Friday, December 5, 2014

Ten ways to get your kids into the Christmas spirit!

'Tis the season to be jolly but do you find the winter blues setting in and getting your kids into a blue funk instead? Maybe it's getting out of that warm, cozy quilt to deal with a school run in the biting chill of early morning; surly teachers (not so happy to be out of bed themselves); or a general winter melancholy that's bugging them, but if you find your kids not so revved up to bring on the Christmas cheer, here are ten sure shot ways to get them right back and rocking into the Xmas spirit! For some real fun leading up to the holidays, try these ten days before Christmas as a sort of Christmas Countdown and they'll be giving Santa a run for his ho-ho-ho's!



Day Ten: Bring home the tree!

That's right, its time to get the great outdoors in (and in this case, since its Christmas, plastic trees qualify too ;))! There's nothing that gets the Xmas-sy mood going like decking up your home with a beautiful Christmas tree. From the real deal to artificial trees, there's a whole host of options out there to suit every budget and living space. To get your kids into the swing of things, get in a bare tree and get your kids to help with the decorations. The range of Christmas baubles available nowadays from fake snowflakes to feather birds to glitter stockings can beat the meanest winter funk and you can add to the fun by making your own decorations.

When Nikki was two years old we brought home our first  tree to introduce her to the joys of Christmas. Unfortunately, we left the bag of baubles we'd also bought back at the store and by the time we got home it was too late to go back to get it, so we just decided to go to the store the next morning. We needn't have worried, since Nikki had already figured out a way to get her tree decked with some customized décor! Very soon pretty much all of her small sized soft toys were hanging up on the tree, along with her socks, cardboard glitter stars, real candy (who needs plastic when you can have the real deal?), cotton snow and some leftover birthday streamers (along with a party hat thrown in for good measure). I'd never seen a tree before with Tweety Bird, Minnie Mouse, toy giraffes, monkeys and snails vying for attention with giant cotton balls and Alpenliebe lollipops but it sure was one good looking tree and unlike any I'd ever seen before! This has become a sort of Christmas tradition with us; we put up our tree every year about ten days before Christmas and Nikki lets her imagination rip! This year Mister Cube will probably add his own touches to it as well :)

So bring in your tree and let the kids style it their way!

Day Nine: Plan an X-mas playdate!

What better way to get your kids into the Christmas groove than getting together with some friends to bake and decorate some Christmas cookies while listening to some croon-some Christmas carols (Rudolph the Reindeer & Jingle Bells are on a loop at ours when Xmas rolls around) and sipping on some hot chocolate? And the mums can kick back over some mulled wine as well! You can even throw open your tree to your child's friends and make the tree décor project a joint one. This is a great way to get both younger and older kids into the holiday spirit; just vary the level of cookie baking depending on your child's age. For younger kids it could be as simple as dipping Marie biscuits into some melted chocolate, letting them sit in the fridge for a while and decorating with sprinkles; and for the older lot you can go all out with the kind of cookies you want to bake and decorate. After all who doesn't like a fresh, warm cookie straight out of the oven, no matter how old they are?!

Day Eight: Write a letter to Santa!

Santa may just be a fat man in a red suit to us jaded old grown ups, but for a child there's something magical about Christmas because it has Santa right at its heart! So introduce your kids to the magic of Santa if you haven't already and better yet, get them to write him a letter. It doesn't have to be about gifts if you're not into the 'gifts for Christmas' scene; they can just write Santa a letter telling them all about themselves ( a brilliant way to get the pre-schoolers interested in reading and writing also!). And you can tell them all about Santa and his magical life at the North Pole in turn; his little helpers, the Christmas tradition of bringing gifts to all the good little boys and girls, the reindeers that help him navigate the snowy night before Christmas to deliver gifts through your chimney- no less! Yes I know, I'm a sucker for the Xmas razzmatazz! I even have a visit to the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi on my bucket list- for the kids, but naturally!

