6 ideas for Christmas with a young family

Christmas is the season for spending time with family, and many of us travel far and wide to be with our loved ones. However, when you have a team of youngsters with you, Christmas can be stressful.

Whether you decide to pack everyone up and go the distance or stay put this year, here are some helpful ideas for making Christmas with your young family as stress-free and memorable as possible.

Staying home for Christmas

If it’s been a long, hard year, consider staying home and adding some much-needed relaxation into your Christmas schedule. This is a great way to unwind and prepare for the new year ahead. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Christmas with your young family at home.

Enjoy the traditions (or make your own)

Much of the Christmas magic is about tradition – hanging stockings, listening to carols, baking, decorating and more. Don’t forget these family activities just because you’re not with your entire, extended family. Spend some time teaching your kids about the proud family traditions you grew up with. You can also create your own new traditions, like taking a drive to see the Christmas lights in your area or attending a community event.

Be prepared

You’ll need to get organised to make sure Christmas at home goes smoothly. Preparation is key – make a shopping list and buy whatever you can in advance, including nappies, snacks, and any essential medicine you need. If you’re hosting at home this year, ask everyone to bring a plate to make catering simpler.

Get the kids involved

Childhood memories of Christmas are magical – so in all the rush don’t forget to create these special memories. Include the kids in the kitchen and let them decorate cookies and help out. Grab some colouring pencils or paints and let them create some Christmas art to make your home feel more festive.

Travelling to spend time with family

Travelling to see distant relatives is a great way to introduce your kids to their extended family. To make sure there’s more enjoyment than effort in your Christmas travels, here are some things to keep in mind:

Make the trip as easy as possible

Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination – and with young kids this is particularly true. Make the trip as easy as possible by packing plenty of snacks and water, and stopping for regular breaks along the way. Entertainment options include old-fashioned games like "I spy" through to iPads. Consider different forms of transport, too. It may be more comfortable to take the train rather than driving, or even flying out to cut your commute time down.

Have an itinerary

Travelling is always smoother when you have set arrival and departure times – especially if you’re making multiple trips. These days, it’s almost impossible to fall behind schedule, with countless apps to help you keep track. Take a look at Google Maps, Waze, or Live Traffic NSW (or your local state traffic app) to help you plan your journey.

Set some ground rules

Christmas and travel can create the perfect storm of bad behaviour in kids. Toys, sugar and late nights are fun – until it all turns into tantrum territory. Try to stick to your normal routine as much as possible. Maintain regular nap times and minimise the amount of sugar that gets consumed. You’ll thank yourself later!

According to the stats, the cheapest time to fly is on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, while flights from 22 December to 30 December net the highest airfares. Booking at least six weeks in advance is the best time to lock in cheaper tickets.

Posted: 10 Dec 2018

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