Most people with a family probably like the idea of doing things together and enjoying the Christmas season as a united celebration. Yet it isn’t always easy to do, especially as kids grow older.
I think a key to making Christmas a family event is to include each person’s values and ideals. That probably means taking the time to discover what each person’s values actually are, of course, and then working together to incorporate those things.
For many Australians, Christmas Day is a whirlwind of opening gifts, visiting people and having huge meals before travelling to the next event. Yet what are the little things that actually matter to you and your family? Maybe it’s the tradition of opening gifts on Mum and Dad’s bed or having fresh fruit for breakfast, perhaps it’s singing carols together or having quiet time between gift-giving and dealing with lots of other people, and so on.
Plan at least one important thing for each person into your Christmas Day FIRST and then fit in other things. This way, everyone feel included and can look forward to part of Christmas Day.
Be willing to discuss new idea, too, and accept that some old traditions may not suit any more (what was cute for a 2-year-old may be embarrassing or boring for a 14-year-old).
Throw in some extra fun, too, as part of the lead up to Christmas – and maybe in the days afterwards. Make things more relaxed, having everyone at home without guests or the need to dress up, and do family things – play board games, sing karaoke, do a jigsaw, play charades, make paper chains, watch a movie, give each other massages or play ‘truth or dare’.
Building some family Christmas memories will make Christmas fun and probably reduce some of the stress Christmas can cause.