Tis’ the season for holiday tips. Everyone has tips for you: eating healthy over the holidays; gift-giving for the holidays; gift-wrapping tips; coping with the crowds; tips for last-minute shopping; tips for baking edible fruit cake; tips for surviving TV gift commercials; frugal vacation ideas; decorating tips; tax-saving end-of-year giving tips.
The tips for a No Regrets Parent, though, are a little different. Just as the No Regrets Parenting book is not like other parenting books because it focuses on only one parenting priority (TIME WITH YOUR KIDS), my holiday tips are also all about one thing – TIME WITH YOUR KIDS OVER THE HOLIDAYS. How to find enough of it and how to make the most of it.
So, here are 10 Holiday Tips for No Regrets Parents:
- At big family gatherings, carve out time for just you and your kids. Sneak away for a quiet walk, build a snowman while the extended family is watching football on TV, find a quiet corner to read a special story to your kids.
- Rent a classic movie to watch with your kids (“White Christmas,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Eight Crazy Nights,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “Miracle on 34th Street,” “Babes in Toyland,” “An American Tail”).
- Make special holiday foods together. Baked treats are my personal favorite. With colorful sprinkles.
- Take your kids along if you have to work on weekends or evenings during their winter vacation. Have them bring a book to read or a game they can play while you’re busy, and then stop for a snack on the way home. Depending on their ages, maybe start with one child at a time. Make sure their pictures are on your desk – kids love knowing you’re thinking about them when you’re at work.
- Pick bedtime stories that are special for the holidays. Don’t limit yourself to books – tell your kids funny holiday stories from your childhood, do puppet shows, use picture albums from holidays past.
- Include your kids in decorating your home for the holidays. Each child can be in charge of decorating his or her room.
- Establish new holiday traditions unique to your family. Make your own holiday cards, have a family talent show, have a gift-wrapping contest, write new lyrics to classic holiday songs. And then perform them karaoke style.
- Volunteer together at a food bank, homeless shelter, or hospice. Do a family run for charity. Donate new toys to a local children’s hospital.
- Clean all the closets in your house and make a family donation to Goodwill.
- Make gifts for each other from scratch.
Use the comments section to send me your tips for holiday time with your kids – finding more of it, and making the most of it. (If the comments box is missing, click on the title of this post and it will magically appear!)