A Parent Survival Guide On How To Survive Xmas – By Michelle Arscott
A Parent Survival Guide: How to Remain Jolly Over the Festive Season! – Written By Michelle Arscott
Christmas break is upon us. Are you as excited about the holiday as your kids? A whole month without the routine of school can seem like a long time. You have to entertain the kids and contend with additional commitments of Christmas. How can you survive the festive times and still keep jolly? Here are a few things to keep in mind this holiday season.
Put It Into Perspective
- How many more holidays before the kids won’t want to hang out with you?
- How many years left before they will no longer be eagerly looking up at the sky for Santa?
- How long before the kids sleep in late on Christmas morning?
For some of you with older kids, this time may already have come. Thinking about these questions helps us to realise how short childhood is, though admittedly sometimes it can seem long! The expression, ‘The days are long, but the years are short,’ is rather apt. Whatever season you are in with your children, relish it. One day this will be a distant memory that you nostalgically look back upon.
Embrace the Traditions of Christmas, Old and New
Enjoy keeping the magic and traditions of Christmas alive through following old traditions and embracing new ones. Bring Christmas into the 21st century!
There are some great Christmas apps for android phones, either free or for a small fee, that can add a fun new element to the magic of Christmas.
- Message from Santa: Santa can video call your child and kids can message Santa. When he calls, Santa can also mention your child’s name, age and interests.
- Where is Santa? Track where Santa is on Christmas Eve as he delivers his presents.
- Snapshot Santa – Proof that Santa really exists! Using photoshop technology you can superimpose Santa on a real photo of your home, catch him delivering the presents.
Plan Quality Time Together
In the scurry of planning playdates and holiday camps, don’t forget to plan quality time with your children. For children, love is spelt T-I-M-E. Years from now, your children won’t remember the presents they received, but rather the experiences and feelings they associate with the holidays. Spend quality time together. There are many ways to make it fun and memorable!
- Have some adventures at home and enjoy not going anywhere. Take advantage of this time. Have a pyjama day, eat a picnic in your garden or on the living room floor, roast marshmallows on the fire, camp in the garden, or play board games. Have a movie night and go to bed late!
- Embrace your inner child and play with your kids. Stuck for ideas? Pinterest is your best friend, from top 10 cool home science experiments to simple or advanced holiday arts and crafts. Try baking Christmas cookies or making your very own gingerbread house. Shops like Brood also stock ready-made gingerbread kits.
- If you are in Nairobi for Christmas, take advantage of the diminished traffic and travel to the other side of town. Maybe revisiting the old tried and tested places that you haven’t done for a while, for example, a morning game drive at Nairobi National Park or a trip to feed the giraffes. Embrace the Christmas spirit and festive holiday music performances at malls like The Hub or Village Market.
- There are also some lovely family events over Christmas in Nairobi and surrounding areas, check out Kids Clubs and Activities in Nairobi on Facebook.
Remember the Essence of Christmas
Although it is easy to get swept away with the materialism of the season, don’t forget the true meaning of Christmas: give to others, be kind, and don’t waste! Here are a few ideas that can keep your family focused on generosity, kindness, and simplicity this season.
- Keep gift-giving simple. You could minimize your children’s’ gifts: one book, one needed item, one wanted item, one item of clothing, and maybe one gift from Santa!
- Every day in the Christmas season, commit to a family act of kindness. This could take many different forms: write or draw a thank-you note, compliment people you meet (such as a waiter or gas attendant) either verbally or by leaving a handwritten card or make simple homemade gifts for your cleaner, security guard, or gardener.
- In the run-up to Christmas, each day, every family member find one object that they would like to give to a charity. The Give Back Hope Initiative is an example of one local charity that accepts donated items and food to help those in need.
- Cook food with your children to give to Earth Angels Foundation Feeding Programme. You can either donate food or help them to distribute. They also collect excess food leftover from your Christmas parties and events to give to children in needy areas.
As you read this article on your phone or computer, possibly while drinking some fresh coffee, remind yourself of how fortunate you really are to be spending this precious time with your family at Christmas. Enjoy and embrace the Christmas holidays. Remember to smile, breathe, and appreciate these moments that you will never have again!
Happy Christmas and Seasons Greetings!
Michelle Arscott – The International Adult & Kids Life Coach
BSc (Econ) Psychology & Sociology
ICF Accredited Life Coach
ILM certified Coach
Kids Life Studio Certified Coach