As hard as it is to believe after the events of this year, Christmas is around the corner. It’s likely to look a bit different this year but there’s no avoiding it – it’s on the telly, social media and in the supermarkets. But for parents it can be a stressful time. Surely there must be a way to make it easier?
As a parent with small children, getting the balance between it being a magical time of the year and working so hard that you’re frazzled on the big day can be a fine line. Read on for just a few top tips to help make Christmas easy this year.
Tip 1: It’s about being together, not Instagram
We all know it, but try not to compare your family to the celebrities on Instagram. It’s their job to look amazing, but in the process it can make us all feel a little imperfect. Try not to compare the day you are having to them – switch off social media for a day and get social with your family instead.
Whether we can see our relatives or not, a video chat or a phone call is enough – it’s about keeping in touch. And expect there will be tears before bedtime. There’s so much hype about the big day that it can overwhelm small children (not to mention their parents!). Just try to take the day a step at a time, and when the kids are in bed, leave the washing up until Boxing Day. Put your feet up, pop the telly on and enjoy some well-earned me time.
Tip 2: Make your own cards
Speaking of keeping in touch, how about making hand print cards or letting the little ones loose with paints, stickers and glitter. Pop them in the post in plenty of time and spread a bit of Christmas cheer. They don’t have to be works of art, just made with love.
Tip 3: Christmas dinner
Icing, chocolate, cranberry sauce, gravy… The possibilities for mess are endless through the festive period. Especially if you’re able to visit family, think ahead about how to keep the mess to a minimum. A bib with sleeves or splash mat for the floor can make all the difference when a beaker of milk crashes to the ground, or your child is checking whether gravity is still working with their spoon.
Tip 4: Make the most of the mid-morning lull
There’s that strange, empty space mid-morning on Christmas day. The presents have been opened, it’s not time for lunch and everyone is already worn out by all the excitement.
If you’re cooking, plan ahead and peel the veggies the night before. Write a list of what has to go in the oven and when so that, when the mid-morning lull arrives, you can let the children potter with their new toys, and you can pop a film on, and sit down with a cup of tea and breathe. After all, it’s your Christmas too.
Wherever you’re spending Christmas, we hope it’s full of happy faces and cuddles. After all, that’s the real magic of Christmas.