Written by: Shani Fowler
With Christmas fast approaching, once again many of us find ourselves caught like rabbits in the headlights trying to co-ordinate our hectic daily lives with the extra juggling Christmas throws at us. We are all seduced by the golden glow adverts where everyone has time to calmly decorate the tree whilst pondering what amazing banquet can be pulled out of the hat on Christmas Day. I do love Christmas, but for many of us, the season usually has us in a frazzled spin by Christmas Eve and leaves us wondering where all the money and effort went by Boxing Day. We are barely left with enough energy to wrestle the shrink wrap from our lavender bath salts gift set. With many of us working up until Christmas Eve we only just manage to get the mince pies and sherry out for our impending, white haired, red be-suited visitor.
Children are inevitably excited and whilst they are happy to whirl around in a frenzy of expectation we can all put some of their exuberant energy to good use. Here are a few ways how kids can help with Christmas.
I am sure most children have their own Christmas list started before they even go back to school after the summer holidays, but what about the presents for others? Give the children a list of people you have to buy for and ask them to write down their ideas of what you can get people. It’s sometimes more of a struggle to think of something to buy for someone than to actually buy it. You might be surprised what they come up with, they might intuitively just come up with the perfect gift for fussy Aunt Mavis. This can create a much more personal gift for someone and gives the children a great level of involvement in the whole idea of giving as well as receiving.
Children love to be creative and although we all usually have the shop bought decorations, get the kids making a few extra things for the tree or around the house. Use household goods that are to be discarded. See what they can come up with a few egg boxes, yoghurt cartons and toilet roll tubes. Not only will it occupy them whilst you are busy, but it is lovely to see what they can come up with and you can keep them for years to come.
Help Wrapping Presents
Wrapping presents, especially if you have a lot, can be tedious and time consuming. You could often just do with an extra pair of hands, even if it is just to hold the wrapping in place whilst you have your tenth attempt at finding the end of the sticky tape. Granted really young children might be more of a hindrance than a help but there is a lot the older ones can do to help. Some might be able to wrap some entirely for you. Obviously not their own presents – that unfortunately is down to us solely!
With Christmas comes the inevitable onslaught of more and more toys, books and DVDs to accommodate. With larger families already bursting at the seams it’s hard to find a place to store these new arrivals. Get the children to sort out the toys and books that no longer hold their interest. A year can be a long time in a child’s life and there are probably many presents that were given last year that they have already grown out of. Any toys that are in good condition and working order can go to the charity shops. There may even be ones that were never opened; these can be donated to charities where they give presents to under privileged children. This exercise will clear much needed space for Christmas and also present an opportunity for children to realise that giving to charities is worthwhile.
Writing mountains of Christmas cards can feel like never ending task, so get the kids involved! Have a mini production line -one to select the card, one to write the card, another to write the address. It will make much lighter work of this task. This task can also improve your child’s writing skills and presents friends and family members with an opportunity to see the improvements made in your children’s writing skills!
Remember Christmas is a special time for children but adults need help too and if everyone gets their hands a bit dirty it can help with the work load, and create an extra sense of family cohesion for the festive season too.