2020 truly was a year like no other. But the holidays are a magical time for children. All the more reason to put the chaos aside and make new traditions together to keep the festive spirit alive.
If we’ve learned anything this year, it’s to make the most of the little things. For the time being, life as we once knew it has become a thing of the past. We’ve seen how quickly the routines we’ve established can come crashing down. Enjoying playdates with our children’s classmates is on hold. There are no more coffees and catch ups with other parents or friends. Some of us haven’t even seen our families for longer than we’d care to remember.
While the situation is far from ideal, it’s become our reality or, as the media is calling it, the new normal. That’s why it’s important to find ways to accept it and get through it the best we can, not only for our children but for our own mental health. So, even though this holiday season is unlike any other we’ve celebrated before, why not look at it as a clean slate with no expectations about what we should or shouldn’t do (provided we follow local health and government guidelines, of course)? It’s a great opportunity to make new traditions with our children and spend time together, caring for and supporting one another.
At Qustodio, we focus on balancing screen time with positive digital wellbeing. For this reason, we are always mindful about the time we spend using technology. This year, we encourage a mix of activities over the holiday period to keep things healthy. We’ve prepared a list of ideas to get you started creating your very own fun family traditions.
Create a festive family messaging group
You’re probably thinking, “Great, another Messenger group…” but what if you all promise to keep this one for festive purposes only? Share photos of the tree and any decorations the kids helped prepare. Send videos of the kids singing Christmas carols or opening gifts from relatives who can’t be there in person. Instead of focusing on the social distancing constraints we’re all enduring, find ways to keep your nearest and dearest close.
Enjoy a wholesome game night
A good way to spend time together and rest our eyes from the screen is to teach our children games from our own childhood! It’s simple, it’s fun and, best of all, you’ve probably already got some board games or a pack of cards hidden away in a cupboard or box somewhere. You could even mix things up and change the rules to make your very own family game!
Get creative with your own decorations
Got younger kids? There are so many cheap and easy arts and crafts projects to be found online, from simple drawing and coloring to more complex ideas. Check out these Advent calendar ideas or mini Christmas tree crafts for kids we found. Help your children unleash their creativity and keep them involved in the festivities – who knows, once they’re busy crafting you can maybe even grab five minutes to yourself for a quick tea break!
Satisfy your sweet tooth with some special treats
Raid the cupboards with the kids and make some holiday snacks. Use your own favorite recipes or try whipping up these yummy snowman biscuits or scrumptious gingerbread people we found! You could even pretend you are hosting your own cookery show and have the kids explain the ingredients and steps as they go. Remember to save some of the finished cookies for Santa on the 24th!
Eat Christmas dinner online
This is certainly breaking away from tradition! If you’re used to enjoying food in a large family setting, it could prove to be a bit tricky this year. A potential alternative might be to switch on Skype just as you’re all sitting down to eat and chat over the meal, albeit virtually. If you’d rather not encourage screens at the table, how about just using them during dessert or holding a family toast before or after food via Zoom?
Get dressed up!
Nowhere to go? That doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate this special time. You’ve decorated the house; now it’s time to pull on something sparkly or at least a Santa hat! Kids love to dress up, especially if they can be a little silly at the same time. You’re bound to share lots of laughs and anything that relieves stress and tension these days is good. You could pose for some fun photos to share in the family WhatsApp group or make a special family album.
However you decide to spend the next few weeks, we hope you manage to celebrate the holidays, make new memories and unwind from the stress of the past year. You deserve it. Happy Holidays from Qustodio!