Whether it’s your first Christmas with your newborn or your second, third, or even fourth with an increasingly excitable toddler - this magical time of the year can feel surprisingly different for many wonderful yet conflicting reasons.
In addition to the present buying, food prepping, decorations and festive get-togethers there’s the balancing of routines, time to see Santa and new little hands making their way towards those lovely sparkly baubles on the tree.
Here’s 5 top tips to making the Christmas season a little bit easier, so you have time to enjoy all of those little magical moments… by guest blogger Helen Malik.
Never has a game plan been more important than Christmas. It’s easy to say ‘yes’ to every invitation, but you’ll be worn out before the big day arrives.
Pre-book one or two popular activities well in advance to avoid disappointment and extra-long queues. Then mix with free local events for a spontaneous day out and time with friends.
Book yourself a child-free shopping day, if you can, and blitz the gift list. Or better still, find a quiet corner and shop online – you’ll be amazed at how much time (and stress) you can save.
If you’re hosting everyone for Christmas dinner, do as much prepping in advance as you can - including your little ones dish of the day if they’re weaning. Plan dinner time around nap/feeding times and get your partner or guests to help too. If you’re going out or to your family’s house - result!
Less is more
Don’t feel pressured to do everythingthis Christmas time. Instead pick the one or two traditions or activities that are most important to you and enjoy them!
The same can be said for present buying – because while it’s incredibly tempting to buy every toy you see or they point out in the adverts. One brightly coloured gift after another can over-stimulate your child and in reality they just want time to explore a few main gifts than open more.
Neither your bank balance nor your little one will likely feel the benefit – and you can never underestimate how long it will take to wrap everything. Keep it simple.
A tree’mendous idea
One of the biggest fears for new parents is the Christmas tree. The sparkling lights and colourful baubles are like candy to a little hands. Switch your glass baubles for shatter-proof alternatives. Pop bells at hand level so you can hear when they’re in the tree-zone. Or pop your tree on the table top out of reach. Consider a fire-proof artificial tree to avoid crawling hands meeting pine needles or make one with felt for a child-friendly alternative. Whichever option you choose, once your child is old enough – involve them in the decoration for fun family activity.
With all of the hustle and bustle and places to be, it’s very easy to slip out of your daily routine. The holidays require flexibility, but keeping hold of some key timings will keep the tantrums at bay - even if it’s just morning and bedtime.
Recharge your batteries
We’re not talking about the AA’s and the AAA’s – but yours! Take advantage of some time off as relatives, partners and friends are around more to give you a hand with your little one. They’ll be queuing for cuddles.
The Christmas season is also a great excuse for days in on the sofa, watching a movie or playing a board game. Make sure you leave a day (or three) between the festivities to put your feet up – you deserve some much needed chill time, it’s your holiday too.
Most importantly, have fun and delight in all the firsts!