Here we are, only 24 days until Christmas and the frenzy has begun, black Friday, cyber Monday, endless opportunities to spend spend spend. Come on you can never have too much stuff, can you?
Personally I think Christmas gets bigger and brasher every year. As parents we get dragged into the mass consumerism, we want our kids to have the best we want them to fit in and not be left out. But Ipads, singing Elsa dolls and Millennium Falcons can’t replace what kids really need or want, which is your time.
Child development experts tell us frequently that young children especially need quality time with a parent to develop into secure adults.
But as a busy single parent myself I know that time is a precious commodity and it can be hard to juggle everything.
But fear not there are lots of little ways to fit in more time together. here are my 4 top tips to help you provide more presence this Christmas.
1, Have Family Traditions
What adults recollect most from their childhood tends to be the family traditions, so baking on Christmas eve, decorating the tree together, a walk on boxing day, etc. Trust me in 20 years your kids wont remember what gift they got at age 4, but they will remember the family traditions you created.
2, Have realistic gift expectations.
I allow my children to ask Santa for 3 things, he may well get a few more little things, but I create a realistic expectations, that way the children need to think about what they really would like and they also have a Mummy who isn’t stressed about how she will afford everything.
3 Give experience gifts.
I always make sure I create one experience gift for each of my children. This is so easy to do, my daughter started riding a bike this year, she loves cycling and is constantly asking me to take her to the park. This year I have wrapped up a little bell and added a note that we are going to spend the afternoon together cycling around the South Downs. I cant wait to see her little face when she opens this. I have a feeling this may be one of her favourite gifts this year.
4, Make time
Christmas can be frantic, which is why it is so important to set aside 1-2 hours each day just to spend family time together, just allocate the time and then as a family decide what to do. This could be an afternoon of board games, walking on the beach, making cookies, watching a movie.