonderful story that we crafted about the object. Her squeals of delight and the look of absolute amazement on her face as she discovered it on Christmas morning was priceless. What's more, she was the envy of her neighborhood friends when she showed them her precious treasure!

You can create lasting memories in many ways. For starters, there's a great website for young children. It's called Santa's Place. It's a daily journal of Santa's activities that started on October 1. In it, Santa talks directly to your child (or grand-child). He asks them questions, fills them in on how the elves and reindeer are doing, sings songs, etc. Your children will love you for it!

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Visit Santa's Place at

For that inexpensive, yet memorable gift above: