My son is only five, so I still consider myself a rookie parent, but I’ve a learned a few things these first few years that can make Christmas go a little more smoothly for everyone. You may think you know how to do Christmas, but having a kid changes the rules a bit. Next thing you know, you’re up at midnight sneaking presents under the tree, stealing Santa’s cookies and hoping you don’t get caught. Christmas with kids brings a new level of excitement to the holidays, but also a new level of stress to an already hectic season. Read on for a few handy tips to prepare you for Christmas with kids.
Indulge in the First Christmas Experience
The first year is more about the new experience than the actual gifts. So go ahead and indulge in all the first Christmas gear- the ornament, the stocking, the “My First Christmas” onesie. Your baby isn’t going to be much of a participant this year beyond crinkling up wrapping paper or trying to chew on bows. This is the year you get to take it easy and not worry about sneaking gifts out in the middle of the night.
Assemble All Toys Ahead of Time
Once you move into the toddler years and start wrapping up toys, always remember to assemble the toys first. I cannot stress this enough if you want to have a (mostly) stress-free morning. Toddlers have ZERO patience and when they see that toy on the box and then open it to find it in 47 pieces instead, you’re headed straight for a Christmas meltdown. You don’t want to find yourself surrounded by heaps of wrapping paper, a screaming child and badly written instructions.
Stock up on Batteries
Kid’s toys require a lot of power so be prepared with a wide array of batteries in all sizes. And if you are giving a gift that requires charging before using, then open the box and have it charged and ready for when they open it. Kids toys require so many batteries, that I am now the proud owner of a battery organizer case that is stocked and ready to power toys of all shapes and sizes.
Don’t Go Overboard
Your instinct may be to give your child the biggest Christmas ever, but too many gifts and they will get overwhelmed. Stick to a few really good presents, otherwise they play with things for five minutes and then forget about it. And you could probably save a lot of money on the two and under set by just giving them the boxes and pretty paper because that’s what they’ll be most interested in anyway.
To Santa or Not
First-time parents may wrestle with the concept of Santa and how much to indulge in the story. Kids will be introduced to Old St. Nick at some point, so it’s good to get your story straight before they start asking questions. We embraced the idea that Santa is the delivery guy for all the gifts from mom and dad, and then we include one small gift just from Santa. It brings a little more magic to the season that way, especially with the little kids.
Enjoy the Season
Kids bring a special kind of joy to the holiday season as they experience everything for the first time. So go build the gingerbread houses, visit Santa, drive around and see the Christmas lights and share the fun things that will make wonderful memories. Everything may not go perfectly, but it’s all worth it for those magical moments that do go as planned.
And if you just hold onto just one thing from this post let it be this: Assemble the toys ahead of time!