Let’s face it, Christmas these days can be far too frantic.
While some of us enjoy the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping, surely dealing with marathons of vegetable peeling, stressing over Sellotape and untangling Christmas lights and decorations are the best parts of the winter celebrations… said no-one ever.
And yet we still worry each year about providing our families with the best Christmas yet, and piling the pressure on ourselves to provide the perfect-family Christmas Instagram or Facebook post.
The paradox is that many parents feel utterly stressed out during Christmas, so it’s almost impossible to provide the experience we’re striving so hard to achieve. And equally strange is the fact that winter festivals provide the perfect time to slow down and prioritise family and friends over colour-coordinated-bauble excellence.
Even if your family does not celebrate Christmas, the dark nights, snuggly jumpers and crisp mornings give us plenty of time to create a special and magical time with our families.
How would your Christmas period look if you deprioritised the sparkly jumpsuit, and donned the fluffy dressing gown and reindeer slippers, or the old painting clothes, and try some slower ways to enjoy the winter season without the stress, and with your family.
You can pretty much bet that Grandma and Gramps will still prefer the homemade gifts from the grandchildren so working together on making cards and gifts for them can be a really fun and connecting experience for children of all ages.
Numerous campaigns every year show us that children really do understand the value and enjoyment in giving (as well as receiving), and the fun and pride in creating their own gifts can be wonderful.
Traditional games such as cards, scrabble, dominoes and charades are all great for family groups of all ages, a great way to slow down, and also loads of fun.
Our house has a bingo set bought from a charity shop for £2 many years ago that comes out at all family gatherings and keeps everyone entertained for hours!
Snuggling up with children and books is also a great bonding experience and special Christmassy books can be a lovely slow way to enjoy the festivities, and reading particular stories may turn into your family traditions for years to come.
While we all know that the kitchen can become a no-go zone in some houses, and in others is the happy heart of the home, spending time together in the kitchen and enjoying the making and sharing of food can be a wonderful experience.
Whatever works for you and your family, try a less-is-more approach, who cares if the tree isn’t Instagram worthy, or the kids decorated the cake with their fingers… the fact that you enjoyed the process as a family will be what you remember throughout the year.