Old-Fashioned Holiday Fun

“Oh, for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money.”- Unknown

Buy, buy, buy.  Spend, spend, spend.  These days it seems the holidays are more about spending money than bonding with loved ones.  I suppose you could bond over how much you’ve spent on each other, but wouldn’t you rather save your cash and share the richness of laughter and warm embraces?

Instead of going into debt trying to prove how much you love your favorite family members and friends, consider spending time with each other having fun with these holiday-themed activities:

Cookie Ornaments:  This is a simple project fit for the entire family.  All you need is a good sugar cookie recipe and an array of decorations.  To start, refrigerate the dough for at least an hour so it will be easier to work with.  Next, liberally flour a flat work surface and roll out the dough until it is about 1/2-inch thick.  Then, use Christmas-shaped cookie cutters to form the ornaments.  When you are done cutting, carefully place the cookies on a sheet pan, and then use smaller cookie cutters or a knife to cut out a section in the middle of the cookie.  You will then use a wooden chopstick or sharp knife to make a small hole at the top of each cookie.  This is where you will thread ribbon through to hang them on the tree.  Have your kids decorate the cookie ornaments with sprinkles or crushed peppermints (or other colorful candy).   Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until the candy is melted. Finally, allow the cookies to cool completely before removing them from the pan and hanging them on the tree.

Paper Ornaments:  If you have young children who want to help make tree ornaments, print out Christmas-themed coloring pages from the Internet or rip out a few pages from a holiday coloring book.  Let your child select a single image from the page that she would like to color, such as Santa Claus or a snowman.  When she is done coloring, cut-out the image and glue it on a piece of cardstock. Use a hole punch to make a circle at the top of the ornament and loop a piece of yarn or ribbon through the hole. Knot the top of the ribbon or yarn and have your child add it to your Christmas tree.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.

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