Tuesday, December 15, 2009
This holiday season has been far from restful for our family. We've been packing up to move and working out all those logistical details, we had a short vacation to see the in-laws and virtually every other second of our time has been spent running around like chickens with our heads cut off to fit the holidays (shopping, wrapping, tree decorating) in there so we don't feel like we totally missed out on the fun.
I got to thinking about a few quick, simple things that we could do to slow down and enjoy the season. And, for us at least, it's really added some fun. I'd love to hear what your family's holiday traditions are, and how you slow it down during the rush-bustling.
1. Drive around and ooh and ahh at lights. It gets dark early, so even the little ones can manage going out. Put some hot cider or some cocoa in the sippy cups and head out for a neighborhood with good lights, or like we did, a set-up display at a park. Also helpful is a radio station tuned to the the classic Christmas songs and a little sing-along action.
2. Make cookies. Kids of all ages (well, okay, those over age 1) love to dump ingredients in a bowl. Those that aren't old enough love to play with mixing cups and spoons or bang them on pots and pans. Our friend bought the wee one his own digger-shaped cookie cutter which really inspired us. Rather than shoo the kids from the kitchen, let go of your inner Martha Stewart and allow the messiness to ensue. Allow time for the process -- kids aren't very rushable.
3. Make some wrapping paper. We used a big roll of paper (actually we started months ago, but you could do this impromptu, too) and spread it over the tot's desk. Then, get the whole family seated around the table (yes, you too dad) and start coloring. Fill up the page with whatever you want. When it's "done" use it to wrap your gifts. My wee one particularly enjoyed being the one to pick out and place the bows.
4. Get a little tree for the kiddo's room. Our wee one really loved the tree we set up in his room -- just a simple fiber optic one. Of course you have to be aware of whether your kid is apt to smash it down or yank it off of a shelf, and always have to turn it off at night etc. But, our kiddo was in love!
Next year, I'm going to tackle making bird seed Christmas ornaments with the kiddo. I think he'd love it (as would the birds!).
So, do share -- how are you keeping your sanity and/or holiday spirit this year?