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Chaos-free Christmas: 5 tips for surviving Christmas with young kids

Stephanie Withers

19 December 2017

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3 minutes
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Silent Night… (Yeah right!) Wouldn’t it be delightful if everyone’s Christmas resembled that peaceful track? But with hectic streets, overwhelmed children and a wonky gingerbread house - that you had to finish yourself after the kids got bored - the holidays can be somewhat testing. If you’re feeling frustrated already, hang in there! We have 10 handy tips on how to focus on the joy this festive season. All might not be calm, but it will be bright and let’s be honest, we wouldn’t have it any other way!

Kid pointing at a Santa stop here sign

  1. Plan ahead

    Planning ahead always makes family life that little bit easier, especially during the holidays when activities get booked up very quickly. Having a couple of things pre-booked in advance whether it’s a Santa’s Grotto or Ice Skating means you can head out without the worry of extra long queues or that it might sell out. It’s also worth making a note of some of the free local events on in town or at your local library for days you fancy a spontaneous outing.
  1. Be realistic

    With so much going on at Christmas it’s easy to overpack the schedule and feel the weight of it as a result. Relax and try not let the insanity of Christmas get to you - If you don’t manage to squeeze in a pantomime this year, don’t sweat it. Your kids will understand and will no doubt be just as happy watching The Grinch with some popcorn!

    Kid's Christmas wishes on a wish tree
  1. Get started early

    Getting a few things done early can make all the difference on Christmas day. The big one, of course, being Christmas dinner. Make use of your freezer for make-ahead things like stuffing, rolled up cookie mix and mince pies. When it comes to presents, it’s easy to underestimate how long wrapping and assembling can take on Christmas Eve (especially after a glass of bubbly or two) so it’s worth dedicating a couple of quiet afternoons to Christmas Day prep.
  1. Delegate duties

    Make use of your little elves and ask the kids to help you out around the house. Whether it’s helping with the cooking, keeping the house tidy or mucking in with their younger siblings. Everyone should be helping out!

    A list of names for Santa's nice list
  1. Make it your holiday

    Forget ‘the perfect Christmas’ and the pressures that come with it and instead put the emphasis on enjoying quality time with your family. It might be as little as switching off the TV in favour of good old Monopoly, having a night off cooking in favour of a mid-week takeaway or baking together. The holidays can be whatever you want them to be!
  1. Don’t overspend

    It’s all too tempting to overspend on gifts, especially with all the materialistic fuss in the background. But the truth is many of us feel the pinch at Christmas. Something that might help you stay on track when it comes to buying your children’s gifts is the four present rule: Something they want, something they need, something to wear & something to read. It covers all the bases!

    A snowman statue next to a Christmas tree
  1. Shorter build-up

    Christmas comes with a lot of expectations and building it up too early can make it difficult for young children to cope. With so much excitement it helps to keep the build up shorter as it’ll help manage expectations. Not to mention it’ll stop the Christmas wish list changing with every advert that comes on TV. In fact, why not avoid kids TV all together till after Santa’s been!
  1. Give selflessly

    The festive season prompts us all to reflect and think about others who find this time of year particularly difficult. Something you can do right away is to help the food banks by picking up a few extra items in your weekly shop. Most major supermarkets have a donation basket near the exit with a list of foods they’re in need of. Or ask the kids for their input on what charity they’d like to support. It’s a great way to remind them what the heart of Christmas is all about.

    Two brothers holding hands at a Christmas fair
  1. Keep a routine

    We all know how easily tantrums arise when little ones are out of their daily routine so keeping hold of some balance and boundaries will make the holidays a lot easier. If nothing else, sticking to the same morning and bedtime timings can add some much-needed structure to the day.  However, don’t fret the odd late night, but be sure to tell them it’s a special treat so that it doesn’t quickly turn into a new habit.
  1. Pour the mulled wine!

    Now, go pour yourself a glass of mulled wine, dig into the Celebrations and put your feet up - It’s your holiday too!

    A woman holding a cup of mulled wine

 

What are your survival tips for the Christmas period? Let us know in a comment below, or find more Christmas ideas and inspiration on our blog! 

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Stephanie Withers

19 December 2017

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Stephanie Withers is a blogger, freelance writer, compulsive coffee drinker and mother to two wildlings, Finlay and Parker. Stephanie is one of our much loved Trusted Explorers, which means all content has been written exclusively for dayoutwiththekids.co.uk in exchange for a contribution to their family piggy bank. All posts are first hand, honest and based on real experiences.

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