Now that our kids (age 9 and 11) know the truth about Christmas, I have decided that this year we are going to have a different Christmas season. Instead of focusing on the joy of receiving (something my kids excel at), we're going to work a little bit on the joy of giving, and on being thankful for all of our blessings in our lives.
I have come up with an activity for the latter goal which I hope will become a family tradition. I call it "the blessings chain". This Sunday, after we decorate the tree and after dinner, I am going to hand each family member (including myself) 25 small construction paper strips. I will also have more strips available in the center of the table.
The idea is simple: on each strip, everyone is to write down a blessing in their life. For something to be considered a blessing, it must contribute something positive to your life, such as "sunny, warm days" is a blessing; "a glacier on Mount Kilamanjero" is not - well, unless one has hiked up to it, or can prove some sort of connection. The person who creates the longest chain of blessings will win a prize (I am thinking this will be the right to choose the board game which we will then play immediately afterwards.)
We'll all share our blessings on our chains and then hook them together and put them around the outside of the Christmas tree so that we will remember all season long how truly blessed we are.