Christmas is a magical time of year. I love having the house decorated and really look forward to putting the tree up every year. My house was always perfect. I lovingly decorated every surface with beautiful twinkly things.
Until i had kids.
Then everything changed
It is delicate balance between letting them help, decorating properly, and everyone having a truly magical experience that they will remember all their lives and later attempt to replicate with their own children. No pressure!
So here they are:
My 5 essential rules for surviving Christmas decorating with the kids:
- Start with a glass of wine and keep the bottle handy. If you live somewhere where you have access to gluhwein, I would highly recommend it. Gluhwein is a mulled or spiced wine served hot and you can only buy it in my neck of the woods during the holidays. Heat up a big batch and enjoy, the crock pot works perfectly for this. If your OCD starts really acting up feel free to spike it with a bit of Amaretto, this a completely normal, festive and will by no means make you a lush.
- Just let the kids do the tree. All the ornaments on the bottom third? That’s OK! Not spread out properly? That’s fine! If it really bothers you fix it when they go to bed. Just keep asking if they need help to reach the high spots and hope for the best.
- Separate anything breakable and save it for next year (or a few years from now) before you open the box in front of the kids. Nothing is more stressful than chasing down a 2 year old because he is holding something very shiny and beautiful that has great sentimental value to you. Trust me, these are the very first things they will reach for.
- Make sure you have batteries for anything that may require them before you unpack things. Holding that amazing singing dog, Santa or Rudolf and not being able to make it work will likely result in a tantrum.
- Start early, like just after breakfast, and block off the entire day. What used to take you an hour or so will take forever and the kids will not stop till they feel the job has been finished to their satisfaction. Unfortunatly you never really know what this means. For my kids it meant hours of unpacking ornaments and adjusting the tree and then telling me they were done and asking to watch Polar Express.
And remember to always smile!