Packed with all the resources you need for taking a kinder path to the festivities.
As the festivities draw ever closer, the stress levels may be starting to rise.
Or maybe like me, you’ve been deep in denial, desperately trying to ignore the inevitable. With just the occasional gut-wrenching moment of realisation – we can’t put this off forever.
We celebrate Christmas as a festive family occasion.
A welcome oasis of light in a dark and dreary season.
We love the chance to catch up with friends and family near and far, and get in touch with those we’ve missed throughout the year.
Yet as much as there is to appreciate about this time of year, it’s also tinged with sadness. Memories of time gone by and those we’ve loved and lost loom large.
But Christmas is coming. Or maybe for you the big event is Hanukkah, Yule, Kwanzaa or Hogmanay?
Whatever you’re celebrating, if you want to take a kinder path to planning and enjoying the festive season, then this post is for you…
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Let the festivities begin, or the prep at least 😉
First, some housekeeping 🙂
Maybe you’re expecting guests, or you just want a clean canvas for Chrimbo or your celebration of choice.
But you’re not sure how you’ll find the time. Never fear, help is here 🙂
Let’s take a look at a few ways we can gently get our house in order –
Cruising through the holidays
Flylady invites us to imagine we’re setting off on a Christmas Cruise, on the 1st December. She explains all in her holiday essay, take a look here.
And to help us get organised, she’s devised a set of holiday missions, follow along here.
If you’ve never heard of Flylady, I share 13 Life Lessons I Learnt from Flylady here
14 days to Opening Your Front Door to Guests
Get your home company-ready with this series of short, yet actionable videos. Now available to binge-watch in it’s entirety.
And if you get over there quick, you can grab the companion e-book half-price ’til the end of November (Dana shares a discount code in all the videos).
4 steps to getting ahead for the holidays, and maybe, even forever 🙂
A recent post of mine with some fab organising resources, just what you need to get ahead for the festive season. And like it says in the title, maybe, even forever 😉
Clink on the link above and let me know how you get on in the comments.
And now we’re done with the house-keeping, let’s think fun…
Festive joy lists
Check out my step by step guide to making a festive joy list, jam-packed with tons of suggestions for festive fun.
This year we’ve even added a printable festive joy list to help you organise all those fab fun ideas, hurray 🙂 You can find that here.
And to get you well and truly in the festive mood…
- sign up for The Nutcracker Art Experience from Art History Kids. Totally free and brimming with artistic delights. This will be our second year and we can’t wait for it to start 🎨
- grab a copy of these gorgeous Read Aloud Christmas Stories, there’s one for each day of December 🎄
- test your Christmas knowledge with some festive quiz apps. Can you remember Who Was That? 🙋♀️
- and enjoy A Connected Advent with 25 days of parenting intentions to boost connection and closeness in your family 🤗
And while we’re all about the joy, let’s look at one of the most joyful aspects of any festive season, sharing gifts with those we love.
Although as we know only too well, this is not without it’s stresses. So read on for some gorgeous gift lists and interesting ideas on gift-giving that won’t break the bank, or cost the earth. Along with a cautionary tale…
Gorgeous Gift Ideas
A few of my go-to lists for gift ideas –
60 Great Gift Ideas for Kids (that aren’t toys) – So many excellent ideas from the Lulastic audience collated in a whopping great list. And even though it’s a few years old now, the ideas on here never date.
20 Gifts that cost nothing but might just be priceless – these ideas are utterly epic. And while they cost nothing, are worth so much.
47 Christmas Gifts that can Change the World – another list from way back that stands the test of time.
My Little Poppies Holiday Gift Guide – make sure you grab a cuppa before you start browsing this post as it’s packed full of handy lists within lists.
And this might just be the perfect gift for a tea-loving, unschooling mama, if you happen to know anyone like that 😉
If you’re looking for cards, we love these stunning cards from Survival, and Dan’s funky festive vegan delights (and while you’re there, check out the vegan gift guide too).
Keeping it simple
While I’m no fan of sticking rigidly to rules, it’s true that sometimes constraints can boost our creativity. So, I present some gift-giving ideas that might serve as useful starting points for kicking off your buying/making/thrifting lists 🙂
The 4 gift rule – for parents who want to keep it simple 🙂
Make it about the experience –
Vouchers for a day out.
Memberships to local attractions.
Gift baskets filled with all you need for a relaxing spa at home, a games night or a batch of scrummy cookies.
Or if you’re home edders like us, you might like to sign up for the ultimate gifts that keep on giving throughout the year – 2 of our favourites are Art History Kids and The Swanburne Academy
Secret Santa – instead of buying gifts for everyone in the family or at the office, you get one person to buy for. Check out these zero-waste secret santa ideas.
Set price limits – agreeing a maximum amount you want to spend can keep costs from spiralling out of control.
Pick a theme – maybe this year everyone on your list gets books, games or cookies, the choice is yours.
Agree to swop time or tasks – maybe you love gardening, or cooking, and have a few hours spare to offer a friend a helping hand. And in return they might have just the skills you’re looking for.
Homemade gifts – this one might need a fair amount of planning ahead depending on how many folks you have on your list. But it’s a great way to make personalised presents your loved ones will treasure forever.
And that cautionary tale…
Please Don’t Make This mistake With Christmas Gifts – some wise words from Sara 🎄
Now, if all this is starting to stress you out, this next section’s just what you need to keep it kind and calm all festive season long…
Keeping it kind
Looking after you –
Self-soothing checklists : the secret to raising our mood and energy levels fast – Have you made yours yet?
How to Stop a Bad Mood From Ruining Your Day – 10 Simple Ways to Instantly Feel Better – 10 super simple yet reliable ways to quick-travel out of grumpy town and get back on our groove. AKA feel better fast 🙂
Relationship boosters –
22 Super Simple Ways to Help Our Children Feel Loved – accepting emotions, collecting our children, muffin-platters and more.
20 Reassuring resources for respectful parenting at Christmas (and the whole year round) – worried about navigating family gatherings, spoiling children and whether to stick with Santa, or not? This post contains heaps of helpful resources for respectful parenting, especially at Christmas.
Building better relationships : 11 ideas for parents (and anyone who wants more love in their lives ❤️) – some life-changing, love-affirming ideas and resources that can radically revive our romantic relationships.
and just in case you need it…
Dealing with conflict at Christmas : taking a kinder path
Look out for some more festive fun ideas for the whole family coming very soon 🎄
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