Dec 14 , 2021
Do you also dream of a calm and cozy holiday season? Well, all parents do!
How do you reduce family stress during the festive season, and even better, how do you create happy memories with your children? Most of the time, the holiday season is a great opportunity for parents, grandparents, and friends to try some engaging activities with the little ones. This is a chance to create lasting memories and have fun together. Despite our good intentions, children often find something else to do. So, how can we keep them engaged in the holiday spirit and have a quiet, fun, and happy holiday season? Here are some tips to keep the joy and excitement in the air this holiday season.
1. Managing family expectations
Usually, December is a month full of family gatherings, work parties, and school festivities. So, to prevent holiday burn-out and have a stress-free season, try saying “No” to invitations. Explain to them why this is important to you and your children. Not all children enjoy these kinds of gatherings and, for some, it costs a huge amount of energy and brings a lot of stress too. Choose more joy and less stress this Christmas.
2. All children want for Christmas is YOU
Since it has been a challenging year for everybody, we forget that children value family time above all else. We can even say that for some of our children, this lockdown was the best time spent within the family, playing more and enjoying each other.
3. Children prefer playing with household items over tablets/phones or pricey toys
So, don’t worry about getting the best gifts. Be the best gift by involving your little one in the making of the festivities. You can do activities like baking, making decorations, cleaning, or just a tissue box, baking tray, or water bottles for the little ones. So, get creative, spark your toddler’s imagination and create a special bond this time of the year.
4. Practical and Montessori Inspired: Homemade gifts!
It’s a simple act of kindness that you and your family members can make while spending time together. Homemade gifts are special and can become a family tradition, while children have the opportunity for practical life activities (homemade cookies, DIY greeting cards, dried orange slices as tree ornaments).
5. Montessori tree decoration activity
While this can sound complicated, you only need a tree (child-size or smaller), a basket with tree ornaments (child-proof, homemade are even better), and your child, of course. Use a battery-operated light set to be safe for the toddler. This is a great fine-motor activity to put and remove the ornaments from the tree.
6. The Christmas Story
Dive into the magic of Christmas with a story about the origin of Santa Claus (Saint Nicholas) and the true spirit of Christmas that everyone can carry forever in their hearts, no matter if you choose to tell the truth about Santa or not. The “magic” of Santa can be seen as the spirit of giving, kindness, and generosity, which we should carry as adults too. Let them decide if they want to see Santa or not, don’t force it.
7. Homemade advent calendar
Tips: if you have toddlers who can’t wait for each day of the calendar, just put the surprise in that day’s pocket, than filling them all from the start. You can even make a 25 Montessori tips calendar. To make it even easier, you can use a box, gift wrapping box preferred, where your children can open every day and find a Christmas-themed activity to do that day. It can be from decorating the house, decorating the tree, baking cookies, Christmas movie night to family pajama night/evening, making greeting cards, etc.
Just remember to plan for the holiday YOU wish to ENJOY. Focus on the family traditions, keep it simple and find the magic.