Do you ever get the feeling that a day has too few hours to celebrate Christmas? I do! There is so much to do in so little time. For most people (especially kids), Christmas is all about the gifts you receive. The truth however is that the memories that linger in our minds so many years after are those treasured moments spent with family dancing, or eating that special meal or just lounging around with everyone (even those that stay far away).
I have been thinking of ways to make the season fun and memorable for my family. I also want a reason not to wish I had done more by the day after Christmas. So I came up with some sort of ‘must-dos’ for Christmas.
- Put up Christmas decorations. Growing up, we welcomed the month of December by putting up the Christmas tree and decorating the house. We would pick an evening and a time when everyone or most of us would be at home. This is an exciting tradition that gets you in the mood for the season. It’s also a great excuse to get everyone together for a fun evening. If you want an added effect, you could sing or play Christmas carols! Too cheesy? Fine, do it without the songs and just gist away.
- Join in at church for the festivities. Take part in the activities organized by your church to mark the season. Sing carols! Sing a lot of them because this is the season to do so. Imagine singing these songs in June!
- Go see a Christmas movie or have a Christmas movie marathon night at home. Watch movies like ‘Home alone’, ‘It’s a Wonderful life’. A cinema around us would be showing Christmas movies for children on particular days this month. We are definitely not going to miss that.
- Organize a Christmas get-together. When I was younger, we had some family friends who would come over around Christmas. We would play games, eat and just share precious moments together. Some other years, we would go over to their house for a similar visit. You could get in touch with two or three families or relatives and have a mini-party at a chosen venue- the beach, an amusement park, the zoo, or any other fun place. Each family could bring some meals and a beautiful love feast is ready to be shared amidst fun and games.
- Take the kids to see Father Christmas/Santa. For most kids, you haven’t had Christmas yet if you have not done this.
- Tell your kids the Christmas story. Let them understand the reason for Christmas. Also highlight the fact that Jesus gave his life for us so celebrating Him also means giving. This introduces the next point.
- Give! There are so many ways to go about this. You could give gifts to the kids at an orphanage, or volunteer at a place where your time and help would be needed. I know a man who takes some children to the amusement park every year. The important thing is to ensure that every member of the family is a part of this. Encourage your kids to give something too, say a toy or a gift bought with their savings.
- Don’t forget to dress up for the season. Kids get a kick out of wearing Christmas caps, hair bands, wrist watches and glasses. Take numerous pictures too. This would enable you all have something to look back at and smile.
- Get in touch with people you have lost contact with. Christmas is a swell time to hear from long lost friends. Extend a hand of love to as many people as you can via text messages, calls, video chats etc. Let the good cheer go around. Now is the time to make the list of people to reach out to or better yet, start calling and texting now.
- Share on Christmas day. If I have to work on Christmas day, I buy a pack of sweets or candy to share to the people I work with just to put a smile on their face. Trust me, this would require that a smile be on your face too! Now that’s a lot of smiling and cheers required on a special day.
It’s important to unplug. Drop your phones and spend time with family engaging in group fun activities like playing board games and other games, singing carols, dancing, telling jokes and answering riddles. Okay, fine! You could pick up your phones to record these memories-in-the-making as this creates an opportunity for everyone to look at pictures taken and funny videos made.
This period can be a really hectic period for some persons especially some moms in most homes. A little tip; delegate, delegate, delegate!!! My mom used to leave some parts of decorating the house to us even when we were really little. This made her a bit freer, gave us a sense of responsibility and made us feel we had contributed a great deal to the Christmas celebration. Everyone at home should join in the cooking and various activities. This may not be possible all the time and in some cases, having the little ones help out may even be more time consuming and stressful. Take it easy and use all the help you can get.
Are you yet to commence any of the activities for the season? It’s a few days to Christmas but it’s not too late. You could set about it as soon as possible.
[Now it is your turn! Tell us about your Christmas traditions in the comment section. You just might be giving someone the gift of a new idea for theirs.]