Welcome to part three of my Christmas series, A Christmas Less Stressed. Designed to reduce the planning overwhelm, this series is going to give you everything you need to create a Christmas that rocks. Come Christmas Eve you’ll be enjoying your mulled wine and mince pies just like everyone else because everything will have been taken care of.
In part two I shared a few ways to get your Christmas shopping done with minimal stress and fuss. This week it’s all about family and spending quality time with the ones we love. If you’re looking for ways to make the most of the festive season this year, this post is for you! Want to know how to have quality time with friends and family this Christmas? Keep reading!
‘Tis the season…
Presents under the tree, a visit to Santa, crackers, mince pies and roast turkey with all the trimmings. Whilst these all make Christmas fun, the holiday season is about SO much more. It’s also about spending quality time with friends and family. It’s about being grateful for what we have and enjoying the festivities in the company of the ones we love most.
But with so much to organise, plan and do, it can be easy to miss out on all the fun. We can get so caught up in getting everything ready that we forget to stop and enjoy the moment too. So how do we make sure that doesn’t happen? How do we make the most of the Christmas break and spend as much time with our loved ones as possible? Here are five ways to make this year’s Christmas all about family.
1. Understand what Christmas really means to you
The best way to make sure you have a Christmas that’s happy and memorable? Figure out what Christmas really means to you. When you think about Christmas, what’s most important? Is it having time with family? Being able to play with your kids? Catching up with relatives you haven’t seen all year? Maybe it’s the opportunity to go for long walks or snuggle up and watch movies together?
Take the time to think about what the season of goodwill means to you. What are your priorities? Who do you want to spend time with the most? When is best to do it? Identify what’s most important and build it into your holiday plans.
2. Write your Christmas Bucket List
Another great way to make sure you spend plenty of quality time together is to create a Christmas bucket list. Think about all the fun things you could do together this Christmas and write them down. Then have fun ticking them off! What will you do? Will you go and see a pantomime? What about ice skating? How about carol singing, visiting Santa or checking out the Christmas lights in your town?
Add everything you come up with to your list. Be sure to ask your kids what they’d like to do and add that to the list too! Stuck for ideas of what to include? Here’s a few from my family’s bucket list:
- Visit the local garden centre and check out all the Christmas decorations
- Watch the town’s Christmas lights being switched on
- Write a letter to Santa
- Make a Christmas playlist
- Make decorations for the tree
- Visit a Christmas market
- Donate Christmas goodies to the local nursing home or hospice
- Bake Christmas cookies
- Go to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve
3. Create some Christmas traditions
Think back to your Christmases as a child. What do you remember the most? Was it leaving mince pies out for Santa? Seeing a stocking full of presents at the end of your bed? All going for a family walk on Boxing Day? Those things you did every year are what made Christmas special for you. They’re your family traditions.
Creating a Christmas bucket list is just the start. Do the activities on your list every year and they’ll become your family traditions. Traditions that your kids will remember forever – and probably carry on with their own kids too! What do you already do with your own family that has become a Christmas family tradition? What new ones could you introduce this year? Here’s a few of ours:
- Elf on the Shelf
- Advent calendars – including one for the dog!
- Decorating the tree on the 1st December with Christmas music and Prosecco
- Reading a Christmas-themed chapter book each night before bed – last year it was The Christmasaurus, this year it’s going to be The Creakers
- Making and decorating a gingerbread house
- Going to our local forest for a walk on Christmas Eve
- Having deli meats and lots of cheeses for dinner on Christmas Eve
- Having a Christmas Eve box
- Bacon and egg croissants for Christmas Day breakfast (a tradition carried on from my own childhood)
4. Spend money on experiences not things
Think back to your childhood….can you remember every Christmas present you were given? Whilst that might be a struggle, I bet you can remember where you went on holiday, the places you used to go and the things you did together? When we spend money on experiences rather than things we’re creating memories. We’re creating moments that we’ll remember for years to come. Moments that our kids will grow up to cherish and look back on with a smile. Moments that’ll mean far more to them than a Christmas present they’ll probably have forgotten about in a couple of year’s time.
What experiences can you buy for your kids this Christmas? Instead of picking a toy or game out of a catalogue or ordering them something from Amazon, what would give you quality time together? It doesn’t have to be anything grand or fancy, remember….all your kids want is quality time with you! Here’s a couple of ideas to get you started:
- A subscription to their favourite magazine. See the smile on their faces as it lands on the doormat each month. Snuggle up on the sofa with them and read it together.
- A cinema voucher. They choose the movie and pay for it with their voucher. You order popcorn, choose your seats and enjoy the show.
- Dinner for two at your favourite restaurant. TGI Fridays, Pizza Express, Nando’s. Wherever it may be, get a voucher for dinner and take them on a date one day after school.
5. Remember to take time for you too!
It’s so easy to focus on everyone else in the run up to the holidays. We can be so busy trying to make Christmas awesome for our families that we forget to take care of ourselves too. Whilst it isn’t intentional, it’s easy for our own self-care to get put on the back burner. But the whole point of this series is to get ahead of the game and get organised so you’re not stressed and exhausted come Christmas Eve. And that means you need to take time for you too!
If you’re going to make the most of the time you have with friends and family you need to be well rested. You need to have had some time for you and recharged your batteries. It doesn’t matter whether it’s five minutes, half an hour, a morning or a whole day. Go through your diary and block out time for you. You’re working really hard to create a Christmas that rocks but in between all that planning, make sure you’ve had chance to rest so you can enjoy it too!
Five ways to enjoy a family Christmas…
There you go. Five easy ways to make sure you have quality time with the ones you love this Christmas. Even if you just pick one of these you’ll have a Christmas that’ll give you memories for years to come. Here they are again:
- Understand what Christmas really means to you
- Write your Christmas bucket list
- Create some Christmas traditions
- Spend money on experiences not things
- Remember to take time for you too!
That’s it for this post! I hope it’s given you a few ideas on how to make the most of the time you have with loved ones this holiday season. Like what you’ve read? Be sure to subscribe so you never miss a post! Join my tribe and kick-start creating a family life you love right now by filling in your details below. Receive my Christmas Planning printables as a thank-you!
How do you make the most of the holiday season? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time…
P.S. Want to make sure you haven’t missed an episode? Here are the links for the entire series:
- 1. Introduction: Your Guide to a Happy Christmas
- 2. Part One: How to Plan a Happy and Stress-free Christmas
- 3. Part Two: How to Get Your Christmas Shopping Done
- 4. Part Three: Five Ways to Enjoy a Family Christmas
- 5. Part Four: Christmas Meal Planning Made Easy
- 6. Part Five: How to Pull Everything Together