And if, like me, you love the whole gifts under the Christmas tree scene, you can get your kids to write to Santa asking for what they would like and why they think they deserve it. Nikki decides her gift at the start of each year (or maybe right after she's got her Christmas gift for the year!) and looks forward and works towards it (Santa gives gifts only to good little boys and girls remember?) all year long. The much awaited letter writing happens at the start of December, followed by a grand letter posting ceremony. The thrill of anticipation is only surpassed by the excitement of seeing that brightly wrapped package under the tree on Christmas morning and knowing that Santa had been there! I've found its a great way to get her to decide in advance what gift she'd really like to have, work towards it and patiently wait for it before she actually gets to own it. And the letter writing bit, explaining how and why she really, really deserves to have her gift is one fun ride I wouldn't miss for anything :)

For older kids who've outgrown Santa (sob!), you can rope them in to play Santa for their younger friends and siblings. One mom I know gets her circle of friends to pool in hundred rupees or less each and has her fifteen year old son and his friends buy gifts (each not exceeding hundred rupees) for her younger five year old and her gang of friends. The older lot have great fun playing Santa (they even get into the act by dressing up as Santa) and the younger lot get Santa and his goodies!

Day Seven: Make this Xmas about giving

In line with the Santa spirit, how about getting Santa into the lives of the underprivileged this year? Organize a giveaway drive among your friends and family to give away old clothes, books, blankets or toys- several of the things we often don't need, don't know what to do with and sometimes dispose of mindlessly; and give them to people who can use them -orphanages, slums, schools for the underprivileged. Get your children to gift one toy at Christmas this year- it could be that much loved teddy that nobody plays with anymore or that book that's still in great shape but hasn't been read in forever, wrap it up and let your child play 'Secret Santa' to another child who'd only be too happy to have his/ her toy or book. Just make sure the things you give are in good shape; it's going to be another child's Christmas gift after all!

Day Six: Make it an X'mas Movie Night!

From 'The Muppet Christmas Carol' to 'Miracle on 34th Street' there's a whole host of options out there to rock your Christmas movie night.

Image Courtesy: www.filmoria.co.uk

Our personal favourite suited to our little munchkins (ages 5 and below) is the Original Christmas Classics collection which includes all the faves like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and The Little Drummer Boy, to name a few. And my personal favourite part about Christmas (since Santa doesn't bring me any gifts, sniff) is curling up on the couch with popcorn, pizza and eggnog and reliving my childhood by enjoying these all time Christmas classics with P and my two little dumplings.

Day Five: Discover Christmas through books!

Now that you've watched and enjoyed movie night, get into the Christmas cheer the bookish way! Books like The Night Before Christmas and The Joy of Giving (Berenstain Bears) probably need no introduction, but in these parts the resident five year old prefers Fancy Nancy (we're on a Fancy Nancy spree at the moment) with her Splendiferous Christmas. My personal all time favourite though has to be The Elf on The Shelf! Not only is the elf great fun, you can also take his invaluable assistance in getting your kids to bee-have, and if used wisely and well, all year long ;)

Image Courtesy: www.amazon.com
Day Four: Make it a crafty Christmas!

Christmas means holidays and holidays have little creatures twiddling their thumbs all day long with their favourite 'Mom, I'm soo bored' expression always on express display. If you need a way to pre-empt this ( and also keep aforementioned little c's out of your hair), get them busy with some X'mas art and craft! From handprint reindeers to pom pom ornaments (which can be used for your tree!) you can get your dose of crafty inspiration on Pinterest- or just Google your way into Christmas craft heaven! For our holidays this year, I'm just going to go through the awesome list of  Christmas collages over at Artsy Craftsy Mom.

Image Courtesy: artsycraftsymom.com
Day Three: Cook up some Christmas cheer!

