Christmas brings lots of joy, magic, hope and light in the darkness. But it can for many families it is also the time of the year when parents really turn up the stress in order to get everything done in time and the prefect way. We want to make sure that everyone (especially the kids) enjoy and remember this time of the year. There are so many should, most, need to and often not enough time, energy and money
But here is the funny thing; kids won’t remember big, fancy and expensive gifts. Kids don’t remember a well cooked turkey or a house that is decorated perfectly. But they WILL remember parents being relaxed, calm, happy and enjoying them self and join in the magic, fun and all the small traditions that we create. It is not too late to change and make your kids have happy memoires from the Christmas you create together and where you too can enjoy yourself not just ‘get through the month’:
- Set the agenda: agree beforehand how much the gifts can cost and stick to it (how much you can afford).
- Change yours and your Kid’s language: everything you hear yourself saying ’ahh I need to, should or have to’ STOP and think ‘do I really’? Then only do what you ‘want to’! This is not the kids second birthday so tell them that they can ‘wish for, dream of or hope for’ but not ‘I want’!
- Job share: make a ‘To Do List’ and delegate jobs. Yes I know we can do it better and faster, but that just makes us a stressed, nagging and disconnected parent! Making everyone part of the preparation for Christmas builds on the positive experience. Ask for help, don’t do it all by yourself!
- Create small important family traditions: a family board game that you play every year. Watch a movie with Christmas cookies. An evening walk in the woods. Sing songs and sit and look at the Christmas tree. Anything that is YOUR family tradition.
- Slow Down and Enjoy. Remember that you want your kids to look back to a time where you all had a great time, were connected and happy – where it was about the presence not the presents. So allow yourself to slow down and enjoy every small, but important, moments throughout Christmas.
- Teach about giving: Christmas is not the kids second birthday so teach them to give instead of take or ‘want’! Maybe throughout the month sit together and create gifts for family, teachers and friends i.e. hema beads, draw pictures and frame them. Make cookies and add to a jar and decorate it. The ideas are endless.
- Get some Me-Time: try to schedule some ‘Me-Time’ everyday where you can get out and enjoy the crisp air, have a bath, read a book or just sit and enjoy a cup of tea. Where you can re-connect with yourself, re-charge your batteries and feel prepared for the times ahead.
- It is OK to cheat: Yes homemade is the best, but you being present and happy is even better. It’s OK to buy pre-made dough for cookies or buy some. We can make life easier for ourselves and ease up time to be with our family in a relaxed way.
Last but not least, join in the fun: have a snowball fight, make decoration together, make your own wish list, and sing the loudest. This is what your kids will remember and what Christmas is all about!
I wish you a happy month of December.