- Make an eco-savvy Advent calendar. It's not too late! You can start now to play a bunch of fun, festive activities for you and your kids to celebrate the holiday season. Check out MNN's slideshow of 10 eco-Advent calendars to get you started.
- Bake: Set aside at least one day this month day just for baking your family's favorite holiday treats. If you don't already have a favorite recipe, try this Christmas cookie recipe from food blogger Robin Shreeves ... it's her grandma's, so you know it must be good!
- Decorate a gingerbread house: Whether you bake your own from scratch or assemble one from graham crackers, this holiday tradition is well worth the time. Decorated houses provide a whole month's worth of decoration and Christmas snacking!
- Make a special ornament: What better way to commemorate your child's year than by making a special ornament that highlights her interests and achievements? If you're not the crafty type, buy a photo ornament and include a pic of your child on the soccer team, at the science fair, or painting a picture. I also love this time capsule ornament idea that holds a year of special memories and keepsakes.
- Give back: Carve out a few hours between your holiday shopping and gift giving to do something for someone else this holiday season. Write letters to soldiers, bake cookies for your local women's shelter, or buy an "angel gift" for a child who may not have any this year.
- Look at the lights: OK, I know that using tons of energy to light up houses on Christmas is not the most eco-friendly of traditions. But what is the ruling on walking around the neighborhood to look at all of the pretty lights? That's pretty low-impact, right? Say what you will about raising kids to like holiday bling, there is nothing like watching your 7-year-old bounce down the street with stars in her eyes as she bounds from one holiday assembly to the next.
- Write your child a note: Tis the season for family and festivities. And there is no better time to tell your kids exactly how much they mean to you. Tuck a heartfelt note into your child's stocking or Christmas card. My bet is that it will be there most cherished gift.
- Leave a snack for Santa: St. Nick and his elves (aka mom and dad) need a little nourishment to deliver and decorate all of those gifts on Christmas Eve. So help your child make a few snacks for the jolly old elf that you can munch on after she goes to bed!
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