Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Holiday Decorating Time is Family Time!


--Philip J Reed on behalf of Westwood College

It’s that time of year! Did it sneak up on you? If so, you certainly aren’t alone! But as much time as you might spend getting ready for the holidays, you can also be using to spend time with your family. That’s a great bonus that is often overlooked, and that’s what we’re here to remind you about today!

Preparing for the holidays can take up a lot of time. Obviously Christmas is what’s coming to mind for readers right now, but any holiday can easily dominate your free time with preparations, whether that be decorating, shopping, cooking, or anything else! But by including your family (young ones in particular) in these activities, you will not only make them go by faster, you will also make them more fun. You’ll also be able to spend time with your family that you otherwise wouldn’t have!

Think about any of the traditional things that families have done for generations. Carving pumpkins, hanging decorations, trimming a tree…any of that is a perfect opportunity to get the entire family involved. Work together to select and hang decorations. Decide which activities you will do, and schedule a time to do them so that everybody can be available. The time you spend with your family is reward enough in itself, but accomplishing holiday tasks in the process means you can be productive as well as attentive!

Let’s just focus on decorating, to take one example. There’s a lot involved! Picking out decorations, deciding what will go where, hanging them, or even making them…that’s a lot of opportunity for family involvement, and small children in particular see the hanging of decorations as much more of a treat than a chore. So get them involved! Let them pick out what decorations will hang where, and you can even lift them up to help them hang them! For any decorations that might be more dangerous for children, such as hanging Christmas lights on the outside of the house, you can have the kids stay at ground level and either feed you lights up the ladder, or call out instructions to you to help you keep everything even and centered! Depending upon their ages, they may be happy just to be included in the process and won’t mind that not every step will be “hands on.”

Decorating the tree is probably the most rewarding for children. Trees are bright, shiny and festive, and small scale decisions such as which particular ornament will hang off of which branch can provide many hours of enjoyable planning. Again, you may want to handle the lights yourself, but a little bit of tinsel in a toddler’s hand goes a long way! For an extra treat, lift them up to place the star on top of the tree. There’s no more magical tree-trimming moment than that!

You don’t have to have attended an interior design school to have an idea of how to pretty up your home for the holiday. Just let your heart – and your children! – be your guide, and remember that though the holidays may be stressful, they’re also a time for togetherness, and for bonding, and for making memories with your family that will last forever.

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