If you’re like me, you enjoy singing Christmas carols, decorating cookies, and watching holiday movies with your kids over the Christmas season. But, let me ask you this — do you have memories of DECORATING with your kids?
Sure, you may have them help you with decorating the tree, or if you have teenagers (like me), you may have them help you with hauling boxes out, but what else? I have some ideas that will not only get the whole family in the holiday spirit but are sure-fire ways to make lasting memories with your kids, all while decorating your house for this season’s festivities.
- Purchase a small, inexpensive tree (real or fake) for each child in your family. Let them keep it in their bedroom and decorate it as THEY see fit. I have done this since my kids were small but even though they are teenagers now, they still love doing this every year!
- Let your kids help decorate the tree. Even as a picky designer, I’ve had to force myself to let the kids do this every year. Remember, your tree doesn’t have to be “perfect.” The perfectly matching, color-coordinated, “theme trees” look great in magazines and holiday home tours– but not to your kids. They want a tree that they can get excited about, filled with stuff that makes them giddy with the delights of Christmas. They also want you to show off all the hand-made ornaments they’ve made you over the years.
- Let your kids help decorate the outside of the house and let them be a part of the design process. Stay warm with hot cocoa or alcohol-free egg nog and blast the Christmas tunes while doing it. They’ll get such a kick out of it!
- Don’t forget your kids’ bathrooms. Add some Christmas hand soap, a holiday hand towel and even a small fake tree or decorator item on the counter. This will put them in the holiday mood and make them feel extra special.
- Buy a bow, wreath or reindeer ears and place on your car this season. Pick them up for school and surprise them. (Note: This could be embarrassing for the teenagers!)
- Another favorite holiday tradition in my household is to put them to bed at the regular time on an otherwise, normal, predictable school night. Make some cocoa and wake them up later, pile in the car in your pj’s and drive around and look at Christmas lights! You might be surprised how much your kids will enjoy this and talk about it fondly later.
- Don’t forget the gingerbread houses! Unless you’re Martha Stewart (which I am not) just go the easy route and buy a kit. You can find them everywhere this time of year. Make sure to add other creative candy, marshmallows, etc. in addition to the kit-supplied treats to custom trick out your house. Gather the whole family and do it together, snacking on the “extras” as you build your masterpiece. It’s sure to be a fun memory!
- Lastly, we mustn’t forget our other “child,” Rolex — our English bulldog. He has a mini-tree every year, in our kitchen that the kids put dog-related ornaments on every year. Last year, they took a bone and attached it on top of the tree, in place of the angel/star and got a good laugh out of it. You can have fun including your beloved family pet(s) in all the holiday action.