Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone (along with my diet plans), we are all living our best life during the most wonderful time of the year--Christmas time is here!
This time means twinkling lights down every street, singing along to your favorite Christmas carols until your husband demands for silence (lol), and doing your darn best to soak up every bit of holiday cheer before the new year.
And yes, I did just watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas...hence all the rhyming and the adorable comedic timing.
Okay, I'm done. Thanks for playing along, mamas.
But it's time to get serious about how much we all love Christmas. And now that we're mamas, we're trying to pass on our ample supply of Christmas cheer to our little ones, without feeling like we need to spend every cent in the family bank account on toys to go under the tree.
So what are some ways to boost the holiday spirit at home for our littles without going overboard with presents?
There are few things that are more fun than watching our kids experience something for the first time, and sometimes even the second or third time when their memory kicks in to remind them how exciting it is. Christmas time is an all-out experience overload for kids, and it is a great way to introduce them to all the fun, unique things that happen this time of year. Take them to a tree lighting ceremony (pretty much every city/county has one of these), take them to meet Santa at the mall, or drive around some neighborhoods decked out in Christmas lights. Your kids will remember how exciting it is to sit on Santa's lap (maybe after the initial terror wears off), or how magical it is when the star is lit on the top of a 40 foot tree. Take advantage of all the holiday experiences around your home, and you'll be surprised how much easier it is to spread the Christmas cheer.
Start Traditions Early
This is essential for every holiday (in my mama opinion) but is especially important around such a big holiday like Christmas. You want your little ones to enjoy the Christmas season as much as you did when you were a kid, and still do now! So starting traditions with your kids when they're still young is a must to cultivate that Christmas spirit at home, and to give your kids something to look forward to. If you need some ideas about traditions you can start this year, look back on this post! Since this is our first Christmas at home as a family of four (we've been traveling to grandparents' homes before now), I am SO excited to finally make special Christmas memories at home. Something I'm excited to do is open up Christmas jammies and a movie on Christmas Eve, and watch it together while we drink hot cocoa. Little things can make the biggest impact on our babes and make them even more special for us mamas.
Speaking of those nifty things that I mentioned earlier, please keep in mind while shopping that Christmas time was made specifically for grandparents. It is quite shocking to see the amount of money your parents will spend on your kids during Christmas. So when you're worrying about making sure underneath your tree doesn't look depressingly barren, just remember that the grandparents are probably purchasing all sorts of stocking stuffers and presents to shower down on your little ones.
Little Kids Love Little Things
So every mama knows the truth behind this simple little tip. The fact that my son's favorite toy at the moment is my contact lens case should speak to this fact. Littles don't always need the biggest and the best and the most outrageous gifts. In fact the majority of the time you're just buying something that makes you want to pull your hair out every time they start playing with it because of how much noise it makes, how many parts it has, or how frustrated you and your kids get while trying to put it together. Focus on things that your little one will love in the stage that they're in! Simple things like bath paints, coloring books, and bubbles are things that toddlers LOVE and will not make you take out a second mortgage to pay for.
Quality Over Quantity
Since it is the season of giving, and since our kids are our most important little people in our worlds, we naturally want to give them everything they could ever want-- and that includes presents they want for Christmas. But it's important for our kids to learn at any age that they won't be able to get everything they want all at once. It may be a good idea to focus on a couple of large, special presents, and let the rest be simple toys, books, or puzzles. This is definitely a little easier on us mamas who don't have little ones anxiously counting every box that gets put under the tree, but it's okay to teach our kids that Santa (or Mama) isn't able to give you everything on your list. And I'm sorry, mama, but no one wants to spend that much time wrapping, am I right?