This post is part of the 2018 Homeschooling Through the Holidays series.
The holiday season is just around the corner! Gift giving is an important part of our Holiday tradition, along with stringing miles of lights and decorating multiple trees, filling our large 4 x 4 farmhouse with holiday cheer! If you are in a rut with gift-giving or feel like its materially oriented and has lost the joy of giving and gratitude, consider giving gifts that will contribute to experiences and that you can share together.
What hobbies, skills or crafts grab your kids’ interest that you could encourage? Is there a local guild or artisan around who could mentor/ help them? What about YouTube links in a card as part of the present?
One son has been greatly interested in blacksmithing. I found some professional equipment for him used, along with a potential mentor, who is also now on the look-out for us for additional materials. The equipment isn’t new (some of it is antique) but it’s in great condition and good enough quality that he can get his feet wet without a huge financial investment. As an example, we found a former homeschooler, turned Youtuber, whose contact info will be part of the gift. http://alecsteeleblacksmith.com/about/
Don’t forget magazines as a present that gives all year long. Don’t limit your selections to “kids” magazines- we’ve had Science News, National Geographic, Biblical Archeology Today, Artifax, etc. laying around for years. It always amazed me how much information our kids glean, and what interests are piqued by reading that is beyond their “ability” or from a different worldview than we hold. Reading and discussing articles together is a great way to have a conversation that can go far beyond the topic!
We’ll also be purchasing some Met Opera tickets to enjoy together- did you know that you can experience the Met live as they stream live performances, probably to a city near you. The website includes great information about the performances, performers and so much more! During the actual live stream, you’ll get to hear interviews with the directors, performers, and producers, see behind the scenes staging and production and be invited into a unique world of music, dance, and theater! https://www.metopera.org/season/in-cinemas/
Our area hosts a small film festival that shows indie films and documentaries, many of which are award winners. Because it’s local, we often get to meet people somehow related to the film and hear interesting tidbits about the film selection along with other unique details. Our local festival shows films bi-monthly at local theaters, the crowd is often interactive and friendly and the movies are thought provoking and discussion worthy!
Call your local movie theater and see if there’s a film festival in your town!! Our local festival is great about making sure we know which movies are not suitable for youth and children, but you can always check the listing ahead of time to ensure that they are wholesome. We are buying season tickets this year as a family gift and look forward to some great viewing!
Create your own film festival at home with these fun scratch-off posters. Commit to a regular monthly or bi-monthly viewing with your kids and sit down to some classics like The Princess Bride or Karate Kid. Invite some friends and family and make it a party! 100 Movie scratch off poster- books, places.
Hit the trails! Most cities have a lovely bike or walking trails. Our mid-sized city has tens of miles of biking trails. Give commitments to biking somewhere together on a regular basis. Make it even more fun by adding in some early morning pedals to a get coffee or hot chocolate together or commit to evening summer rides to a favorite restaurant or Shakespeare in the park!
Give your kids coupons with times and dates, committing to a weekly conversation/coffee date – just you and them, sans electronics. Not sure what to chat about? Check out our free list of Tween/ Teen Winter Convo Starters.
Get creative this Holiday season and celebrate your interests and relationships!
I’d love to hear about your creative, relational or experience related gifts!
Lisa Nehring’s most memorable gifts were an engagement ring tied into a church Christmas ornament as well as a month-long backpacking trip to the High Uinta’s Wilderness areas- two grand adventures that changed her life. Along with gathering gifts (and gratefully receiving them) she owns, blogs and teaches at True North Homeschool Academy, offering live online and self-paced classes, Clubs, Transcripts, testing, Special Needs, Community and more! Working at a job she loves and is passionate about, along with homeschooling, is one of her most favorite gifts of all! You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest, and hanging out in her Facebook group Help Homeschooling High School.