It’s the most wonderful time of the year…Hooray! Hopefully everyone reading this shares my enthusiasm – yes I am a crazy Christmas person. Yes my tree was up in November, so what of it?!
Of course we know it's not all Christmas baubles, candy canes and Home Alone. It’s hectic busy, it brings up family stuff we may not want to face, it can be a huge financial strain and there are many hours to fill with the kids. Nothing a good viewing of National Lampoons’ Christmas Vacation can’t fix though right…?
Alright, if that doesn’t float your boat then read on for some ideas to lift your Christmas holiday spirits and to help enjoy this special time with your kids.
Visit some Christmas lights
- Simply tell the kids they are going to get to stay up late tonight because you are going to hop in the car and cruise around the neighbourhood looking at Christmas lights (obviously it needs to be dark)! It can be quite the magical experience for the whole family. For best results do a bit of research first, ask your friends or local Facebook pages where the best streets are. Listen out for the “ooh-ahh’s in the backseat when the kids spot something Chrismassy. Some houses get so involved they create walk-through experiences! You can even crank up some Christmas carols on the car stereo. Boom – Christmas spirit sorted!
Get in the kitchen
- Ah Christmas baking, there’s something about this time of the year that entices us to have these sweet bonding moments with the kids. Personally, the smell of gingerbread wafting through the house evokes nostalgic feelings of Christmas’ past. Bake some cookies, Christmas cake or get the dusty old cookbooks out and let the kids choose. Involving them is all the more fun. Get those carols going again. Make a mess – what does it matter? We’re on holidays!
Break out the sprinkler
- It’s great if you have a pool or some fancy water play toys but it’s like the old cardboard box theory, at the end of the day your kids are probably going to be just as happy running through a sprinkler in the back yard. But of course you have to be out there too – to watch them do their jumps, flips and general show-off antics. So why not grab a magazine and a wine and just relax in the sun while the kids burn that holiday energy off?
Visit friends and family
- Life is demanding. How often have we cancelled on the ones we love because things were just too hectic or our schedules just didn’t align? Now is the time to invest some time back in to our loved ones to not only show that we care but to give our kids the opportunity to love them as well. Enjoy those extended lazy-lunch -becomes-dinner visits and the spontaneous sleepovers. These are the special times our kids will remember forever and we can stress less about losing our routine. Shall I say it again? We’re on holidays!
Take them swimming
- Whether it’s at the beach, your local pool or in your own pool. This is the best time to focus on your kids swimming. Water confidence is so important and the only way our babies will get it is to spend as many hours in and around water as possible. Over the holidays we have more time to focus on it and obviously the warmer weather helps. If your kids do swimming lessons they will just love showing off their new skills for you!
Let them be bored
- Kids being bored is A-OK. Being bored activates your child’s imagination and encourages self-sufficiency. Remember when you were a child and you’d spend hours outside playing ‘families’ or building obstacle courses? It’s so important to let their brains wander to help fuel originality and creativity. You will be amazed at what they come up with – and you may even gain some free time for yourself in the process!
Invest in yourself
- Remember it isn’t ALWAYS about the kids. Remember my 4th point about visiting friends and family? Organise a sleepover for the kids so you and your partner can have a date night and reconnect. Or if you’re single, a girls night will do you wonders for your mental wellbeing (you may disagree the next morning -just get a Berocca into you, you’ll be right!). Preserve that sanity sister. Go visit a day spa and whatever you do – do not feel guilty!
Above all this is a great time to simply relax and recharge. Slow down and smell the roses, or in this case, some gingerbread and Prosecco. Breathe.
Merry Christmas to you all