I have a lot of talented friends. Friends who can bake elaborate treats and friends who can knit or sew anything. In short, I have friends that are walking Pinterest moms: I am not one. However, I do love making every day magical for my kids so I am always eager to find ways to make magic happen with very little effort on my part.
I see elaborate holiday activities posted all around the Internet, and a part of me often feels guilty that I don’t have the baking, sewing, or artistic talents required to pull it off. What I have learned is that kids are pretty easy. They don’t need elaborate activities. They just want a bit of magic and time with their family, which is exactly what the holidays should be about.
Here is my guide to creating a magical, low effort holiday season.
I start off with countdown calendars. It helps stretch out the excitement and builds anticipation. I prefer using calendars that have individual boxes for each day. A special treat can be placed in the boxes which creates more excitement.
I put together a list of no effort Christmas/holiday activities, things that we would generally do anyways. This year my list was:
1. Decorate the tree
2. Put up lights outside
3. Donate toys
4. Write a letter to Santa
5. Sing holiday songs
6. Read a book about Christmas
7. Draw a picture of Santa
8. Learn about how different people celebrate different holidays around the world
9. Do something nice for someone
10. Go to the Christmas market
11. Wrap gifts
12. Draw a card for your teacher
13. Drive around and look at lights
14. Go to see the nutcracker
15. Have a Christmas party
16. Dance to Christmas songs
17. Draw a picture of a snowman
18. Make a gift for someone you love
19. Learn more about reindeers
20. Decorate a gingerbread house
21. Watch a Christmas movie
22. Find the north pole on a globe
23. Make a paper garland
24. Drink a cup of apple cider while listening to carols
Each day of my advent calendar is filled with an activity and a little treat. Very little effort involved in any of them. But being able to see my kids rush down each morning and run excitedly to their calendar to see what they’ll do doing is great. It also gives me the opportunity to add in a nice mix of educational, art, and philanthropic activities. Plus I get to control what treats they’re getting. Because each activity is something we would have done anyways, it manages to make each day magical without actually adding any extra work (minus the 15 minutes it took to come up with a list of activities, and cut them out).
I highly recommend that you stop looking at Pinterest, stop comparing yourself to other moms, and stick to keeping the holidays simple and magical.
Kids don’t need elaborate plans. Because all your kids want for Christmas really is you, and time with you. We hope you enjoy this season with your family!
Happy Holidays from all of us at Filter Butler.