As Christmas gets closer and we find ourselves focussing on meeting end of year work deadlines and battling maddening crowds at the shopping centres, it's easy to forget that innocent stoke we felt for Christmas time when we were kids. With this in mind, here's some ideas on how to get your family's Christmas froth beard on.
- Christmas Pageants!
Get involved! Why not throw on a Christmassy shirt or dress, or go next level and go in full costume. Our boys really enjoyed giving all the kids marching in the parade high 5's and wishing them a Merry Christmas. A word of warning though, the kids all walked away with around 2 kilograms of lollies thrown into the crowd.
2. Christmas Lights!
This year our 10 and 11 year old had to be convinced to get into the car to check out the local Christmas lights (they've hit that too cool age). That quickly evaporated after a few stunning displays, and they too found themselves in the Christmas spirit. Seeing the joy in the kids faces as they're illuminated by the bright displays certainly helps us parents forget the stresses of the Christmas period too. Throw on a Spotify Christmas mix to further enhance the atmosphere... which leads to our next tip.
- Christmas tunes!
Yep, we'll all be sick of them again shortly, but its not Christmas till you've heard the same old Christmas tunes on replay down at your local shopping centre. I may have even developed a bit of a facial tic in an old government job where they played a 12 track Christmas CD over the PA system on repeat for a 10 hour shift..... Every day in December. But the joy of streaming music apps is that now there a mix for everyone. We've listened to the classics, rock Christmas tunes, pop Christmas tunes, 80's synth band Christmas tunes, we even put up the tree to a Heavy Metal Christmas tune mix (that was one of those mistakes we just rolled with).
- Christmas Trees!
What better way to get the kids Christmas cheer (and creative flare) cranking than letting them go all Jackson Pollock on the Christmas tree decorations. Relax with a glass of wine, let the kids play rock, paper scissors to decide who places the star, and know that you can tidy it all up once they go to sleep. For the rest of the season, enjoy the constant reminder that its Christmas time as your toddlers are drawn to the decorations, your cat knocks it over and you find Christmas tree "leaves" in all corners of the house.
Is Christmas complete without the obligatory visit to a shopping centre Santa for the obligatory yearly photo? Your ears will get a break as the kids chew someone else's ear off about what they want for Christmas, and you'll get that yearly comparison pic that'll be back to haunt them all through their teenage years.
Seriously speaking though, these were all the things I remember about the lead up to Christmas when I was a kid, with excitement that culminated on a Christmas Eve of very little sleep. Now we just want our kids to have the same Nostalgia and memories of Christmas. While we're blessed to have such fond memories, and excited to be creating new ones, it can be a tough time of year for many. In that, above all of these points, I believe the best way to get into the Christmas cheer is to share it. Wish a stranger a Merry Christmas. Let someone into traffic with a friendly wave. And if you can help out someone less fortunate, jump at the chance. And what better gift for your kids than showing them the joy that charity can bring.