We always have all these wonderful visions of how we want our family at Christmas time. But quite often, it is totally disrupted by the reality of the Season. It becomes a busy and tiring time while worrying about having the perfect tree with the perfect gifts. During all of this, our kids are driving us crazy because they are tired from all the extra activities and they are feeling our anxiety about doing everything perfectly.
6 tips for surviving Christmas while enjoying the season:
Let them have presents without going broke –
Get the kids 1-2 of the items that you know they really want and scale it back from there. Wrap a lot of smaller (less expensive) gifts individually. Opening the gifts is most of the fun, so give them more to open without spending a ton more. Remember, it’s not about how much you spend.
Let them decorate –
We all want the picture-perfect Christmas scene for our home. However, our kids just want to participate and be a part of everything Christmas. Let them put the ornaments on, wrap the packages, hang up their Santa pictures, make popcorn strings… Remember, you are making memories they will cherish.
Let them shop –
Give them some money and let them shop. Even if it’s just at the Dollar Store, let them choose their own gifts for the family. They will have such a sense of pride in giving those gifts. Remember, you are teaching them to be thoughtful givers. A fun way to shop with older kids is to pick one store that has a lot of different types of items (grocery store, bed bath and beyond, hardware store) and let the kids creatively come up with presents from that store for everyone on your list.
Let them bake –
Help them choose a few recipes and let them bake. Kids love to bake and baking for Christmas is extra fun. Make the gingerbread house. Make the homemade sugar cookies and icing to decorate. For those of you who don’t like to bake or have the time. It can be as simple as buying some plain sugar cookies and letting them decorate with store bought icing. You can even buy graham crackers and icing to make a simple gingerbread house. I found some good graham cracker gingerbread house on Pinterest. Remember, it’s not about perfection.
Let them sing and read –
Sing the traditional Christmas songs. Read them the traditional Christmas stories. Play the Christmas music and sing along. See some of my favorite Christmas books that are songs at my Astore.
Let them wrap –
Don’t spend your time making the gifts look perfect. Get some wrapping paper and stick on bows and let them do it. If you have the time, get some plain paper, Christmas stickers, ribbon and markers to let them draw and decorate their own wrapping paper. They will be proud of their gift wrapping and you will have let them participate in the giving. Some great ideas for wrapping paper can be found on Pinterest.
My Story –
I have gone the extremes when it comes to Christmas. Sad to say, but I spent way too much time when my kids were little worrying about everything being perfect. I even put out my Christmas village every year and made sure the kids never touched it. I would do the tree when they weren’t there to keep them from “messing” it up. How sad that I missed out on the enjoyment of putting up the tree together. Now, I’m more laid back about the decorations and the gifts. It just took me a while to realize it’s more about the Traditions and not Perfection.