For children, the build up to Christmas is highly charged as teachers and family prepare them for the big day. However, Dec. 25 demands a lot of preparation for just 24 short-lived hours of magic, which quickly comes and goes. Show your kids that every day can be be filled with merriment and joy, even though Christmas is over.
Send out cheerful cards
A gentle way to ease kids out of Christmas and back into reality is to let X-mas go one day at a time. Start by asking them to send an email or hand written “thank you” letter to every person who sent them a Christmas gift this year. Alternatively, why not get your little cherubs to design a “Happy New Year” or “Smile” card to lift people’s spirits during these colder, gloomier months. Nothing could be more enlightening than a card with a big smiling face staring back from the mantel piece. Older children could add a poem connected to happiness and help to radiate that “feel good” feeling. What better way to paint a smile on the face of grumpy old Grandad!
Put on their chef cap
What about a cooking afternoon to give thanks to all of those who had a positive impact during the Christmas holidays? Younger children could make simple treats such as chocolate corn flake cakes. Older ones could put on their thinking caps and invent some new sandwich fillings for Nanna to enjoy. Not only will they discover how different foods taste when combined, but they will also have a lot of fun. Then round it off with a name for the newly invented concoction.
Help a good cause
Why not keep the art of giving alive by encouraging the kids to raise money for charity? Ask them to research a cause that they would like to support and ask family/friends to sponsor them. This is a great way for children to have fun and feel invigorated as they work off their Christmas sluggishness.They could even do a sponsored silence (something many parents would welcome after the X-mas shouts and squeals). Kids activities such as these allow children to have some winter fun whilst still achieving something positive.
Talk it out
Have a family meeting to discuss the good things and bad that happened during the festive season. This way, you can stay in synch with your children’s feelings and even nip problems in the bud before they take a hold. Encourage them to focus on the good things in their lives and to see the bad as learning curves rather than problems. Ask them to suggest ways in which their problems can be resolved and help them to find solutions to their worries no matter how small or trivial they may seem to you. This is an activity which could continue well into the new year as it keeps the art of communication alive and will help to build a bond of trust.
Create and decorate
Why not ask them to come up with ideas to decorate the house after the decorations come down. Just because Christmas is in the past, there is no need to leave rooms looking bare and cold. Perhaps you could take a family trip to the local garden centre, indulge in a treat at the coffee shop and pick out some nice wintry flowers – the kids could even make their own paper flowers. If they are old enough to use a camera, they could take some eye catching pictures of birds in the garden or some funny family portraits and hang them in place of the tinsel. Children love to use their imagination, so let them come up with some ideas to make the house feel just as warm and inviting as it did on Christmas Day.
Introduce some fun winter ideas into the colder months to help provide a welcome distraction from the post-Christmas blues and turn each and every passive thought into one of action.