You can't have a list all about Christmas and not talk about all that scrummylicious Christmassy food out there! From divine, melt in your mouth mince pies, edible gingerbread houses (I just saw some last week at a Thanksgiving party), crumbling with flavour Christmas cakes and oh, how can I leave out pudding- Christmas can be a foodie's heaven! Why not try cooking up a Christmas storm in your kitchen this year with your little ones, with this easy chocolate cupcake recipe from BBC GoodFood. I can personally vouch, that if made right, these cupcakes are to die for- and they can be a perfect addition to your Christmas playdate or tree decorating party or even a great Christmas gift for friends!


Image Courtesy: bbc.co.k

Day Two: Hit the malls!

Yes, that's right- I haven't gone off my rocker and started writing a whole new list here- hitting the malls IS a great way to bring on that Christmas spirit! Just hop over to the nearest mall and you'll know what I'm taking about. From snow flakes to glittering Christmas décor, indoor sleigh rides for kids to cookie baking workshops, malls these days are taking Christmas festivities to an all new level. And they have friendly mall based Santas too, who are only to happy to pose with your kids for that Christmas selfie and note down requests for last minute 'must-have' gifts! A trip to the neighbourhood mall is guaranteed to get your kids into the festive spirit while taking in the visual treats most malls put up on display as Christmas décor. They usually also have fun activities, workshops and Christmas bazaars around this time with a lot of stuff for kids to do. Oh, and you can get in some last minute Christmas shopping done as well since you're at the mall anyway (maybe just leave the husband out for this particular activity ;))!

Day One: A Karan Johar-esque X'mas

Because, like the man said, it really is all about the family! Christmas is about spending time with your near and dear ones so get your loved ones together for a meal or a movie and focus on spending time together as a family. Bond over your favourite activity as a family and relish the time together. It will make the holiday season that much more special and make for some wonderful festive memories over the years. And- more of a note to not-so-trigger-happy self- don't forget to take pictures!

Day Zero: The Day before Christmas!

Finally, its the night before Christmas and hopefully by now your kids are full of Christmas cheer and festive spirit! The night before Christmas don't forget to set out some cookies and hot chocolate for Santa (Yes, he prefers hot chocolate over milk- all that riding through the snow, don't you know) and drape some fairy lights over your Christmas tree for some extra cheer.

You're now all set to enjoy the big day when Christmas finally rolls around! Enjoy the holiday unwinding over some good food and great company. We're lucky to have friends with whom we go for midnight Mass every year at their local church and all the kids always have a great time. This is usually followed by a long, lazy Christmas brunch and a stroll around the neighbourhood to look at all the beautifully decorated churches. And when the day finally ends, it is with the anticipation of looking forward to bringing in the New Year with more good times to come!

Wait! That’s not it, we have a Christmas Bonanza – Online party happening!!
Come join a set of fabulous bloggers sharing their Christmas moments - Easy Holiday Crafts, DIY ideas, Recipes , Decor ideas and book recommendations with you.
http://www.artsycraftsymom.com/?p=4396


Starting from today till Christmas and beyond, each one of us will be writing a post related to Christmas.
Participating blogs
ArtsyCraftsyMom - munniofalltrades - hfareensspace - roohiscollections - hellomommyhood - attachedmoms - totschooltotallyawesome - Themomviews - bumpsnbaby.com -
rugsoflife - oneandahalfminutes - shishuworld - ruskandtea - aspoonfullofideas - orangekitchens - obsessivemom - rachnaparmar - parentingmantras -
onboardthemommyship - kwikdekoblog - thekeybunch - momzspace - whatscookingmom - coloursdekor - happypeopleevents - fantastic-feathers - beingzoesmom

So sit back, relax and check out all the fabulous Christmas Bonanza posts from our participating blogs in the linky. Support us by sharing our posts using the hash tag #ChristmasBonanza


This Linky is for participating blogs only, but We would love to see your Christmas Crafts too. Come and link up your Christmas post at ArtsyCraftsyMom.com



Post a Comment