As the whirl of Christmas season looms closer and closer you might be starting to panic as it feels as if there’s just not enough hours in the day to cope with it all. For working parents shopping for gifts, preparing food and simply being organised ready for the holiday can seem exhausting and stressful. Before you get short-tempered with the kids and shout at them for bothering you however, remember that Christmas is supposed to be about spending time with them and the family.
Decorating cookies is enjoyable for younger kids and a great way to spend a relaxing afternoon bonding with them. Make the most of your time with them and treasure it as most of the year they are at school and you’re busy at work so you don’t see much of them. This is an opportunity for you all to get to know each other better and spend quality time together. You don’t even need to bake the actual cookies if you can’t cook or don’t have the time, just buy some plain ones and get them to decorate with icing or frostings.
Little kids love to see Santa and nearly every town in the UK has a grotto in the shopping centre or the larger department stores. Don’t miss out on an outing doing this with your younger children as the look on their faces when they see it all lit up with the elves helping out and then actually meet Santa Claus is magical and will be more than worth it. Take a trip to town to see the Christmas lights get turned on too they often have a local celebrity who comes along to do it making it a double treat.
Once your xmas tree arrives set it in water immediately as you want it to absorb water right from the start if it’s to look its best. It’s important to check and refill the water level a few times a day as trees drink a lot and can dry out very quickly. Christmas trees are fun to decorate together. Re-use the decorations from previous years, particularly if they have been made at school by the kids or been given as a small gift by friends. Check out the festive market for unique ornaments that will give the tree a distinctive look and make visitors admire it.
Get them to help you clean up the house! Although not spring this is a good time for a clear-out as you can encourage everyone to sort out all the old toys they have grown out of, these can then be taken to the charity shop which is also a good lesson in caring and that Christmas is really about giving to others and not only about them and what expensive gift they want. You never know you might actually get them to stop saying, ‘I want’ and ‘please can I have’ for a while!
How about ice-skating? Some town centres have a small rink put up especially for the holiday season creating a real winter wonderland, and the atmosphere is fantastic with toffee apples and hot drinks on sale. Most are open in the evenings so you can go after work and even if you only go to watch it’s a real occasion for the kids to get excited about and enter into the Christmas spirit.
A visit to the pantomime at Christmas time has been a tradition in the UK for years and is as much a part of it as decorating the real tree and giving each other gifts. Contact the local theatre to see what’s on, although the jokes are corny you might see a favourite television personality on stage and the kids will be enthralled with the colourful and whacky costumes, celebrities and long-established audience involvement. Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty and The Snowman are just some of the most popular options this year.
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