Survival Tips for an Enjoyable Christmas

Hi,

Christmas,  and other seasonal holidays are upon us and we want to enjoy them. It’s a question of planning. Here’s the best trick. Make a list of all the holiday related chores.

Put the in order of priority. Then fold the list in three. Take the bottom third and toss them, they aren’t really necessary. Take the middle section and put in a drawer to get to if there is extra time. Then work away on the top priority items. And have a wonderful holiday.

Survival Tips for an Enjoyable Christmas

Christmas is looming. How are you going to survive the holidays? It’s tough enough knowing what you have to do, making and following the lists but then there are the kids and their questions. How many sleeps until Christmas? Are you sure Santa knows where we live? Where are Grandma and Grandpa going to sleep when they come to visit?

Christmas Day itself requires thought and planning. If you start thinking about it now, it will go better. Which isn’t to say it will be totally calm and scheduled but doing some thinking ahead is certainly helpful. Count on some chaos. After all, it’s one day a year, it’s pretty exciting and it’s fun. Let the fun happen.

Create some scheduling designed to calm over-excited youngsters. You may need to talk to them about when they’re actually allowed to get out of bed and start the day. Ask them to come to see you when they awaken and check to see if it’s really morning yet. If they can tell time, make sure they know what time they’re allowed to get up. It’s amazing that kids you simply can’t get out of bed on school mornings will see 5 am as a perfectly acceptable time to start the day on December 25th.

Once you have declared that it is now morning and they can get out of bed, have a plan. Maybe they can open their stockings right away. And in the bottom of that stocking will be a mandarin orange so you know the first thing they eat will actually be good for them.

It’s good idea to have breakfast before opening all the gifts. Make it a simple but nutritious meal. You want to ensure that they have some good food inside them before the candy and cookies make an appearance.

Gift opening requires a system or things will be broken or lost. Have a child (the youngest?) be responsible for handing out gifts and they are delivered one at a time. That way you can all watch and you can make notes about who sent what to your children. Now it may still get somewhat chaotic but you have some measure of control over the process. Keep a list so when it comes time for the thank-yous you remember who sent what gift.

Clean-up should involve the whole family. Decide whether to fold and re-use paper and ribbon or get big garbage bags or however you wish to handle it. But use the energy of the kids to have them help out with this task.

Getting outside for some exercise is a wonderful idea. The gifts are open, breakfast is over and it’s too early to cook the turkey or the turkey is doing just fine in the oven on it’s own for awhile. So head to the park or go for a walk on the beach. Get outside. If there are any outdoor gifts or clothing, now’s a good time for a test-run. It’s also a great idea to go for another walk after you eat. You can head out and see the wonderful array of Christmas lights and decorations. When our family learned that the Vancouver Aquarium is open on Christmas it was an exciting discovery indeed. After all, the animals need to be fed so staff open the doors to the public. It’s a fun place to be on Christmas Day.

Most kids lose it if they are tired. For kids who nap, make naptime a priority. Have them settle down to sleep at their regular time and for older kids, a quiet rest is a great idea. It’s also a good idea for the adults to rest at the same time. It creates a short break from the excitement and allows everyone to catch his or her breath.

If you are hosting friends and family for dinner, give the kids some responsibility as hosts. They may help prepare food, be in charge of answering the door or they can make fancy name tags for each place setting.

If you are going out, remind the kids about your expectations for their behavior. Also remind them who will be present, how they are connected and what the kids should call them. Are they aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. or on a first name basis?

Plan, play and enjoy.

Merry Christmas.

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