There’s no arguing this fact – the holidays are hard work, especially for parents. Making lists and checking them twice takes thought and inspiration – and this isn’t just for gifts, either. If you’re expecting holiday company and planning to entertain – whether for an evening or a week – your lists will grow by leaps and bounds.
While you could get the kids reading, there may be other more pressing issues at hand. When there’s too much to do and not enough time, it’s time to get the whole family pitching in to lighten the load. Kids are often so excited and eager for the big day that they’ll gladly help with chores. In fact, don’t forget to leverage your position with that “naughty and nice” list, if necessary.
With 10 chores your kids can help with to prep for Christmas, you can pull your family together effectively and prepare for the holidays in an enjoyable way.
Decluttered and orderly rooms just make good sense as you head into the holiday season, for several reasons. First, if you’ll be entertaining with friends and family, it’s always a good idea to overhaul the kids’ rooms to make sure they’re not too scary and embarrassing. This includes cleaning out closets, clearing out under the beds and taking care of all the clutter that accumulates in bedrooms. Secondly, it’s a safe assumption that your kids will need to stow a hefty amount of new loot after the big day, so they’ve got to make room for it. This is where reorganization comes in. Thirdly, it’s always important to encourage generosity, so encourage your little ones to go through their toys and belongings to find items they could donate to shelters or charities for kids in need. Once the bedrooms are neat and orderly, they’ll be ready for the holidays.
2.Food Pantry Donation
Food pantries often need additional items during the holiday season as well. Hand your kids a shopping bag and invite them to pick through your kitchen pantry to find nonperishables to donate to a local organization. The benefits of this chore are twofold: your kids learn valuable generosity and your pantry gets reorganized at the same time.
Many kids love to create with paper and other art supplies. Encourage your youngsters to make holiday cards for their own sending to friends and family. Some card stock in festive colors and patterns and a few gel pens might be all that is necessary to enable kids to make beautiful holiday cards. Other ways they could help with holiday cards include signing names to family cards and stuffing them into envelopes. Kids might even be able to affix stamps and return address labels in the appropriate corners of the envelopes.
If you’ve got creative geniuses in your home, put them to work making decorations. The process need not be fancy or involved to enable kids to create beautiful holiday items you’ll be proud to hang on the tree or in the windows. You might be amazed at what your kids can make with a little salt dough, paint, craft sticks and glue. You’ll get handcrafted ornaments that you’ll treasure for a lifetime at a fraction of the price it would cost to buy holiday decorations from the store. Plus, your kids will love seeing their handmade ornaments hanging from the tree.
A little tinsel can make magical things happen to a home. While some decorating will need an adult’s touch, there’s plenty for the little ones to do, too. Let them help drape garland on the mantle, hang stockings above the fireplace, scatter tinsel here and there and add the traditional Christmas knickknacks to tables and shelves. Kids love to get into the holiday spirit by decorating the rooms festively.
What would Christmas be without 15 different kinds of delectable cookies? As you head into the kitchen to whip up your traditional masterpieces, include your tiny kitchen helpers in the task. Let kids stir and whisk, roll and cut out and then decorate with gusto. You might notice a slight increase in the mess, but it’s all worth it when you see the look of pure joy on your little ones’ faces.
Why not adorn your gifts with homemade gift tags instead of the boring, ho-hum ones from the store? A little card stock, a scissors and gel pens and your kids can set up a work area to make homemade gift tags for every gift. Show your kids how to cut out the tags, write “to” and “from” on each one and punch a hole in one corner for attaching to each gift. These tags promise to be much better than the unoriginal store-bought ones.
Put kids to work wrapping up the loot – not their own, of course. A kid with a roll of wrapping paper, scissors and tape can go to town in a hurry wrapping gifts for friends and family. Don’t insist on perfection, that’s not the spirit of Christmas. Instead, let the wrapping jobs be sweetly messy and imperfect. Your recipients will love it. Don’t forget to use gift bags, too, for a fast and easy wrapping solution.
When it’s time to whip the house into shape before company arrives, it can help to involve the whole family working as the cleaning crew. Even the littlest ones can help declutter by putting items away where they belong. Let kids help dust, sweep and wipe down counters, too. With everyone working together to make the house tidy, you’ll get the work done faster. Kids usually enjoy pitching in to help with these important holiday chores, too.
Leave stringing the lights and climbing the ladders to the big people, but little ones can help with some aspects of outdoor holiday décor. Let your kids help you drape evergreen garland over a fence, hang a wreath on the door, position light sculptures in the yard and be general, all-around helpers as you deck the outside of your home and yard. This process is usually exciting for little ones as they anticipate the holiday season that’s just beginning. Use this excitement and involve them in the process.
Involving children in the chores of Christmas preparation not only lightens your own load, it helps make them feel like they are an important part of the process. When kids feel important and needed, they’ll respond positively with lots of enthusiasm and energy.