The holidays are a time more than ever to teach our children that it doesn’t always take money to bring us cheer. Here are ten ideas to bring cheer to your child!

One of my fondest holiday memories as a child is driving around looking at holiday lights. I can remember the wonder and awe just like it was yesterday. Begin a holiday light tour tradition with your children this season.

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Simply saying “Merry Christmas” somehow brings me as much cheer as the recipient.  Encourage your children to say this to people they encounter, for instance, the cashier at the grocery store, a teacher, a coach, etc. This is also a valuable way to teach your child a mannerly way of speaking to adults while being careful not to talk to strangers.

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Watch a holiday movie.  There are many channels on television that have holiday movies from now until Christmas.

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Make it a hot cocoa night.  Fix a hot cocoa bar and let your child pick his or her favorite hot cocoa condiments.

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There’s no better way to bring us and those around us holiday cheer than caroling.  Introduce your child to this age-old tradition by forming a group and caroling one night.

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Volunteer at a food pantry or soup kitchen.  Nothing brings more cheer to me and my family than spreading it to someone else. (photo credit)

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Make sugar cookies at home. Nothing says “Christmas cheer” like homemade Christmas cutout cookies with sprinkles!  Allow your child to help roll the dough, cut the cookie shapes, and decorate.

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Handmade gifts end up being more valuable than most material gifts.  Help the kiddos come up with ways to make gifts for grandparents and teachers. Pinterest has many cute ideas for handprint art. Check out 7 Holiday Crafts that Double as Grandparent Gifts!

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The Dating Divas have a wonderful project called “Santa’s Secret Service”.  It all begins with a special letter from Santa asking for help finding and giving acts of service.  Go to their website for free printables including badges for your little one to wear.

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Teaching our children to allow positive emotions to build and grow is one reason why the holiday spirit is contagious.  Think of it as “Paying It Forward”. We pass the happiness on and it keeps going. Happy Holidays!