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Christmas will soon be here and we’re busying ourselves with shopping for gifts and wrapping them, decorating, readying for Christmas dinner, and all the other preparations that go into being all set for Christmas. With all those preparations, you will most undoubtedly spend your entire budget (and then some). When your visitors arrive, or your children are out of school, have you thought how you are going to keep them entertained?

Here are some suggestions to keep everyone of all ages entertained without spending much, if anything.

Giving

A very important part of the Christmas season is giving of yourself – your time and energy to make other’s Christmases more joyous.

Get a group together and go caroling to retirement homes or an elderly couple’s home that don’t get out much in the colder weather. Shovel snow for those not physically able. Help serve dinner to the needy at the Klamath Falls Gospel Mission or bring in dinner to someone homebound for Christmas. Volunteer to ring the Salvation Army bell to help raise donations for those less fortunate. Help at retirement facilities’ Christmas parties by singing, crafting items to give them or passing out candy canes. Make Christmas baskets filled with homemade goodies and ornaments to give away. Send Christmas cards to care homes or to our servicemen overseas to brighten their spirits. When you give of yourself, you will see how very thankful those receiving your help will be from their smiles and thank yous.

Doing

Keep yourself and those visiting entertained by playing card or board games. Sing songs around the piano or an instrument you or someone play. Read Christmas stories to the children or craft ornaments for the tree or decorations for the house. Gather round the Christmas tree or fireplace and sip hot cocoa or just relax and enjoy the moment and listen to Christmas music. Make cookies, especially the cut-out ones you can decorate, or bake that special dessert, bread or coffee cake you make at Christmas time. Create a gingerbread house with the kids and display it in your home or donate to a facility where the residents could enjoy it. Watch Christmas specials or movies on TV. Gather and take turns sharing special remembrances of Christmases past.

Going

Visit your neighbors to share Christmas cheer. Organize a progressive dinner with your neighbors or a group of friends. Build a snowman with the kids. If you participate in winter sports, go cross-country skiing, ice skating, or just take a brisk walk (but be sure to wear plenty of warm clothing and be safe). Activities that may cost a few dollars, but are bound to entertain, are going bowling, going to the movies, visiting a museum or attending a local theater production. Attend special Christmas concerts given at schools, churches or community programs. Drive around and see several light displays – that always seems to entertain the children and eventually puts the little ones to sleep – watch for a listing in the Herald and News of places worth viewing.

Sharing

Christmas is a time of gathering together and sharing presents and food – but it is much more then that. It is a time for being thankful for what you already have and realizing that you don’t need presents to make you happy or feel loved; sometimes the most special gift is a hug or a phone call. Be kind, generous, thoughtful and caring this Christmas season. Just visit, listen and communicate with heartfelt words that share your thoughts and ideas or happenings in your life. Remembering the reason we celebrate Christmas is of utmost importance. And the most precious gift we can give is the gift of love.