The Countdown to Christmas – How to Make it Run Smoothly for All
The countdown to Christmas is an exciting time for all of us. Advent, traditionally beginning on the 1st December, is also a great opportunity for learning about the meaning of Christmas, as well as different cultural takes on the season.
However, the countdown to Christmas can become stressful – children can become over-excited, parents may be anxious about family commitments and financial obligations on the lead up to the big day, and all of this may end up making the lead up to Christmas a fraught experience, rather than the happy and exciting one it should be.
So how can you make the countdown to Christmas a relaxing and enjoyable one – as well as being fun for the kids? This list should be useful for nannies, childminders, babysitters and parents alike.
Shop in advance
Try to do the majority of your Christmas shopping in the months before December. This will leave you far more time to spend enjoying the lead up to the big day, rather than panicking about present buying. Although be sure to stash gifts where curious small people won’t find them! You can also encourage children to make gifts for one another in the lead up to Christmas.
Get creative with the kids
The countdown to Christmas is a great opportunity to get creative with the children. From making Christmas cards for friends and relatives, to using all manner of mediums to create beautiful Christmas decorations to treasure forever, there will never be a better time to indulge your crafty side with the little ones. You don’t need much to make lovely decorations – simple salt dough shapes decorated with cheap acrylic paints and glitter make a lovely addition to the Christmas tree. Christmas baking can also be a wonderful way to spend an hour on a rainy December afternoon – and home made biscuits, mince pies and sweets make great Christmas gifts!
Cook in advance
There are several parts of Christmas dinner that you can pre-prepare a few days in advance in order to make Christmas Day easier – and, of course, to give you more time playing with the children and less time chained to the stove! Stuffing can be pre-prepared and frozen, and you can even pre-peel and chop your potatoes the night before – just make sure you put them in a lidded pan or bucket and cover them in cold water.
Take advantage of local Christmas events
Your town will likely have a whole host of exciting things happening on the lead up to Christmas. Carol services, craft sessions, Christmas fetes and fayres can all be a great opportunity to get the children out of the house to burn off some of that excited energy! Charity tabletop sales are also very common at Christmas time, and give children a chance to choose gifts for their families without too much (if any) adult input.