It should almost be a country western song; "the furnace died, it was so cold, I did not want the kids to know, so broke and cold, so we found ways to stay warm and cozy!" While that idea may be amusing, the reality of a dead furnace in winter is a little more serious. Here are some ways to keep you and your children warm while you wait for your furnace repair service to arrive.
Have a Fireplace? a Pellet Stove? Use It!
Most homeowners love the idea of having a fireplace, pellet stove, or wood-burning stove. If you have any of these, there is no time like the present to use them. Fire them up, make sure the flues are open, and tell the kids you are having "an indoor campout" by the fire. They will think it is great fun, they will be warm, and they will never suspect that the furnace in your home is not working.
An Electric "Fireplace" in Your Christmas Decorations
Some people buy an electric fireplace for the purpose of a Christmas decoration. No real flames involved, but these faux fireplaces throw off a lot of heat. Just tell the kids, if they ask, that you are thinking about having the fake fireplace out on display all the time. You can even get them to help you figure out where to put it so it looks nice. If you do not have an electric fireplace, but you do have one of those entertainment centers with the electric fireplace built into the middle, have a movie/popcorn/fireplace night. They will be none the wiser.
You know how hot it gets in your house when the stove is on and cooking something. That much heat can fill the kitchen and extend beyond into other rooms. To keep the heat coming, cook everything that takes an hour or more to bake (e.g., a turkey, a leg of lamb, a beef roast, cakes, pies, whatever else you have that you do not have to buy to make this option work). Have the kids help, and they will stay warm and have fun at the same time. You can even leave the oven door oven open as it cools once you turn it off to let heat into the room, but only if your kids are old enough to make this a safe option. If you do want to use your oven, employ other heat-producing appliances in daily tasks, like laundry in washers/dryers and dishes in dishwashers
Contact a service, like http://www.coeheatcool.com, for more help.