you are reading this, then you are one of the organised
parents who has Christmas under control. Or else, you are
leaving everything up to your spouse and restfully reading
your Sunday paper while Christmas fever grips the rest of
the household and everyone rushes about madly.
Christmas Eve! The biggest shopping day of the year, when
roads and shops are in absolute chaos and everywhere is
staying open until midnight because no one has managed to
get shopping done on time. And at home, all the cleaning,
painting, putting up curtains, cooking and fixing up has
to be done well before midnight, if you are a midnight
mass household, hopefully before dawn if you are just trying
to get through it all.How do you cope with all this and
the children too? Well, you could try some of
the ideas below.
l Plan, plan, plan. Before school ends, have an idea of
what the holidays will involve. Are you taking time off
or is your spouse? Are you going to Tobago for a few days?
If not, when are your shopping days, preparation days, cleaning
l What happens after Christmas? Remember, when you collapse
or have to rush back out to work, the children will be full
of energy and armed with lots of toys. Plus its their
last week of vacation, so put some activities or outings
together for them. Think beyond Boxing Day.
l Involve the children. Christmas means lots of food and
children love food. So get them into the cooking and preparation.
In our house, it was always my sisters job to clean
the oven and she took over the ham as soon as she was old
enough. Gingerbread cookies with a cookie cutter are also
good for hours of innocent amusement. Make sure you do some
baking with bowls to be scraped out. Small people will spend
ages happily scraping the bowl out, meaning it can be washed
more easily. If you bake pies, let the children prick marks
in the raw pastry with a fork for decoration. Keeping children
in a kitchen is never hard, the food acts like a magnet.
l Dont over-schedule. Little people get tired out
going out all day every day. Do one big outing a day, which
is probably all you can
l Dont take children when you have to do serious shopping,
if at all possible. If you have to take them along, consider
bringing another adult to help keep order. Try to get to
the malls when they open, before the crowds become impossible.
Dont expect children to be able to just keep going
without entertainment or food. This is where the other adult
can take them to look at the toys or the mall Christmas
entertainment while you get things done. Give food breaks
every hour maybe a snack or a drink, but keep them
well fuelled. Try to give them some real food or healthy
Above all, enjoy! Merry Christmas!