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It doesn't take much to get kids excited about the holidays, what with all the food, presents, and company. But if you want to channel that youthful energy into something a little more productive than, say, jumping up and down in front of the window waiting for Grandma and Grandma to show up, keep these ideas in mind:
What kid doesn't love "helping" bake cookies? Put out a few bowls with potential toppings — sprinkles, nuts, fruit, frosting — and let them go wild.
You might not need their help to pick out and haul home a Christmas tree, but being a part of that outing will most likely be quite diverting. Let them haul the tree themselves. (Until they get too tired and ask you to take it the rest of the way.)
Go back to nature for an afternoon. Take a walk through your neighborhood and look for elements you can bring home for decoration, like pine cones, nuts, and tree branches.
There's nothing more affordable than giving of your time. Teach your kids the value of giving back by spending an afternoon volunteering during the holidays. Pick out gifts together for underprivileged families or visit a retirement home for games and songs.