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Top Tips Christmas Advent

December is here and the countdown to Christmas has begun. Each day we will be adding helpful tips and ‘life hacks’ to help you through this hectic time of year Together at Christmas

 

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19. Craft idea: Make illustrated pillowcase stockings!

As a fun activity and to save buying Christmas stockings for presents, why not make your own!
1. Get a white pillow case as, which will be a canvas for you stocking.
2. Get your child to decorate it with either their name or any picture they feel like.
3. Every year, bring it out for them to add another picture to it.
By the time they have grown up they will have many pictures and Christmas memories to look back on.


18. Activity idea: Start your own Christmas story

Start your own Family Christmas story!
The week before Christmas, sit with your children every evening before bed and start a made up Christmas story that is just for you and your family. You can use inspiration from books and films to get started, then each evening your children can think of things they would like to happen in the story. Finish the story on Christmas eve, and your children will have their very own Christmas stories to remember.


17. Use balloons to fill up extra space in your Christmas stockings

Use blown up balloons to ‘pad out’ Christmas stockings. Children love balloons and love playing with them, so it becomes a small but exciting addition to Christmas morning.    It also gives the illusion of more gifts being in the stocking, and saves pennies.


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15. Activity idea: Host a children’s Christmas Show!

Get your children to organise and perform their own Christmas show for you and your  friends or family.
They can spend time planning it and practicing for a few days, or hours before performing it.
It could be reading a poem, dancing, singing a song, telling a joke, performing skits, etc.
It doesn’t  have to be brilliant but remember to praise them for the effort they put in.


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12. Craft idea: Make paper chains to decorate the house

Make your home look and feel festive this season, with the help of your children in creating paper chains!
All you need are paper strips and sticky tape, glue or a stapler.
You can be as creative as you like, with patterned or coloured cardboard, which you can purchase at your local arts and crafts store.

1. Cut paper into strips

2. Curl it around into a circle and secure with sticky tape, glue or stapler.

3. Take another strip and feed it through the first circle link you have made, securing the ends.

4. Repeat to create your chain!


11. Gift idea:  Make your own personalised gift vouchers

Make your own personalised vouchers to give to your family and friends for Christmas. Our top voucher ideas are:
• An invite for a Sunday lunch
• Offering your skills for a day e.g. decorating, gardening
• Babysitting vouchers
• Movie night
• Day out just the two of you (with parent perhaps)
• Take out for coffee
• Bake something sweet, cake, muffins, cookies.


10. Don’t expect too much of yourself, and if things go wrong, remember to laugh

Don’t expect too much of yourself, and if things don’t quite go to plan try and laugh about it. Family Action manager Jan shares “Both of my children don’t remember any of the fancy presents I got them, but do remember my complete meltdown over a gingerbread house that went wrong in my desire to produce the perfect Christmas. They will still buy me little china gingerbread houses and laugh about it. So sometimes the things that go wrong don’t always have to leave negative memories.” Thanks Jan – we can all learn from that to remember not to take it all too seriously!


9. Gift Idea! Make your own money box

Get an empty plastic box (such as from ice cream). Using a stanley knife, cut a slot in the top.

Ask your kids to decorate using bits of paper, glitter, and drawings, to make a money box. This is a great gift for other children in the family, encouraging them to save their pennies.


8. Bring out the board games for Christmas

Get everyone away from screens and together as a family by dusting off all the old board games and get everyone playing them throughout the Christmas period.


7. Gift Idea: Make a personalised memory box

Help your children to make Christmas presents for family

Cover a shoe box can with decorations and ask your children to make decorations, and draw pictures especially for the person whose gift it is. Fill it with all these lovely items to create a memory box for an auntie, or grannie.


6. Gift Idea: Tell your kids they will get something they: Want Need Wear Read

To reduce costs and manage expectations, tell your children that this year they will get: something they want and need, something to wear and read.


5. Craft idea: Make a  2D Christmas Tree

No space for a Christmas tree? Make a paper tree complete with handmade decorations!

Cut out a Christmas tree on a large sheet of Green paper (from arts or greetings cards / stationary stores) and stick to the wall.  out of paper and stick it on to a wall. Your children can draw on it or make little things to stick on to it. You can also be as creative as you want with this – use sparkly paper or cut up Christmas images in magazines or adverts to make your own personalised tree!


4. Keep a spare gift for unexpected guests

Have a spare ‘generic’ gift on stand by for the person you’ve forgotten, or un-expectedly gives you a gift. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, can be home made or something the children have created. And if you don’t end up giving it to anyone, that’s a birthday present you don’t have to buy later in the year!


3. Take care of yourself over Christmas.

Wrap yourself a gift at the start of December like a bubble bath, or your favourite food or drink. If you start to feel stressed out by rushing around after other people, take 30 minutes “me time”. Unwrap your present and revitalise and reflect on the positives of time spent with loved ones.


2. Get the children to make their own Christmas tree decorations!

You don’t have to be brilliant at arts and crafts, children love things they have made themselves more than “designer trees”.

Sequin Baubles
(Suitable for children aged xx and over)
• Polystyrene balls, (available from arts stores)
• Sewing pins
• A selection of sequins

Simply cover the ball with the sequins by using the pins to poke through the sequins and into the polystyrene balls.
Continue this until the whole polystyrene ball is covered with sequins, and there are no more white areas visible.
Finally, attach a ribbon to the to the top with a pin.
Hang on the tree and admire!


1. Make your own Christmas cards

Buy large pieces of Green and Red felt, white cardboard and some glue.

Make cardboard stencils of Christmas shapes –a tree with red baubles, holly and berries, a stocking with a shapes in the other colour. Get your children to draw round the shapes on the felt, and cut them up.

Fold your pieces of card in half and glue the shapes on to make beautifully simple Christmas cards. People love the effort and it’s a fun activity for the kids too!