Whether you and your family enjoy the Christmas evenings huddled up on the sofa or you prefer daytime activities, there is much to do and plenty to enjoy during the month of December. In the lead up to Christmas, Christmas day itself, and the days after it, the time is usually filled with joy, but you will also have a lot to prepare. Here are some tips to help you along.
Prepare the Troops
Unless you plan on being stuck in the kitchen the whole time cooking up meals and topping up drinks, it’s time to get the troops (that’s the parents and the kids) up to speed on the art of Christmas delegation.
For the kids, let them earn points towards something they want – or real money if that’s what they prefer – to get them involved. If you don’t believe in doing so, then find other non-monetary ways to motivate them to help out. Believe us, when everyone is helping you, it lightens the load considerably.
Plan for Your Guests
Whether you have occasional guests coming such as friends, family, neighbors or your children’s friends who they have invited over without warning, it pays to plan ahead.
Think about whether you’ll have enough snacks, drinks or other items necessary for their visit. Is there enough seating for this many family members visiting at once? Should the layout of the lounge be changed to focus on people talking with each other while the TV is turned off or will it all be oriented towards the TV set?
Is it possible – or necessary – to create two distinct areas; one for people who want to watch all the Christmas TV shows and movies and a second area for people who just wish to talk? This is the best of both worlds if the lounge is big enough to provide both options.
While you’re thinking about the lounge and floor plans, is it designed optimally? Has the furniture seen better days or does the décor require a makeover to bring it up to modern times? Sites like Fishpools have some useful articles to help with interior design and making updates. They also have suggestions on how to prepare your home for the festive season which are worth taking a look at too.
Going Out to See the Christmas Lights
There are usually local Christmas lights nearby in your community, but also larger light displays with enormous Christmas trees in the nearest major city. While it’s easiest to just see them on a large screen TV, the truth is that it’s much more impressive to see in person. That goes for whether you’re a parent who still enjoys the festivities around Christmas time or a little kid who still finds Christmas magical even if they know Santa Claus doesn’t really exist anymore and they’ve never quite gotten over it.
Some of the largest retail shops put up the most impressive Christmas trees. However, the streets with lines of retail shops thin out in the evening with trees decked out in Christmas lights as far as the eye can see.
Toasting/Roasting Marshmallows Over a Fire
Toasting or roasting marshmallows over the fire is a tradition in some parts. It’s certainly fun for all members of the family to enjoy. Most homes don’t have an active fireplace these days, so parents have to get creative. A barbeque with hot charcoal is going to provide enough heat and flames to be ideal to roast some marshmallows with parents guiding kids who want to do it themselves.
Obviously, with kids involved, parents may want to do the preparation work themselves. Look for a spot over the fire that has been allowed to get cooler for a while as marshmallows cook almost instantly. When placing the stick over the fire, rotate it almost continually as they cook in only 15-25 seconds depending on the heat level. Then pull the stick from over the fire and place it on a china plate to cool down.
Along with eating marshmallows plain, you can also add some melted chocolate sauce or go All-American by trying to create some S’mores (see the link above).
Creating a Treasure Hunt for Little Kids
You could also create a mini treasure hunt for the kids to play. It could be indoors, but you could also include the garden, the park and other areas to hide little items for them to find. Come up with some fun ideas that your children will get a kick out of. Prepare different clues with varying levels of difficulty for kids of different ages.
For Christmas and the holiday season, while it’s a busy time for everyone, it’s not too difficult to make it fun for all the family too. It brings the family together at this important time and makes it feel all the more special too.