Being a kid on Christmas is a special feeling. It’s that time of year where many rules get suspended, holiday traditions take place and we’re surrounded by family, gifts and treats. It’s also a season of love, kindness and generosity where we spend extra time and effort thinking about our close ones and how we can send joy their way.

As parents, how can we make this season of giving more meaningful for our children? Here are some ideas on how you can make Christmas different, yet fun and memorable for your kids.

1.  Go Caroling around the ‘Hood
If Christmas had a soundtrack, you’d bet classic carols would fill the playlist. It’s the holiday season, spread some cheer by reminding your neighbors that they’re not alone! Share with your children about what Christmas was like before. Revive an old tradition by knocking on your neighbors’ doors and belting out classic Christmas carols together as a family. Unless you’re a modern-day version of the Von Trapp family, the louder and the more “odd-tune”, the better! P.S. Simon Cowell won’t be judging your family so belt out the classics!

2. Start New Family Traditions
Traditions build a foundation for family values and let your family bond together. A huge way to make holidays an extra special and meaningful season is to establish family traditions while your Oddstars are still young. You can pass down traditions from your or your partner’s families—or make up your own. They don’t have to be elaborate. You could adopt simple ideas such as:

  • Having an indoor camp-out in the living room by the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve
  • Leaving out a carrot and mince pie with a tot of brandy for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve
  • Baking classic vanilla cookies in the shapes of gingerbread men, candy canes and Christmas trees
  • Serving dishes and treats using your mum’s, grandmother’s or aunt’s favorite holiday recipes

3. Dress Up for Christmas Dinner
Make Christmas dinner more festive and colorful by running a dress-up theme. Whether it’s wearing the corny look in your best “ugly Christmas sweater,” mandatory Christmas socks or showing up in the color of your favorite Oddbod character, a little effort and coordination could make your family dinner more engaging. Don’t forget to up the stakes by preparing a prize for the best dressed!

Speaking of dress-up: let your kids get involved in decorating the Christmas tree. Have them suggest odd and quirky decorations to hang on your tree. If you’re feeling crafty, guide them in making hanging ornaments using recycled materials or edible Christmas tree decorations that can be gobbled up afterwards

4. Assign a “Lord of Misrule”
Centuries ago, communities in Britain and other parts of Europe would appoint a “Lord of Misrule” to a person (usually a peasant) who would rule over the noblemen and become in charge of organizing Christmas revelries. Similarly, you could assign one child to be the “Lord of Misrule” to be “in charge” of deciding how your family will celebrate Christmas this year. For instance, the “Lord” gets to decide what games the family should play on Christmas, desserts to be served after Christmas dinner or which Christmas movie that everyone must watch.

You could appoint the “Lord” through contests or drawing a name. This drums up anticipation among your kids, even though we know it’s tempting to pick your most sensible child. (We’d absolutely do the same.) Go on a merry family adventure and see what happens!

5. Sit By a Real Fireplace (Or a Fake TV Version)
Revive the traditional image of sitting by a fireplace together this Christmas. Bonus if you have cups of hot chocolate and marshmallows, and extra bonus points plus a trophy if nobody spills any on your carpets!

While the festive period is fun, it also means getting busy with gift shopping and running other Christmas errands. Sitting by a fireplace—or a TV version if you don’t have any—can be an opportunity to wind down with your kids and indulge in a break. And if the mood is right, you could also go around in a circle and ask each family member what they’re thankful for this holiday season.

6. Give Your Children Opportunities to Be Santa Claus to Others
Make the season of giving more meaningful by showing your kids what it means to care for others. Activities you can do to teach your kids about community spirit include:

  • Making Christmas cards for workers around your neighborhood or the children’s hospital
  • Baking cookies to share with neighbors, friends and family
  • Asking your elderly neighbor if they need help clearing snow from their yard or steps, and getting kids to help too!

7. Simplify Christmas for Your Family
Our last tip almost sounds ironic given the preceding list, but hear us out! We want to remind you that Christmas doesn’t have to be elaborate and picture-perfect. In an age of Pinterest crafts and perfect Instagram shots, it’s more than okay if your decor is mismatched or “rustic”, your house has pockets of mess and neglect (we’re looking at you, pile of unfolded clothes) or if you didn’t stay up late to prepare Christmas craft activities for your kids to do.

As parents of precious kids, know that you are the world to your children and that you’re more than enough.

Official Oddbods Team

Feature image: Pexels

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