Written by Devie Parenting Coach, guest contributor at myTamarin
Every day, we inch ever closer to the most wonderful time of the year: Christmastime! It’s a day of feasting, gift-giving, and family appreciation; a day like no other when it comes to really appreciating the lives that you and your family get to live.
Of course, Christmas, like so many other events and celebrations this year, is going to look just a bit different. With so many places around the UK, including London, placed solidly within tier 4 of COVID-19 restrictions, any meals with extended family or in-person Christmas shopping extravaganzas are likely on hold for the time being.
Not to worry, though – this Christmas can still be one of the most special yet for you and your family! There are plenty of ways to keep your little ones in the joyful Christmas spirit this year while staying well within the appropriate rules and restrictions. If you’re not quite sure where to start, read on for our guide on how to make the most of Christmas at home this year!
1. Focus on feeling thankful
On an average Christmas, it can be easy to lose sight of what makes the holidays truly special: the feelings of love and togetherness that bring us all closer. This year more than ever, it’s essential that those feelings be front and center! Check in with the rest of your family and remind everyone of all the good things that have happened this year. Have you all managed to stay healthy? Did anyone pick up a new hobby or skill that they enjoy?
To help get the entire family get in on this, try ‘catching’ positive things that happen in the days leading up to Christmas. If your little one folds the laundry with you, for example, be sure to praise them accordingly: ‘I noticed that you’re helping me! Thank you so much. You’re doing so well!’ Comments like this will help them not only center feelings of thankfulness during this time of year, but will also instill within them the idea that helping out is a positive attention-grabber!
2. Virtually visit those you’re missing
Although COVID-19 means that we all must stay at home up to and including the 25th December, this doesn’t mean that you can’t spend your holidays together! Instead of going round to everyone’s individual homes this year, why not try setting up virtual Christmastime calls with all those you love? You could even have each call take place in a different decorated room or spot outside and have your little ones ‘visit’ various places as they talk with different family members and friends. For example, the kitchen could become ‘nana’s house’, the living room could become ‘auntie’s house’, and so on!
This is not only good for your children, but also for those they’re connecting with outside the home – everyone could use an extra dose of Christmas cheer this season, and personal time spent with a beloved family member can make any holiday oh-so-sweet.
3. Experiment with the ‘4-gift’ rule
You may or may not be familiar with this quick rule of thumb for buying meaningful gifts. Instead of spending money on loads of trinkets, buy:
- Something they want.
- Something they need.
- Something to wear.
- Something to read.
The great thing about this idea is that it’s easy to remember and can easily be accomplished via online shopping. These four gifts make for a well-rounded holiday haul, and even if your child doesn’t initially fawn over a needed item like special supplies for school or a new pair of fuzzy socks, they’ll certainly appreciate those things when it comes time for them to be used! You can, of course, adapt this rule to your family’s needs – if your child’s not a huge reader, for example, you can buy a copy of a film you think they might like.
When it comes to the little ones especially, gifts from Christmases past can really pile up, especially if your child outgrows them or loses interest after just a few months. That’s why it’s important to choose your gifts wisely. Pick toys that will last a long while, like sturdy Legos, and presents that can help with your child’s development. Toy cars and dolls are always great for inducing pretend play and instilling independence, while puzzles and stacking toys help stretch your child’s problem-solving and motor skills!
4. Space out your gift-giving
Everyone loves the rush of opening all their presents as quickly as possible on Christmas day, but afterwards, the rest of the day can feel a bit anticlimactic, especially for really little ones! To keep the Christmas joy going, try giving your child one gift in the morning and spacing out the rest at various points during the day. That way, they might just be pleasantly surprised every time they receive something new, and they’ll learn to appreciate what they’ve got even more – rather than being overwhelmed by the new stimuli of their freshly opened presents, they’ll have the time to understand and enjoy each one on its own, making for a happier child and a happier Christmas.
5. Make sure the magic doesn’t end on Christmas day.
It’s all well and good to make the holiday itself cheery and bright, but what about when the holiday is done? This year, plan something to look forward to after the holidays have finished, like a family film marathon or an at-home Lockdown Olympics. Whatever you and your family cherish together, keep the joy of Christmas going as long as possible by spending quality time together when you can. That way, you’ll be setting yourselves up for a joyful 2021!
You’ve got this!
Christmas can be a stressful time of year, especially for parents, but you’re doing so well! Whatever happens this holiday season, try to keep your gratitude for the safety and well-being of your family and friends at the forefront of your mind. We’ve almost made it through this exceptionally tough year! You can do it!
And if you’re looking for private, personalised assistance for you and your child, Devie’s here to help with an all-new coaching to handle tantrums, aggression, and biting– head to our new chat to access activities, advice, and a welcoming community of fellow parents now!
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