So many people get stressed out over Christmas, it’s important to reduce that load so everyone enjoys it more, especially in the festive run up with Christmas preparation. This year might be very different and smaller events, but there may be different stresses in trying to ensure family elsewhere also enjoy themselves and have what they need.
In some families, the main responsibility falls to the same person every year. Whether because they’ve always done it, or that’s how it worked in their family growing up and they’ve taken on ownership. Or that one parent isn’t as fussed as the other at making Christmas really special with lots of traditions.
Let’s try and get the load spread. It doesn’t have to be just one parent doing all the work. It’s time to share out the jobs and reduce the stress on one person.
In our house, over the years it’s been a mixed bag. When we’ve hosted, it’s depended on who’s around to prep the day before. Pre child, I always used to work right up on Christmas eve because we were usually able to leave at lunchtime, but if you’d taken the day as leave, it was a full day of leave lost. Because we usually go out for a big family meal on Christmas eve, our Christmas lunch prep is done the afternoon before. So whoever’s at home will do it. In the past the OH would sometimes do it, but now my work is closed for a week at Christmas, and I usually book off most of the school holidays from work. So I do the majority of the Christmas preparations.
Christmas lunch is usually a meal with a bit of help. My mother in law usually provides the sausagemeat stuffing, chestnut sauce and bread sauce for the various houses in the family if we want it. She makes a stack of Christmas puddings too although I make a dessert alternative as my brother and I don’t like it). Other times we might go to my sister in law’s house and I’ll take a dessert, and cheese and biscuits.
Wherever you are for Christmas, I reckon there’s plenty children can help with. After all, they’ll end up doing Christmas in future when they’re grown up, and you can never start helping out and learning too young. Get them involved, and they might be appreciative of the work that goes into it as they grow up.
Obviously help will vary depending on the child’s age. But you can adapt to their age and what support they’ll need to do the job. There’s no point trying to spread the work out if you spend all the time helping them to help you!
Christmas preparation children can do
- Making decorations – think paper chains, stringing popcorn, salt dough
- Tidying up their stuff
- Sorting out old toys
- Decorate cookies and cakes
- Collecting nature finds to make table decorations.
School age children
- Making decorations
- Put up the Christmas tree and help decorate
- Dusting, vacuuming
- Setting the table
- Peeling and chopping vegetables – set up a production line
- Tidying up
- Help sort old clothes and toys for the charity shop or recycling
- Upcycle an old jumper to make a personalised Christmas jumpers
- Divvy up the Christmas card writing – or get them to design the family card
- Wrapping presents
- Ask them for gift ideas for other people (they could even do the fact finding online)
- Get them on the bar – doing the soft drinks, they could even create a mocktail
- Choose the Christmas playlist
Obviously you want children to enjoy being children and the magic of Christmas, but if everyone helps with their little bit, the organisation can happy much more effortlessly and faster.
What do your children help with over the holiday period?
This post is part of Blogmas. Here’s the last 5 days’ posts.