We have a straw goat under our Christmas tree. In a weird variant of Swedish tradition, or maybe just a total departure from it, my siblings and I grew up with the impression that the goat was supposed to guard the presents. (From whom, we never thought to ask).
This year we’re trying to incorporate a different goat into our traditions. I’ve offered the kids special exorbitant rates for doing extra chores, and they’re putting the money towards a goat from Heifer International. So far, so good–my house is getting a little cleaner than usual, and the kids are enthusiastic about doing something significant. It seems like a good project for not-quite-little-anymore kids who are ready to broaden their horizons from Secret Santa for friends and family.
How have you channeled kids’ and teens’ idealism and energy around the holidays? (I need some ideas for next year, and the year after…)