Christmas is the most magical time of the year or so the songs and carols tell us. But is it really? Family politics, money stress, and trying to pack so much into the month that when the festivities are over, you need a holiday to recover.
How can we enjoy the magic of the Festive season without the burn out? Here are a few of my ideas on how to bring magic and memory making to the Festive Season.
Plan, plan and plan some more
What can you plan, organise and sort before hand that will allow you to gain time back to enjoy your celebrations with family and friends?
I am far from a chef, in fact my husband does most of the cooking in our home, but I know from chatting with him and watching endless Christmas cooking shows on loop, that there are things you can prepare in advance and freeze, or perhaps buy ready made from M&S! If cooking is something that adds to the stress of your Christmas Day, could you go out for lunch? Do you need to have a roast? Could you have your main meal on Christmas Eve where everyone is a little more relaxed?
Can you get ahead and write your Christmas cards while listening to carols in November? There is no rule that says they have to be written in December.
In my home, I pre-buy Christmas wrap and designate everyone a different roll design (husband, daughter, friends and family), as the gifts are purchased they pretty much get wrapped immediately and tagged appropriately. Once the tree is up, they are put under the tree to add to excitement.
Children these days, are very blessed and generally have more than they need, although around now, they start to want even more and possibly things that you know the day after Christmas they will be bored of, have broken or decided they wanted something else instead! When my daughter creates her Christmas list, we break it down into:
- Something to wear
- Something to read
- Something to create
- Something to play with
- Something she wants
This means that I am asking her to think more thoughtfully about what she would like rather than adding anything she sees in advertisements. When friends and family ask what to get her, I either pick from this list, or send them to her Amazon wish list (you can add non-amazon things to the list). We also use this format for her requests of Santa.
How can you simplify your Christmas schedule so you have some down time? Are you able to say ‘no’ to some social engagements? Just because you have done them last year, the year before that, does not mean you have to do it this year. The art of learning to say ‘no’ is a gift you can bring to your family.
Christmas is about memory making, how can you make your child’s Christmas more memorable and magical?
Children remember what we did with them more than they remember what you bought them. How can you arrange to spend more quality time together? Could you organise a games night once a week, or perhaps have a puzzle on the go that you can all dip into, can you cook meals together or have your older children cook for you? Chat to your kids at a Christmas family meeting and ask them what they would like to do, what they would drop and how they would like you to come together as a family.
I love Advent, and this is how I add to the memory making in our family. We have a book advent where I wrap up 24 Christmas stories (I have a lot of Christmas books but you could do this with books from your kids book box) and every evening, we pick one to unwrap and read. Our advent calendar is one with pockets and I do put chocolate in it, or small gifts to unwrap, in addition I put little notes about what my daughter could do that day to bring about the spirit of Christmas, How can she be of service? How can she spread kindness?
How do you create the magic of Christmas with your Family? Do leave me a comment.