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By this point in the year, if you have school aged children, they are only a few days away from starting their Christmas holidays. The Autumn term is incredibly long (in fact the longest of the whole year) and with the excitement and build up of Nativities and parties, they are almost guaranteed to be exhausted. Which doesn’t make for a great start to the holidays – especially as you may have a whole heap of extra excitement planned to add to the magic of the season.
However, there are ways you can help prepare for the holidays which will give them a chance to calm down, recharge their batteries and recover from the term, without losing the excitement!
Prepare Rest Days
Although it is hugely tempting to fill each day before the 25th with visiting relatives, heading to parties or seeing Santa, the children will be exhausted after the end of the term. They might not show it, as the excitement of the season can certainly keep children going on almost empty – but if you want avoid late night tears or sibling arguments, make sure you have one or two duvet days planned in!
Prepare Simple Days
Most children will have around 2 weeks off over the holiday period, which, when you start to plan activities, seems very short. When planning it can tempting to try and do two or more things each day. After all, a visit to an aunt can easily be tagged onto a visit to the garden centre to see Santa. However, at the end of a long term, a better idea is to plan one thing a day and give the children time to decompress, watch TV or play at home, without them having to be on their best behaviour for a full day!
There is absolutely no place I’d rather NOT be at Christmas than a supermarket. The biggest issue here is that, not only are the children home and therefore eating more food than during a school week, but you’ll often have visitors dropping in and you want to be able to feed them – even if it’s only a snack! If you haven’t already, find your nearest supermarket that will deliver and get registered with them. Their delivery slots tend to fill up fast, so do some bulk orders of food with several days to go until the holidays start – include lots of ‘party’ style foods which will keep.
Not only will this solve your food worries, but it also means you don’t have to drag the kids around the supermarkets with you. One less stress, lots less arguments and whining, and a much happier family time!
Perhaps an odd one to add in here, but depending on the size of your family, TV can be a contentious time over the holidays. You want to watch the Strictly special, your in-laws want to watch the Queen’s Speech and the kids are desperate to watch a Christmas film. How do you keep everyone happy? In this day and age of easy to watch and record TV it’s not as difficult now as it used to be, but it still requires some planning!
Getting hold of the Christmas TV listings as soon as you can and getting each person to highlight their must watches over the holiday period is a good start. Then you can set up the recordings of each one, set up tablets to ensure the kids can download their favourites, and plan some quiet time in for you to catch up with your favourites once everyone else is in bed! No more arguments from the kids as to who will watch what when!
So there you have it – our simple ways to prepare for the holidays, ensuring that you and the kids have rest time planned in to ensure less arguments and less tired bodies after a long term!
Today’s Codeword is: STOCKING.
If you would like to read another post and gain another entry, then head over to The Butterfly Mother for their take on Preparing To Survive The Holidays.
To enter the grand prize draw, head over to 12 Days Of Parenting where you can also find all the #12DaysOfParentingPosts so you won’t miss any!