I never put a lot of thought into how to include my children in decorating for the holidays until I found my big Christmas tree lying flat in my family room. The tree had been up and decorated for less than an hour when I heard a giant crash and a scream. I rushed downstairs to see my two-year-old staring at the Christmas tree he had just tried to climb. My son was fine, the tree was fine, and the ornaments were (miraculously) unbroken. However, I immediately knew that I needed to create some special holiday areas in our house where my son was free to touch and play and explore.
Here are some of the ways I came up to decorate with and for my kids.
Let the Kids Have Their Own Tree
We have a little Christmas tree we set up every year that is just for the kids. They help me set up the tree and decorate it with a bag of special ornaments. These ornaments are so special because they are always allowed to take them on and off the tree, move them around, or play with them all they want.
An Advent Calendar with a Twist
We have an advent calendar that I hang up so the kids can reach in and pull out a piece of paper every day. I write a special activity on most days and fill in the other days with letting the kid pick out a piece of candy. This has become a big part of our family’s Christmas tradition and an easy thing to incorporate into our decorations. Here are the activities our advent calendar includes:
- Bake Christmas cookies
- Bake a birthday cake for Baby Jesus
- Go to Jolly Holiday Lights
- Drive around town and look at lights
- Pick three things out of your cupboard to donate
- Drink hot chocolate
- Go visit Santa
- Go to a movie with Momma
- Go to a movie with Daddy
- Read a Christmas book
- Watch a Christmas movie
- Put up Christmas decorations on the window
- Make food for the reindeer
- Get a piece of candy
Decorate with Toys
We love Fisher-Price Little People at our house, and we happen to have the nativity set, a Santa train set, and a Santa sleigh set. We only get these toys out during the holidays and we set them up on a little table where the kids spend hours playing.
Let Your Kids Help Decorate the Rest of the House
I like to have my Christmas decorations set out just the way I like them, so you can imagine the slight bit of panic I felt the first time my son went and adjusted one of my decorations. I have slowly let go of control and now look forward to the ideas my boys come up with for all the “grown-up” decorations. I’ve learned that just because it is not perfect does not mean that it is not wonderful.
How do you include your children in holiday decorating?
Read more from our “Home” for the Holidays series!
- Home Is Where the Heart Is
- Hostessing Tips for Keeping Your Stress Level Low This Holiday Season
- Holiday Traditions & Recipes from My Kitchen
- Holiday Wear Target Style 2014
- The Perfect Holiday Party
- Creating a Welcoming Atmosphere in Your Home