It’s the day before Christmas, and all through the house
Was chaos and bedlam, tears and shouts.
The stockings were hung, I’m not sure with care,
Now all were over-excited – it just wasn’t fair.
There were zillions and zillions of things to be done,
Rooms to clean, food to make – it sure wasn’t fun!
So, how to get to the finish without murdering the kids,
While staying sane and not flipping your lid?
Involve your children in as many of the tasks as possible:
- Let them write the name tags. If they don’t know how to spell a name, sound it out (Shane – /sh/ as in ship, /ay/ as in cake, /n/).
- Get them to write the list of everything that needs to be done and then to cross out each item as it is finished.
- Let them help you with the cooking – grate, chop, stir, roll (eat).
- Have them complete SMALL cleaning jobs – dust, wash the toilet bowl, pick up, put away, fold.
- Involve them in setting the table, putting out the decorations.
Organise your children to create some Christmas games to play the next day:
- Pass the parcel, but wrap each layer in plastic wrap. For added fun, instead of music, each person can throw a die. Your children can make up the instructions as to what will happen when each number is thrown. For example, 2=unwrap the parcel behind your back, 6=keep unwrapping layers until someone else throws a 6.
- Write cards for the ‘I Have Never’ game:
Send them outside to play (obviously this is not going to work if you’re in a cold climate or an apartment):
- Give them a rug and let them assemble a range of food to have a picnic in the backyard.
- Let them take some items such as buckets, balls, broom, ladder to make their own obstacle course.
- Send them on a scavenger hunt – finding one object for each letter of the alphabet should keep them busy for a while!
- Give them a paint brush and a bucket of water to ‘paint’ the dividing fence.
- Given them some old Christmas decorations (or let them make some decorations) to decorate the garden.
I had just settled down, my eyes beginning to close.
I was exhausted, as all parents know.
When from out in the lounge room arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
There, under the Christmas tree, presents unwrapped,
Children were laughing, eyes sparkling as they clapped.
I sighed, shook my and turned around,
Then dropped back into bed without a sound.