Let’s face it: like Disneyland and pantomimes, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without kids around. While grown-up Christmases certainly involve a lot more booze, the excitement and wonder of little ones brings something magical to the most wonderful time of year.
That is until the eldest one steals the other one’s Christmas present and no one wants to share the new computer game and the youngest refuses to eat his sprouts and everyone falls out over Monopoly…
Yes Christmas with little ones can be magical but it can also be mega stressful. Avoid a nightmare before Christmas this year via our guide to surviving the festive season with small children.
First things first, if you’ve got little ones it’s best to avoid heading off to see relatives or going away on holiday for Christmas time. Not only will this avoid a whole bunch of travel stress, it’s also just nice to have first Christmases all together in your home environment. If family members feel put out, you can always invite them to join you instead.
Present buying can be stressful for parents, especially if you’re on a budget or you have several children. It’s important to manage your little ones’ expectations by teaching them that Christmas is about family and fun first, presents second. Get them used to only getting one big present a year or knowing what they can and can’t expect. A nice idea is to make Christmas about charity and giving to others with a reverse advent calendar or some charity work around the festive season – this can also help kids to understand how lucky they are.
Don’t go into Christmas Day unprepared, whatever you do! Buy gifts that will keep kids entertained all day or organise plenty of games to keep everyone occupied. Children can be most tricky when they’re tired so an evening Christmas movie with new PJs and hot chocolate can be a nice and peaceful way to wind down the day. It’s also a good idea to get out and about. Take a new bike or skateboard for a trial or start a family walking tradition on Christmas day; this is also a great way to tire out kids so you can enjoy some bubbly later!
Make the Most of Gran
Having family around over Christmas is often more stressful than not but, when you’ve got small children, family members are a blessing. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, godparents and everyone in between love your kids so make the most of having them around to take the children off your hands while you finish dinner or other preparations.
Christmas is just one day of the year and we often put way too much pressure on ourselves to make it perfect than we should do. If you’re stressed out, it’s more likely that your kids will pick up on your mood and act out too. Forget the picture-perfect families you see on Christmas commercials, a real family Christmas is loud, colourful, chaotic, and fun.