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Gifts from the heart make for wonderful holiday memories

By:; Marlana Ward
Freelance Writer

Christmas time is a wondrous season during which we celebrate God’s gift of Jesus Christ to the world.   Along with sharing the meaning of this season, giving gifts and spending time with loved ones have become favorite activities anxiously awaited by all.  Though the material costs of the celebrations have increased over the years, love and sentiment remains the most precious of all Christmas treasures.  By bringing the focus of the Christmas season back to thoughtful gifts and meaningful gestures, it is very possible to maximize your memories while minimizing your costs.
The weeks leading up to Christmas can be just as exciting as Christmas day itself.  
With decorations and community celebrations around every corner, there is always a fun, budget-friendly opportunity to revel in Christmas fun. Pack travel mugs with hot cocoa and snack bags with popcorn for a family ride through town admiring Christmas light displays. Several area churches perform live outdoor nativities and cantatas that all are welcome to enjoy.
Once snow flies, family fun abounds with snowball fights, snow sculptures, and sled rides galore.
If Jack Frost’s nose nipping gets to be too much, frugal fun indoors is always an option.
Popcorn is not only a cheap and easy snack, it can also become a dandy decoration when strung into an old-fashioned garland.
Annual television showings of Christmas classics make it easy to transform your living room into the North Pole cinema for family movie night. Taking time to teach children favorite card or board games can instill in them a love for non-technological entertainment while keeping game night traditions alive for generations to come.  Used board games and decks of cards are easily found at thrift stores for a bargain price.
Gathering with friends and family to celebrate?  Keep it low in cost and high in fun by working together.  Sharing costs can take financial pressure off the hosting family while allowing others to showcase favorite recipes and traditions. Throw an old-fashioned potluck supper.  Suggest a theme and have guests bring a dish to share.  This is a great way to discover new flavors with old friends.
Make this year’s get-together a cookie party.  Everyone brings their favorite variety of homemade cookies to share.  This is paired well with a hot cocoa buffet including candy canes, marshmallows, berries, and other fun add-ins.
Utilize Christmas music on local radio or stream favorites online for a Christmas karaoke session. Look up lyrics online or for more fun, improvise forgotten lyrics.
Why keep the singing fun inside?  Bundle up and take the group caroling though your neighborhood.  Your Christmas spirit may be just the thing to brighten the season for elderly neighbors.

To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.