Thursday, December 4, 2008

Best Activity EVER!

Our Ward has a great tradition. ( And I know- just because an activity is great- doesn't mean it has to turn into a Ward Tradition. But the kids in our ward would sorely miss this Christmas Primary activity if there was ever a year we skipped it. It's TRADITION!) And kids look forward to traditions...

Santa's Workshop.

We collect donations and unwanted/used items from our congregation.
(Personally- I love clearing out all the unwanted, unused, toys and clothes that are outgrown to make space for new items we'll be getting for Christmas. Really it's a sick cycle- I know. But that's another topic.)

Then we try to find a few Young Women in the congregation who need a 10 hour service project to help with the sorting and cleaning of items.

On the day of Santa's Workshop we have different rooms labeled as "Gifts for Mom", "Gifts for Dad", "Gifts for baby", "Gifts for Boys" and "Gifts for Girls". Our donations are then placed in the different rooms. Older kids/Young Women are standing by as "Santa's Helpers". When the Primary children come, one of Santa's Helpers fill out a gift tag for each member in that child's family. Then the children get to go "shopping" from room to room, taking one item per person in their family. (If the child is small- one of Santa's Helpers will take them from room to room and help them pick out items.)

Once they have their gifts- they go to the "Wrapping Room". This is my favorite place to be. Parent's are usually helping out in here. (Helping other children- not their own. The kids want their presents to be a surprise.) We have Christmas music playing and the kids chat excitedly about who they are giving each item.

It is such a warm, loving, fun activity.
After they are done wrapping- off they go to decorate a sugar cookie, listen to a few Christmas stories and sing some songs and then they are good to go.

Those gifts- are the most excitedly exchanged. My kids really love having been able to be independent and shop and wrap by themselves. They take such pride in their gifts. I love every aspect of the event.

I love people donating things, time, talents.
I love the serving the children and being festive.
I love the excitement the kids have- finding the joy in giving to others.
I love the looks on their faces, the anticipation, ... just everything.
It's , like I said, The BEST ACTIVITY EVER!


Sandra said...

This is truly the best activity idea I have ever heard. I'm going to share it with everyone I know. Thank you and your awesome ward. :)

Martha said...

Wow, I better start cleaning out my closets and donating some good stuff.

JANE said...

We used to do something very similar to this in the church I grew up in, Loved it!

I am LoW said...

Going through your archives- haha!

I LOVE this!!! I am going to have to remember this for next year!

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