, , , , , , , , , , , ,

A few weeks ago I blogged about catching the ‘Christmas Lurgy‘, where seemingly intelligent and sane people become in a frantic panic over Christmas from around September!

Before the December mayhem ensues and we all catch this Christmas Lurgy, I have been reminded of a quote from one of my favourite writers, the much loved Dr Seuss.

Before, you freak out over buying Uncle John some new socks and Aunt Maggie a tea cosy, take time out to remember what Christmas really means to you and your family. We all have different little traditions which are usually remembered for all of our lives, whereas presents are quickly forgotten.

Here are my top seven ways to remember what Christmas is all about without spending a fortune (or even a penny if you have it all to hand).

1. Bake together – Get your family together and make some yummy Christmas treats. Let the kids make a mess and if your husband or wife is the one who rarely cooks, let them get creative. There are tonnes of free recipes on the internet. One of my favourite sites is www.supercook.com where you enter the ingredients you have and recipes are thrown up for you.

2. Write a Letter – Whether its sitting down and helping your children write their letter to Santa, or you spend time writing to a relative or friend you havent seen in a long while, spend some quiet time putting pen to paper. Nothing quiet compares to giving or receiving a hand written letter.

3. Make Decorations – A perfectly co-ordinated tree make look stunning but in reality having a stylised tree that all colour coordinates can be costly and if you have children, is hard to maintain. My favourite trees are the ones covered in ornaments that mean something, whether handed down from a relative or handmade by your child. So sit down together, get covered in glitter and make some more memories.

4. It’s a Wonderful Life – Sitting down together with a hot chocolate watching any Christmas film is lovely, but watching It’s a Wonderful Life is magical. If you have never seen it (how??) make sure you get the family together and sit and watch it, no other film leaves me with such a feel good feeling.

5. Visit Santa – Whether you have children or not, whether you have toddlers or teenagers, go and visit Father Christmas. Find out where he is and take the time to visit the grotto, if you are confident enough, queue up and see him for yourself but otherwise just spend a few minutes watching the joy on the children’s faces as they leave from meeting the Big Man.

6. Make New Traditions – Ask for everyone’s involvement in creating new traditions, maybe have a North Pole Breakfast on Christmas Eve morning where you eat doughnuts, pastries, marshmallows and drink hot chocolate? Or how about getting the family together for a treasure hunt? Or introduce an Elf on the Shelf? You will be able to come up with something creative which is looked forward to for years to come.

7. Spread The Cheer – Encourage the festive spirit by performing a small random act of kindness every day – almost like your very own advent calender. Encourage your children to do it too and report back on things that you have done and how it made you feel.

It may become something you can carry through into the new year too!

There are lots more ways to encourage the true festive spirit. Do you have your own ideas? We would love to hear them!