You are joining us on the final day of the When Decorating for Christmas series. Click HERE to view Childproofing the Tree, HERE to view Family Tradition, HERE to view Sharing Faith, and HERE to view Showcasing Your Child’s Creativity.
We’ve talked a lot this week about decorating with your kids at Christmas, but genuinely including them can at times be a challenge. Here are a few tips we’ve learned to help us include the kids and keep our decorations (and sanity) in tact.
Prepare for their help.
Little people have little attention spans. Keep in mind how long your child can participate in the same task and set them up to succeed while doing it. This year Elijah helped Mike by handing him branches of our artificial Christmas tree. Huge success. Unfortunately we spent the beginning of Elijah’s attention span bringing boxes out of storage and sorting branches (something he couldn’t help with). We would have been able to engage Elijah longer by having the parts of the project he couldn’t help with completed before we asked him to join in the fun.
Know it’s going to take a looong time.
Everything always takes longer with kids. Adjust your expectations and decorating timeline accordingly. Don’t expect to get everything done on the same day. When we decided to decorate the tree, that’s all we had planned. When it took the majority of the day, no one was discouraged – it was already part of the plan.
Engage their senses.
There are lots of fun smells and tastes and sounds that come with Christmas. Think Christmas cookies, your favorite Christmas CD/movie and a winter-y candle. Engaging the senses contributes to the richness of making memories together.
Share your family story.
We already talked about family tradition and sharing faith through your decorating. Include your kids in the conversation while you’re setting out those special pieces of your family story.
Make the experience memorable.
Order out for a meal or go get ice cream. Take lots of pictures and let them be silly. Don’t push them beyond their limits. Remember this is supposed to be a family experience. If you don’t get all the decorating done, you can always finish it up after the kiddos are in bed. 🙂
What tips have you discovered that have helped you include your kids in your Christmas decorating?