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Easy Ideas for Celebrating with Family and Friends

Everything you do to celebrate the holidays makes your home special for family and guests. But if preparing for seasonal celebrations sounds like another burden on top of managing your family’s day-to-day needs, take heart–it needn’t be stressful. Try these easy ideas for keeping the holiday joyous and your home welcoming.

Start a Chain Reaction

This festive craft project will keep little ones busy while adults are mingling at your holiday gathering. Simply set out strips of pre-cut construction paper, washable markers or crayons, and double-sided tape. Kids can put their own personal stamp on each strip and then affix it to the master chain. Show off their finished product around your tree or on top of your mantel.

Give Kids a Sneak Peak

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Sure, all kids love digging into a pile of presents. But, sometimes savoring one meaningful gift can be just as special. Start a family tradition by letting your child pick one gift to open on Christmas Eve. Kick off the celebration early can to give you and your child an opportunity to make lasting memories before the chaos of Christmas day.

Make a Gingerbread House

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Cultivate your little one’s creativity (and sweet tooth) by decorating a gingerbread house together. Then display their masterpiece on your holiday table. Don’t have much time? Try dressing up these Easy Gingerbread House Cookies instead.

Create a Color Code

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Cut back on Christmas morning craziness by wrapping each family member’s present in a different wrapping paper. That way, everyone can instantly determine which gift to open without having to rummage through hard-to-read labels. Plus, the personalization will make each child feel extra special.

Deck the Halls (and Kids’ Rooms)

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Spread holiday cheer beyond the family and dining rooms by bringing cute crafts and decorations to other corners of your home. This merry and bright mobile is sure to add festive flair to any kid’s room. String paper cut-out Christmas characters onto a rod or stick and hang on the wall above a desk or dresser.

All Hands on Deck

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When it comes to preparing for holiday mealtime, delegation is key. Make it easy for little ones to help set the table by prepackaging silverware in colorful paper pockets. Use extra wrapping paper, or Christmas-theme scrapbook paper to match your tabletop decor. Tie a candy cane on for a little extra cheer!

Make Up Your Mantel

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Don’t let your evergreen hog all the attention this year: Incorporate elements of your Christmas tree decorations into your mantel display, such as colorful glass balls and oversize bows.

Start a Christmas Countdown

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Celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas with a calendar countdown that doubles as holiday wall art. Write a good deed or inspirational quote underneath each number flap and let your child remove it at the start of each day.

Share a Holiday Story

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Whether it’s a traditional favorite from your childhood or a new holiday hardback, take time to read with your little ones this holiday season. Bonus: Tales involving Santa’s naughty- and- nice list may prove helpful in preventing shopping-induced tantrums.

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