With the holiday season fast approaching, you may have thought that there's still plenty of time to prepare for it. Anyway, September hasn't even passed by yet, right? However, we, parents all know that time flies so fast we'd hardly notice it so instead of procrastinating, now's the perfect time to begin the preparations necessary to give our little ones the best magical holiday they surely are looking forward to. After all, whether they've been nice or naughty, we want to give them the best version of magic and meaning this holiday (and every day, whenever possible).
We've rounded up a number of realistic ways to help you get started. Read on.
1. Shop early.
Most people won't shop until the last minute and if you've ever tried last-minute shopping, you know how it's no fun (especially when the kids are with you). Don't let it happen again. Squeeze shopping into your weekly schedule. Most shopping centers offer items on sale as early as September so you know you still get the best value for every dollar you spend. If your schedule is too tight, shop for holiday gifts and other items for your kids online. The earliest you do it, the more time you'll have to prepare and make sure everything will go according to plan. More importantly, you won't have to deal with so much unnecessary stress if your orders are delayed or if they arrived on time but aren't the items you've ordered (because it happens).
2. Recruit "Santa".
Your kids' holiday won't be complete without a visit and a special gift from Santa. Thus, it pays to plan early on how you can get Santa to visit your home to give your children the gifts only Santa is capable of giving. You can have your husband or any tall family member wear a costume that resembles Santa's outfit. If you're a single parent, talk to a friend in your neighborhood who might be able to act Santa for your kids or better yet, be their own Santa. What matters most is that you make Santa seem true. Yes, your children will surely find out the truth later but it still pays to see them excited and happy knowing Santa (and you) didn't fail them.
3. Prepare your kitchen.
It takes time to clear a crowded and cluttered kitchen and since you have a schedule to follow, it's impossible to clean and prepare it for the holidays in a day. Thus, chop the huge task to smaller ones. The first step is to remove all unnecessary items on your kitchen. If you have kids like mine, you probably have some coloring books and crayons sitting on the floor. Keep them out of the way. Be sure to tell your kids where they can be stored properly so they don't end up scattered everywhere in the house. The second step (and probably the hardest) is to make the kitchen shine by cleaning its flooring, walls, and the kitchen countertops. This may take more time than the first step so it's best to enlist the help of your kids if they're old enough to do it and they're up to the task. The last step is to restock it with everything you need to ensure that your kids are full and satisfied with sumptuous meals.
4. Put up the decorations.
You need not shop for new holiday decors if the ones you've used last year are still good for use. But this time, you can make things more exciting adding DIY decor items to what you brought from the store in the past. For example, my mom and I used to create Christmas tree toppers. It's a family tradition I wish to experience again when my toddler is old enough for DIY projects. Go online and search for holiday art projects appropriate for your kids' age and do them. It's a great way to bond while letting them have their personal contribution for a magical holiday.
5. Teach your kids the art of generosity.
While they're young, it's best to teach your kids about being generous (not just during special occasions but also everyday). This way, they'll grow up seeing how the focus of holidays should be in giving the gift rather than receiving it. Find a needy family in your community and let your kids buy presents and give them. You can also share your meals and time, if possible. It's a meaningful and magical way to spend the holidays and it's a memory your children will always thank you for when they're old enough to realize how much generosity and giving with a cheerful heart matters.
Our kids will grow up so fast we'd hardly notice it. So while they're young, let's all endeavour to make the holidays (and everyday) special and unforgettable for them by showering them with the love and care only us can give.
Advanced happy holidays!