Friday, 8 November 2013

Christmas Bucket List

Christmas is just around the corner, so I thought that it would be fun to come up with a bucket list of things to do prior to the arrival of the big day. Do feel free to suggest your own in the comments below!

1 - Make your own decorations.

This one is easy, and your children will love this family activity.
Each year, our family complete a craft (or 2) each weekend in December, so that by Christmas Eve, we are all well and truly decked out!
For ideas on what crafts to make with your children, check out my previous Christmas blog, HERE.

2 - Bake!

Sounds simple, right? Well it is!
Set out an hour or 2 with the family and don those aprons! Mince pies, Christmas cakes, cookies, gingerbread, the list is endless! (unfortunately, if you, like me, are not lucky enough to own a dishwasher, so is the clean up..)

3 - Carol!

I was horrified, last year, when I realised that my children barely knew any Christmas carols!
I printed out the lyrics to some favourites and laminated them. The children loved learning all the songs, and sung them on the door step of everyone we visited over the festive period.
If you don't go to Mass, and there isn't an organised caroling event near you, then this is your answer. Also just having a good old sing song of the greats at home while you're writing your cards, is a really good way to get into the spirit of things!

4 - Get the 'Feel Good' Factor.

I surely can't be the only one to have a HUGE clear out of all toys and clothes in preparation for the hoards of new stuff coming in at Christmas, can I?!
Don't forget that there is always someone less fortunate then you, so donate some of your items to a local, or favourite charity, or even children's hospital.

Charities also make their own Christmas cards, and some even sell small gifts or donation gifts.

Equally, you could purchase a couple of extra items during your Christmas grocery shop, and donate them to your local foodbank.

5 - Party!

As a family, we prefer to spend our Christmas day at home, just us and our 4 children.
We personally choose to celebrate with extended family on Christmas eve, and Boxing day.
We have done the whole everyone in one place Christmas before, but there are a lot of us - and once all the family are gathered in one place, no one really gets time to chill and spend some quality time with one another.

You don't have to have 14 people squashed into your tiny dining room while you slave away all day making a production line of food and drink trying, usually in vain, to keep everyone happy, and ending up missing out on most of the festivities yourself.

Have a family party instead! Crank the Christmas tunes up, sort out a finger buffet, or get everyone to bring a dish/beverage and just mingle with each other!  It is much less stressful then having to cook a full-blown-all-the-trimmings-Christmas-Lunch, and as an added bonus, YOU get to sit down and have some fun too!

6 -Watch a Movie.

Whether it be at the cinema, or at home, gather the family in one place, grab some popcorn and watch a good old Christmas themed movie together.

7 - Go on a trip!

Don't worry, I'm not about to add to the stress and expense of Christmas, by suggesting an extravagant trip to Lapland..

Grab some warm clothes and go on a walk, or drive through your neighbourhood and see all of the house decorations. The kids, (and adults!) love this. It costs nothing to walk around and see all of those beautifully decorated houses with all of their twinkling lights, and mahoosive electricity bills!

8 - Make your own Christmas Stockings

Don't buy generic. Let the kids have some fun and sew their own stockings.
My kids make their own stockings every year! We sew them on Christmas Eve, it's like a little family tradition of ours. They enjoy it immensely.

You can get little kits from craft stores, or grab some large sheets of felt or other fabric and make your own completely from scratch.

9 - Tree Time.

Choose, buy and decorate the Christmas tree together!
Yes, it may take longer, and yes, you may have to re-do the huge side section that was left completely bare, and sure, you may get a little stressed with the 12 baubles hanging from that one single branch, but you know what?  The Children will always have fond memories of decorating the tree together.

10 - Lets get EXCITED!

Christmas Eve is finally here. Lay out those treats for Santa. Light some candles, turn down the lights, snuggle under a warm blanket with some hot chocolate with added marshmallows and switch on the laptop.

Yes, you read correctly..

log on to to track ol' St. Nick on his travels all over the world. If you haven't seen it yet, it's an absolute must!

Then, once the kids, (and the husband!) have got over the excitement of watching Father Christmas dash across the globe, choose a soothing Christmas story to send your little darlings into the land of nod..

"Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.."