5 activities you MUST do with your child if you aren’t on holiday this Christmas

The one festival of the year that’s become almost entirely secular is Christmas. Sure, Christians still go to mass in the morning, but even if you’re a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jain or any one of the other numerous religions India is host to, your kids are celebrating because it’s holiday season! To make it more fun for them than you ever have so far, give them the authentic, secular Christmas experience. And involve them in everything fully, so you can keep them occupied in those days when they’d otherwise drive you crazy.

1. Decorate a Christmas tree:


No, don’t go trying to find woods around the bustling cities you live in and cut down a fir. Amazon has an amazing selection of artificial trees, small ones, that you can even store till next year if you want to. Don’t buy decorations, though, because part of the fun of decking up your home is to make stuff out of wrapping paper, coloured paper, thermocol, string, fevicol, twigs, stones and anything else you can find in that stationery shelf you never use. For ideas on what to make, see here.

2. Make a fairy wreath:


Wreaths are perfectly easy to make out of cloth. And great fun too, since they involve randomly cutting bits of cloth into small pieces. All you need to do is:

    1. Wind a set of fairy lights (preferably warm yellow lights) into consecutive circles, leaving a length of it out with the plug

    2. Cut up lots green or beige cloth - depending on whether you want a dry or green leaf look - and tie the pieces on the wire till only the lights are seen

    3. Hang it up inside your house on a door near which there’s a plug point

    4. Plug it in, turn it on. Voila! You have fairies dancing on your door!

3. Play Secret Santa:

santa (1)

Call it the game of the season. If you don’t already know how to play it, you begin about two weeks before Christmas:

    1. Write the names of all your family members on pieces of paper and put them in a bowl

    2. Get everyone to pick a chit and not show the name anyone else. The person whose name you got becomes your secret child

    3. Every other day, leave an anonymous gift under the Christmas tree (keep it small, like a chocolate, a small stationery item, a note) for your child. Get your kids to select theirs on their own

    4. On Christmas Eve, hang out stockings with each of your names on them. Put your final Christmas gifts in your child’s stockings

    5. Christmas morning, after breakfast, open your individual stockings and try to guess who your Secret Santa is

Keep in mind that since your family is probably a small unit, you’ll likely guess who your Santa is in a jiffy. Especially if it’s one of the little kids. So you might have to maintain pretences, but who cares? It’s still a lot of fun!

4. Make cake pops!

cake pops

You know what makes the spirit of Christmas? Cake! Only, cakes are very common. Bake one, definitely, but along with it, why don’t you try cake pops this time too? Here’s the recipe from Sailu’s Food:


  • Leftover cake crumbs - 5 cups (I used chocolate mud cake)

  • Frosting of your choice - 1/2 cup to 1 cup (approx) (I used chocolate buttercream frosting)

  • Dark chocolate - 200 gms, melted over double boiler

  • Sprinkles

  • Lollipop Stick or Kebab sticks


  • In a large bowl, crumble the cake with your fingers such that it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add half a cup of frosting to start with and using a wooden spoon mix it. You can use your hand to mix the frosting into the crumbs.Take a lemon sized amount of the cake mixture and try to form a ball with the palm of your hands. If it forms a ball shape and the dough does not crumble then there is no need to add any more frosting. If the balls fall apart, add a little more frosting until the mix is moist enough to hold shape.

  • Continue to roll the rest of your cake mixture into balls and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place these cake balls in the refrigerator and chill for 30 mts.

  • While the cakes balls are chilling in the fridge, melt the chocolate. Take a lollipop stick and dip half an inch of one end in the melted chocolate and stick it about half way through the cake ball. Do not pierce too deep or the cake ball may fall apart. The chocolate will help adhere the stick to the cake ball.

  • Place the cake balls back onto the parchment paper and repeat process with all the remaining balls. Place the cake pops in the freezer for another 20 mts before coating with the chocolate. If the cake balls are chilled, it will be easier to get the cake to stay on the stick while dipping and tapping the excess coating off. So don't skip this step.

  • Dip each cake ball into the melted chocolate ensuring that the coating covers the entire cake ball, Gently tap off the excess coating while rotating the cake pop to get a even layer all over the cake ball.

  • Stick them in a piece of styrofoam and allow them to dry pop side up.You can top with sprinkles or chopped nuts before the coating dries up. Serve them once the chocolate is set.

5. Send out a Christmas postcard to your family and friends:

Christmas card

You know all those cards that say ‘Season’s Greetings’ in gift shops? They’re too boring! Take a picture of your family, with your kids all dressed up, Christmas tree and decorations in the background. Edit it on any online photo editing software, like Canva: choose a postcard template and type out a Christmas message. If you’re up to it, print them out and actually post them, which your kids are sure to find fun because they never get to go to the post office. If you think that’s too much work, email/ WhatsApp them.

Sounds fun? That’s the spirit.