Fun Things To Do With A 9 Year Old Girl Christmas Olympics! Let the Games Begin

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Christmas Olympics! Let the Games Begin

Our daughter Shanna believed in Santa Claus until she was 9 years old. He seemed to represent Christmas, but Shana felt sorry for him. She was sure that a jolly guy like himself would feel sad that the mail didn’t come until December, so until she turned 9, she began writing to Santa every January for 11 months, deliberately excluding December and asking only for his friendship.

I was inspired by her. After years of trying to figure out a way to change our superficial Christmas pattern to one with more meaning, I could definitely follow my young daughter’s lead in creating a Christmas tradition that focuses on gifts.

My criteria was simple, but it had to include things that were important to our family:

1. Make it more about family and togetherness than gifts.

2. Include everyone of all ages.

3. Fun

4. Unforgettable!

Our family has come to know this unpretentious event as the Christmas Olympics.

It begins just after lunch on December 25 with a ringing gong prompting the last-year Olympian to run around the house proudly wearing a cheap plastic olive leaf wreath on her head, carrying a makeshift torch (a wooden stick with a hand-drawn flame). …. happily donated when our three children were still drawing crayons.

The Christmas Olympics are a great way to ensure that the very young and the elderly stay as involved in the event as everyone else because they also choose a game they are good at.

While many people spend the 5 days before Christmas shopping, my family is especially busy collecting “stuff” for their game or researching “party games” on the internet, and that’s half the fun!

The game each person chooses is top secret until they are selected to start the game. Each person’s game time is indicated simply by where their name is on the paper that keeps track of the game’s points. After all, the Christmas Olympics are supposed to be fun with a few rules!

If you have 5 family members, each game the player earns a number of points from 1 to 5 depending on their position in the game.

Below is a small sampling of some of our Christmas Olympics;

o Poop a potato, which basically means jumping around the table with a potato between your legs and throwing it into a bowl on the floor in front of everyone.

o Orange peeling contests. The longest intact bark wins and everyone is treated to a fiber break from candy and chocolate.

o Snow golf…one or two holes on a short course (use food coloring around the hole)

o Viewing contests

o Memory games. Read a meaningful or funny story and ask questions later. It’s really amazing how well adults do NOT listen!

o Guess how many jelly beans, loonies or quarters. The winner gets points and a jar!

o Flip the coin. Longest spin wins.

o card or dice gambling.

o Find the Apple Pot. Blindfolded, crawling across the floor, hitting a wooden spoon to find a pot filled with water and an apple. Take the apple with your mouth. It is timed. You can get creative with a soft tomato or marshmallow (if anyone has bad knees or backs, put it somewhere on the counter)

o Guess what’s in the sock? Each stocking features a family member item. Contestants get one 10 second feeling, 1 hint and only 2 guesses.

At the end of the day, we’ve laughed, made memories, and crowned an Olympian with the coveted but tacky plastic head crown that, surprisingly, everyone is always proud to wear.

We all thank Shanna for seeing things differently than the rest of us, and having the courage to act like that.

Our children, though now young, are just as excited about the afternoon of December 25th.

Let the games begin…

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