Christmas season is a hectic time for everyone, especially parents with children under five. You have so many things to do, but only so much time to do it in. Stress levels run high, and you need to find ways to survive during this hectic time. Here is a practical guide for parents that is bound to have something you can use.
Share music. Music soothes the soul of everyone, parents and children alike. There are many ways to share music during the holidays. Put on some traditional holiday tunes and play them in the background throughout the day. Listening to “Silent Night” always soothes the soul. And, “Jingle Bells” is a perennial favorite. Or, set aside an hour at the end of each day for a family music get-together. Have everyone sing along with the song playing. Or, if you or any family members play a musical instrument, lead the show. Have lyrics available so everyone can sing along. Start playing a song and encourage everyone to sing along. If you own a piano, have your family gather around the piano as you play. Encourage your young ones to sit next to you on the piano bench. If you do not have a piano, have your children act like they are leading an orchestra as you play your instrument. Singing and music not only bring families together, but can relieve stress levels. Moms, in particular, will relish escaping everyday stress by getting lost in music.
Start a family tradition. Traditions are what the Christmas season is made of. Start a family tradition by introducing your kids to traditional movies such as the original “It’s A Wonderful Life”, “Holiday Inn”, “Scrooge”, “Miracle on 34th Street” or “White Christmas”. Kids love Clarence the Angel in “Wonderful Life” and Santa in “Miracle”. And, the songs and pageantry of “White Christmas” will leave lasting impressions. For even better results, bone up on your history of these movies to share with your family while watching.
Watch a fun video or movie together. Now is the time of year for an abundance of new or recently released holiday movies and videos. Choose five of the most appealing and take a family vote on the two favorite. Order the movies or videos, pop up some popcorn (a quick and tasty treat) and enjoy the event as family time. Laughter breaks the tension during this stressful time of year. Who doesn’t love watching Jim Carey as the Grinch? Or, the Muppets during the holiday season?
Treat yourself to a spa treatment. Every mom deserves some alone time, especially during the holidays. When out shopping for a day, take a couple of hours to schedule a foot or body massage at a local spa. Or, stop at the make-up counter and have a make-up artist do a makeover on you. Dads may want to treat themselves to a barber shave and hair cut, watch an uninterrupted football game or have their own foot massage. Everyone needs a good foot massage now and then. Pampering yourself is important for all parents during the Christmas season.
Shop online. Christmas shopping is part of the season, and the reason for increased stress levels. Instead of fighting holiday shopping crowds, sit in front of your computer and do your shopping. Many stores offer online sales not available to brick-and-mortar outlets. Have your little one sit on your lap while shopping and explain what is going on, so he feels part of the process.
Turn baking cookies into a family event. Christmas is the time of year when baking cookies is a tradition. If it is not a tradition in your family yet, make it one this year. Children love to get in the kitchen and emulate their parents. Turning your kids under five into active participants can lead to a lifelong love of cooking and food. Plus, it can lower your stress levels by easing your workload burden. After putting all the ingredients into a bowl, have one of your kids mix the ingredients together to feel like they are doing something. Children under 5 are curious, so answer all their questions about the cookie dough, cooking process and any other tidbits of information they want to know. Who knows, you may have a future professional baker in the making. After properly mixing the sugar cookie dough, place the dough onto a rolling board. Show your kids how to roll out the dough with either a large glass or rolling pin. Let them roll out the cookies and place them on a cookie sheet. Have your kids put some smiley faces with icing on the cookies. Or, give them a container of colored sugar to sprinkle on the cookies. Remember to thoroughly supervise your children under 5 throughout the entire time in the kitchen. You can never be too safe
Visit Santa as a family. Santa not only wants to hear from children under 5, but from parents as well. After your children have visited Santa, you take part and ask for a day trip somewhere. Ask for whatever you want. After making your wishes, have a family portrait taken with Santa. It will become a treasured family photo.
End each day leading up to Christmas, and even Christmas itself, with a nice cup of hot tea or cocoa. Finishing your day with your warm beverage soothes your nerves, stomach and mind. Enjoy the beverages while sharing stories about the day. Your family deserves it.
This post was writen by Tyla from AuPair.org.
Photo: flickr.com/photos/marquiroga/3093280848/Filed under Family, Kid Activities, Parenting Advice | Comment (0)