The pressure is on for parents with young families to make Christmas perfect for their little ones. But it doesn’t have to be stressful or expensive to make lasting festive memories for your children, here’s some ideas you can try over the next few days…
North Pole Breakfast
The first day after the kids break up from school, prepare a special breakfast to celebrate the start of the holidays! Decorate the table and let them have some of their favourites – cinnamon toast, waffles, fruit kebabs with chocolate fondue or hot chocolate will create a lovely Nordic theme!
Making a Christmas Play List
Use your music app to create the ultimate festive playlist for Christmas Day! Play tunes and ask the kids to vote for their favourites, this is a great way to introduce them to music, dance around the living room and get into the holiday spirit.
Christmas Light Express
Ok, we stole this idea from US parenting blog The Real Thing with the Coake Family but we think it’s fab, thanks KC! Pick a random December evening, get the kids ready for bed as normal, but when they climb into bed they’ll find a special surprise under their pillows – a ticket to the Light Express! Load them into the car, with drinks and popcorn if you’re feeling generous – and take them on a journey around your local town to see all the lovely Christmas lights! This doesn’t cost you much, but they kids will love the excitement of going out at night.
Decorate outdoor trees
You’ve decorated the tree inside, but what about hanging a bauble for lots of people to enjoy? Buy some cheap baubles, one for each of the family, use a permanent marker to write your names on them, or perhaps a Christmas wish or message.
Wrap up for a wintry walk and hang your baubles in a place where people will see and enjoy them. You may start a tradition in your local area, with more people taking part? Perhaps suggest it as an activity for your local nursery or pre-school?
Some parks and woods have started doing this already, see if you can find one or start your very own!
Love thy neighbour
Teach the kids that Christmas is not just about getting presents – it’s about giving them too! If you have time, spend the morning creating some festive treats, BBC Good Food have some great easy recipe ideas – from unicorn bark to reindeer cupcakes, take a look here for inspiration.
Once they’re ready, package them up in simple paper bags, tied up with Christmas ribbon and deliver them to your nearest and dearest… This is a lovely tradition that will get the kids out of the house whilst putting you in good favour with the neighbours!
Not particularly original, but we love the idea of everyone getting into their festive pjs on Christmas eve, ready for a cosy night in. The kids will love the ceremony of it and it will encourage parents to chill out after all their hard work and preparations. Whether you settle in for a Christmas movie or play games, the choice is yours!
Leaving food out for Santa
This is the signal that it’s time for bed! Most families do this, but what they leave differs from home to home… Whiskey, sherry or milk? A carrot or apple for Rudolph? Do you leave a mince pie too? Whatever you do, decide as a family and agree the best place to leave it – in the kitchen or by the fireplace?
Remember to check first thing in the morning if items have been eaten/drunk – so you’ll know if he’s been or not!
Family Christmas Photo
You know what it’s like, Christmas day can be a bit manic and getting a family picture of you all together can seem like mission impossible! But it is worth making the time, you won’t regret it. Do it every year and create and album of festive memories which you can pass on to your kids, when they’re older, so that they can continue to make memories with their own children.