Christmas can be a crazy few weeks, so much to do and so little time. If we aren’t careful our own children can get lost in our busyness to get everything done.
As adults we often don’t feel the Christmas magic we felt as children and we forget to look to our children to rediscover the joy of the festive season. We forget Christmas can be simple and magical. All it takes is to step away from the media hype of comparison Christmases and vow to make this Christmas the most brilliant so far by choosing to generate happiness as gifts for everyone in our families.
Remember, it’s not in things that we find true happiness but in the experiences we share with others. So, this year let’s create memories for our children.
What do you remember from your past Christmases? The Mr Frosty machine you never got? Or the party games after dinner? Focus on what you would like your children to remember about their Christmas with you.
Here are ten simple ideas to create a Happy Christmas for your children and you.
- Write a list of Christmas traditions you love/loved. Gingerbread houses, snowball fights (paper or real), hot chocolate outdoors, making paper chains, carol singing under an outdoor tree, ice cream treat on a frosty day, crafting Christmas cards, feeding the birds/ducks in a winter park. Then make a plan to do them.
- On a busy day as you arrive home to your family use the four-minute rule. Think about being the best parent ever for the first four minutes you greet your children. Usually after four minutes full on attention they lose interest and you can get on with your jobs.
- Smile more. Positivity has a three-degree ripple principal, so you will impact on your family immediately if you increase your own positivity; and that can be as simple as smile.
- Create crazy energy burst moments when the children finish school for the holidays. Excitement and energy will be high so dance it off (#dancealarm set your phone every hour on the hour and dance with your children wherever you are!). Walk it off, when things inside feel extremely fraught get everyone outdoors, time in the cold air will improve everyone’s mood and help children sleep better. (Take a flask of hot chocolate for a fun reward)
- Try to book a relative to babysit so you can shop without them (online shop as much as you can to save time). It’s never a pleasure for children and parents to shop together at the busiest time of the year. Don’t forget to leave them fun crafts to do while you are away or the longest paper chain challenge.
- Take yourself less seriously and have a family collection of Christmas hats to wear when you go out. A Christmas jumper collection, as well is great fun, looks amazing with a whole family wearing them.
- Have lots of tinsel available and tinsel bomb a local area or just an undecorated area of your house.
- Buy your family reindeer antlers and bells and be reindeers all day, singing jingle bells as often as possible.
- Let Father Christmas elves leave a ‘Making kit’ to keep them busy. A box containing a recipe and ingredients will generate great excitement especially if it’s mince pie making to leave for the man himself.
- Make a treasure hunt to find the things for Christmas Eve. New pyjamas perhaps, carrots, reindeer magic food ingredients and a recipe, make popcorn for popcorn chains. And always have a snuggle up movie ready to celebrate time together.
The period of after Christmas can be a bit of an anti-climax for children so see if you can pick up cheap pantomime tickets. Repeat activities 3 and 4 over and over again!
It’s also a great time to start a family kindness project. Here are three extra tips to get kinder for the New Year:
- Choose a family charity you want to support and make a plan to action that support. Getting children involved will make them really begin to appreciate their own life and think of others.
- Have a clear out of the old and unwanted and generate an awesome charity bag for a local charity.
- Collect for food bank, get the children to ask family and friends for donations. January is often the hardest time for families to find food after they have had the children off school for two weeks.
In the words of Cecelia Ahern.
Time is more precious than gold, more precious than diamonds, more precious than oil or any valuable treasures. It is time that we do not have enough of, it is time that causes the war within our hearts, and so, we must spend it wisely. Time cannot be packaged and ribboned and left under trees for Christmas morning.
Time can’t be given. But it can be shared.
Written by Shonette Bason-Wood, co-author of Happiness: Your route-map to inner joy. Available now on Amazon. Find out more about Shonette at www.spreadthehappiness.co.uk