Christmas All Wrapped Up!
While we can’t guarantee to sort everything out for you, our Family247 Christmas pages will be packed full of great ideas for creating a magic yuletide for everyone – and that means parents too! As well as inspiration for gifts, we’ve got top tips for staying on budget, keeping the house clean and tidy, saying no to stress and a selection fabulous recipes. So read on and enjoy loads of wonderful, festive family fun!
With the right inspiration, you can keep Christmas fatigue down to a minimum. Sometimes we try too hard to create a special Christmas, when the answer is right under our noses the whole time. After all, Christmas spirit can’t be bought in the shops and doesn’t take 100 hours to create. All it needs is a sense of fun and a little imagination.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
In the run up to Christmas
Make a ritual out of advent calendars. On the count of three, everyone has to open the door at the same time while making an ‘angels singing’ sound effect (“Laaa!”)
Get kids to make their own wrapping paper by buying a roll of brown paper and letting them loose with pens, paints, stamps or stickers. They’ll love getting creative, and the personal touch will make everyone’s gifts extra special.
On Christmas Eve
Make reindeer food out of oats or carrots, with a bit of glitter mixed in. Let the kids put it in a bowl under the tree, then secretly tip it out once they’ve gone to bed, so in the morning the bowl is empty.
Make ‘Santa’s footprints’ with icing sugar or flour, by cutting out the shape of shoe using a grown-up shoe or boot as a stencil. Easy to do, easy to clear up and magic for kids.
Cover the door to your living room in wrapping paper. On Christmas morning, kids will have huge fun tearing their way in.
On Christmas Day
Have fun with your food. Decorate a dish of mashed potato with a smiley brussels sprout face or break chocolate coins (with the metal wrapper taken off) in half and add ‘shark fins’ to the trifle.
For children just learning their letters, write gift tags with the initial instead of the full name, for example ‘M’ for mummy. Then make a game of matching the present to the person.
Arrange for Santa to bring everyone an inexpensive musical instrument. Then get your mini orchestra to play and sing something together every time they want to unwrap another present.
The art of anticipation
We all know that half the fun of an event is the days and weeks leading up to it, and Christmas is no different. Set aside time for some fun activities to celebrate the build-up to Christmas and you’ll stay in the mood right up until New Year.
Five Fun festive family things to do in December
- Go ice skating
- Sing carols
- Watch a classic Christmas movie
- Roast some chestnuts
- Wrap presents together
The glow of Christmas past
A big part of Christmas magic is nostalgia, and doing something that connects our present with happy memories. So as well as concentrating on things the kids want to do, make sure you indulge your own Christmas associations, and one day they’ll bring back happy memories for your kids too.
Something for you
When mum feels festive, it’s definitely contagious. So don’t forget to make time for all those little things that get you in the Christmas mood.
5 ways to find your Christmas mood
- Set a festive email signature.
- Treat yourself to seasonal flowers such as a Poinsettia, Mary Barnard Iris or Christmas roses.
- Embrace earmuffs and mittens.
- Listen to Christmas songs you actually enjoy -our faves include Fairytale of New York, Stop the Cavalry and a bit of Stay by East17!
- Add a dusting of cinnamon to ‘Christmas-up’ everyday foods (like yogurt). Yum.