Christmas is a special time of year for families across the country – a unique time, where we come together from the cold and make lifelong memories through giving and sharing. Nearly 70% of the UK population spend Christmas Day with their family and children; here are 10 ways you can spend that time in the best possible way.
One – Visit Your Local Christmas Lights
Every town has a Christmas lights installation – find out where your nearest one is, and all the luckier for you and your family if you’re in time to catch the switching-on of the lights! These festive displays are usually linked to a Christmas market of some sort, giving you the chance to enjoy a steaming cup of mulled wine while the kids try pretzels for the first time.
Two – Festive Storytime
There isn’t much more festive than the act of sitting down by the fireside with your family, and reading out a Christmas story. It could be a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, or Dickens’ A Christmas Carol – or, if your children are old enough, even a ghost story for Christmas!
Three – Write Christmas Cards Together
Writing out Christmas cards should always be a family activity – Mum and Dad trying not to forget all their work colleagues while the kids dutifully write a card for every member of their class. Family cards are special, though: whether you’re making your own or buying Christmas cards, it’s the message inside that counts.
Four – Pick Your Christmas Tree
Any opportunity for a festive outing is a good one – and so too is picking out your Christmas tree. Involve your children in the decision as much as you can, going from tree to tree and seeing which one excites them the most. If they feel like they have an active hand in picking the tree, you’ll catch them brimming with pride each morning they wake up to it.
Five – Make Decorations for the Tree
Of course, you can’t have a tree without decorations. A crafty afternoon can easily be made of coloured felt, fabric scissors, glitter and glue – see what creative kinds of decorations your kids can divine, and have them help you make a topper for the tree.
Six – Gingerbread House!
Gingerbread houses are fun to make whether you’re young or old – so give in to it and make it a family activity! Draw up the plans together, and see if it will stand upright once baked. You’ll have a centrepiece for your living room, a messy kitchen and a house full with the smell of Christmas all at once.
Seven – Teach Them to Make Paper Snowflakes
Teaching your children to make paper snowflakes can be an extremely inexpensive way to capture their imaginations for an afternoon – every time you unfold a new design, it’s like magic; the only downside to this festive activity is that you may be picking offcuts up off the floor for days afterward!
Eight – Customise Your Stockings
You’ll probably already have stockings to hang up by the fireplace (or the closest thing you have to one) – but what you might not have are personalised stockings for each member of the family. Pull out the sewing kit, and help your kids attach sequins and spell their name in thread. It makes for a special evening of bonding, teaches a valuable skill and creates memories which will last a lifetime through your newly customised stockings.
Nine – Do You Want to Build a Snowman?
Snow is a fickle thing, and you may not get a chance to play out in the stuff before Christmas Day – but if it does snow in early December, jump at the chance to take your family outside and build snowmen. You could even have a competition to see who can make the best one – or ugliest one!
Ten – Count Down to Christmas Day
The last great activity you can do with your family for the festive season is to sit down with them together, and watch Christmas Day inch ever closer. You could make up stories about Father Christmas, and take guesses at where in the world he might be at this very moment. Before long, your children will be asleep and you’ll be scarfing down the cookies and milk. Your partner can have the carrot.