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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Creative ideas for merrymaking

—Photo by JellyBean Pictures

Presents are fun, but they aren’t the only things that make this season special. Party pro and creative genius Amy Atlas shares a few festive ways to get into the spirit with your kids.
 
Let it snow. No matter what the weather is like where you live, you can create a winter wonderland at your house. Using age-appropriate scissors and white paper in different sizes, work with your kids to create snowflakes by folding the paper in half and cutting fun patterns. Hang the snowflakes from the ceiling at various heights with beautiful ribbon in wintry colors like ice blue and lavender.
 
Bake cookies for a cause. Whip up some holiday cookies and package them in pretty wrapping. Get the kids involved in deciding what kind of cookies to make, shopping for ingredients, pouring flour and sugar into the bowl, mixing up the dough, and decorating. Have fun in the kitchen, then deliver them together to a local retirement home or soup kitchen.
 
Make a wish.
Ask your child what her wish is for the upcoming year (or if she’s too little to tell you, make your own wish for her) and write it down on pretty 3- x 5-inch paper. Date it; roll it up; tie it with festive ribbon; and use it as a tree ornament. This is one you’ll want to do every year!
 
Create a Christmas tree photo collage. Look together at all the pictures that you took of your family throughout the year. Choose 15 horizontal images and order a set of prints all in the same size. Put them in coordinating frames, if you wish, and hang them on the wall in the shape of a Christmas tree (five on the bottom row, four above that, three above that, two above that, and one at the top). You can use command hooks so that you can take them down after the holidays and there won’t be any damage to the wall.
 
Enjoy!