Christmas Day Activities And A PSA To Parents

“The thing about Christmas is that it almost doesn’t matter what mood you’re in, or what kind of year you’ve had, it’s a fresh start.” – Unknown

It is safe to say, that 2020 has not been the best year for us all! We’ve missed holidays, family events, the ability to see our friends and family, and much more. In many cases, we feel like our children are the ones who have missed out the most. This has led to us putting enormous amounts of pressure on ourselves to make this Christmas extra special. I’ve been asked more times than I dare to count, what I am going to do with the girls to make this Christmas special.

Many of us have now opted to spend Christmas without our families and the usual traditions, and we somehow now feel like Christmas is going to be some sort of disappointment. I am writing this post to say, STOP being so hard on yourself.

Our Christmas will consist of food, more food, and then likely some more. There will be Christmas music and games; we will watch films, and generally enjoy being home together, all safe and well. There will be no pressure on any of us to pull something extravagant out of the bag.

As parents, we need to remember how resilient our children are, and also how understanding they are, even at a young age. We aren’t cancelling Christmas, we are just having a slightly different one for this year. For those children who are still lucky enough to believe in Santa, they will spend much of the day still captivated by the magic of it all.

If you’re looking for ideas of what to do to fill your day, remember that a lot of time can be spent enjoying the gifts they have received. Our Christmas is usually a big event; the girls start the day opening presents, but we usually spend this time trying to hurry them along as we have places to go and guests to see. The girls don’t usually get the opportunity to enjoy their presents until a couple of days after! It will be nice for them to be able open their presents at their own pace, and spend the day playing with their new toys.

Here are some ideas of things you can do to fill your time, other than the obvious play with toys, watch movies, and eat;

Play some games

Santa is bringing the girls a few games this Christmas. At some point throughout the day, we will play Hungry Hippos, Operation and Twister. Thankfully, they are too young for Monopoly! We usually play games at Christmas with all of Greg’s family, these include; Dominoes, Chairs – Stacking Game, Heads Up (we use sellotape and paper, rather than the phone version) – we play using celebrities’ names. There is usually a contest centering around building something, too.

Decorate Gingerbread Men

This is something we will do on Christmas Eve. We have a Christmas Eve Box which centres around activities we can do as a family. This was something we added to our box a few years ago. We buy pre-packed gingerbread men from Asda, with the decorating kit included. We all decorate our own gingerbread men, and then eat them whilst watching a Christmas movie.

Chocolate Money Hunt

This is again another activity we do on Christmas Eve. The girls absolutely love any form of treasure hunt – especially if it includes chocolate! You can do this with or without clue cards. We hide ours around the house (make sure you count how many you put out, so you know if they have found them all!), the girls will then go on a hunt around the house to find them.

Pin The Nose On Rudolph

Both of our girls spent their birthdays in lockdown. We played traditional party games, including pin the crown on the princess. They loved playing party games, so we have already made our own pin the nose on Rudolph game.

Bake Cookies

There are lots of easy recipes online, or you can buy chilled cookie dough from most large supermarkets (Asda and Tesco have these in the pastry section).

Craft

If you’re looking for something creative to do, I have posted up a number of Christmas crafts that you can do with your children.

Go For A Walk

If all else fails, get outdoors. This is obviously somewhat weather dependent!

Craft Contest

This is something we do with Greg’s family every year. We’ve decorated Christmas hats, made baubles, made Christmas items out of food, made Christmas crackers – its one of our Christmas traditions. You could decorate a t-shirt or bauble, or design your own Christmas card.

Quiz

This is again something we would usually do with Greg’s family – although we tend to do this when the children are in bed. This year, we will do a child version, suited to the girls. Ours will likely centre around Disney films/songs/characters; you could do a picture round, music round, and general knowledge. There are lots of quizzes that can be easily found online. One quiz that I have seen being shared widely on social media is an emoji quiz – A series of emoji’s make up a film title for you to guess. This would work well for older children.

Jeopardy

This is something that can be easily tailored to a Christmas theme, with categories including; Name That Carol, Christmas Film, Santa, Reindeer, Christmas Trivia, Christmas Traditions, Name the Christmas Song, Christmas Stories/Books, Christmas Food/Drink, Christmas Decorations, and Twelve Days of Christmas.

Balloon Race

This is a game that always brings about giggles. We may try this for the first time with the girls this Christmas. Depending on how big your family is, you can either do this as an individual race, or a team relay. Using a blown up balloon, placed between the knees; you race!

What’s Missing Tray

This is a nice memory game for children (and adults!) Using a tray or box, place a number of items on/inside. The player gets a set amount of time to look at the items and memorize them. One item is then taken away; the player has to try to identify which items it is.

Musical Chairs

You’re never too old for this game!

Musical Statues

Nor are you ever too old for this one!

Guess What Is In The Box/Stocking

Using a stocking or a box, place a Christmas themed item inside. The player then places their hand inside the stocking/box, feeling the item – they then guess what they believe the item is.

Christmas Wordsearch

If you have children and are looking for an activity that fills a small pocket of time; there are lots of these available online for free.

Present Hunt

If you’ve got a couple of presents that can be held back, or small extra gifts (you can never have too many pairs of socks!), doing a present hunt is a nice activity for children. Depending how organised you are, you can do this as a treasure trail where you have a series of clue cards that eventually lead you to the present; or you can hide it, and they simply seek it out.

Escape Room

If you’ve done one of these before, you’ll understand the premise – One team, one mission, one allocated time. You work together to find clues, and solve a series of puzzles and codes, completing the mission. You can either create your own, or there are various printable versions of these online, which are suitable for children.

Oven Mitt Game

This is another game which can bring about lots of giggles. It would be better suited for children around the age of 7+, as those who are younger may find it too fiddly and frustrating. Wearing oven mitts, the player attempts to unwrap a present (this does not need to be an additional present, it can be a box that has been wrapped). You can either do this individually, or set it up as a race.

Bingo

Who doesn’t love a good game of bingo? There are lots of Christmas versions available online. If you’re spending Christmas apart from family this year, this is something that can also be played online.

Bowling

We have some old paper cups; these can be decorated to look like snowmen, Santa hats, reindeer etc. Once decorated, they can be laid out in the traditional bowling triangle, or stacked to make a triangular tower. Depending on your arrangement, you can either roll or throw a ball, knocking them down.

Reindeer Hoopla

We’ve done this with our girls already, and they absolutely loved it. We used a large piece of cardboard (a cardboard box would work too). We attached some tree branches to the back of our cardboard, using parcel tape, creating some antlers; if you’re using a box, pierce holes into the top, and place them in. We decorated our cardboard so it looked somewhat like Rudolph! The girls then used some rope quoits to play hoopla.

There are endless party games that can be played too; Scrabble, Monopoly, Charades, Pictionary, any card games, Jenga, Cluedo, Snakes and Ladders, etc. But, do not underestimate how much their presents alone will keep them entertained.

I usually finish the festive period feeling pretty exhausted; so I plan to enjoy the slower pace this year. Do not put pressure on yourselves to pull something spectacular out of the bag. Our children have been living in this altered reality for a considerable amount of time now; most children understand to some level that this virus has had an impact on Christmas plans. They are resilient, and they know that this is something that is out of our hands. If all else fails, ask them what they would like to do to fill their time.

Have a wonderful Christmas. Enjoy the slower pace. Hopefully, 2021 will bring us back some much needed normality!

Elisabeth

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