Taken from guest blog by Kathryn – Selby, Tadcaster and Goole (STAG) Mumbler
We know when Christmas is fast approaching how busy and challenging it can be for many parents and carers. Perhaps some of these things are going through your mind as you read this….
Who’s coming for Christmas this year? Will anyone be allowed to come? Who do I need to buy for? What do I buy them? Where can we hide all the presents? Should we send cards or do charitable donations? Adopt a donkey?!
We’ve put together our ‘12 Days of Christmas Top Tips‘ to give you some fun festive ideas and tips to prepare ahead of time before things get too hectic, to help make Christmastime that little extra special and a little less stressful!
1. Kid’s Tree: If you like the main tree to look extra special (i.e. done by you to your high standards!), why not buy a baby tree for the children to decorate themselves and then they can have their very own special tree.
2. Playlist: Spend an evening choosing all of your favourite family Christmas songs and make a CD/playlist all ready for putting up the decorations and for Christmas Day.
3. Book: Buy a Christmas book, or maybe even a personalised Christmas book online (where you can insert family names in the story). Sit down and read it as a family. Write a little message inside and then read the same book every year, always adding a little note in it from that year. The book can then be passed down the family tree. Imagine reading the same book you knew your grandparents had read to your parents each Christmas Eve and reading their memories and imagining what it was like for them.
4. Yummy Treats:If you’re planning on spending some time baking with the kids over Christmas, you could have a few early practice runs to find your favourite easy recipes, with the least mess! You could have a running competition for the Christmas Star Baker, and could give a few yummy festive treats as presents when Christmas comes.
5. Notebook:You know that feeling when the children rip open all their presents and you suddenly panic….’How will we send thank you’s when I have no idea who bought them what!?’ Create a Christmas notebook, as each present is opened, make a little note of who bought it and it will make those thank you cards a whole lot easier. If you use the same book each year, it would be lovely looking back as the children grow up and you’ll be able to reminisce over all the gifts they received ‘From Santa’ and family over the years.
6. Scavenger Hunt: Christmas morning can often end up with little ones ripping open all their presents in a matter of minutes, challenging if you were hoping this would take all morning. Why not create a little treasure hunt. This will keep the children busy as they go off in search of their presents and include time gaps in the clues, e.g, play with this toy and at 11am, go to x where you you’ll find x’. It could keep them busy all day!
7. Movie night: Find some good films to choose from for a special Christmas movie night, so there’s less scrolling through menus or family debates and you can make a night of it by snuggling up in your favourite PJ’s with popcorn, pillows, duvets, fairy lights or candles.
8. Photos:Christmas is a great time for taking family photos, but not everyone likes to pose. Make it more fun with this little game. Get everyone to write a series of poses, animals or celebrities etc on a piece of paper and put them in a bowl. Take it in turns to pull out the paper, strike a pose to match the paper and let everyone guess who or what you are. Nominate someone to be on standby with a camera for each one and you’re guaranteed to get some great and no doubt very funny pics.
9. Christmas Trail:On Christmas Eve wrap up nice and warm and go for a walk round your neighbourhood looking for the best decorated homes and gardens. You could even take a few treats to enjoy and a flask of hot chocolate. Join the Gateshead Christmas Trail to find out which streets near you are taking part to help make sure there’s plenty to see.
10. Surprise wrap!:On Christmas Eve, just before you go up to bed, tape a large piece of Christmas wrapping paper over the door and in the morning the children will have to burst through the paper to see if Santa has been. Just make sure you have enough wrapping paper to have some spare after the presents are taken care of.
11. Memory jar:This has been the year of home craft projects! If among other things you’ve made a memory jar, get it out on New Year’s Eve and read through as a family. Turn it into a tradition by a decorating a memory jar to use throughout 2021, then on New Years Eve place it somewhere handy with a stack of little pieces of paper and a pen. Throughout the year when you do something special, someone in the family has something to celebrate etc, make a note of it and pop it in the jar. On NYE 2021, you’ll be able to reminisce over the wonderful memories you made together in 2021.
12. Me time!:Don’t forget that Christmas is for grown ups too, so make sure you enjoy all the festivities just as much as your Mini Mumblers, and make some time to relax. Stock up on some pamper products and favourite treats to make the most of whatever quiet time you have!
Wishing all of our wonderful Mumblers and their families, a super special Christmas and amazing New Year.
Thanks so much to our guest blogger Kathryn. If you have family or friends in Selby, Tadcaster and Goole be sure to let them know about the STAG Mumbler website.