Jessica of Along Came Cherry is an expert at juggling parenthood, home-schooling, and running an arts and crafts website; so we were a bit nosey and asked her to share her Christmas to-do list with us. Read on for Jessica’s six steps to a calm and happy festive season.
I absolutely love the build up to Christmas; everyone is excited, there are lots of fun gatherings of friends and family, and all to the soundtrack of festive songs playing wherever we go. Having children makes it feel really special too, mine are at the great age where they are really starting to understand it all. We have so far managed to get out of ever hosting a Christmas and always go to one of our parent’s houses instead! This means we don’t have to worry about forgetting an essential component of the Christmas dinner, or not having enough Christmas pudding for everyone. Even so, there are still plenty of preparations I enjoy doing including my usual fun craft activities, and this year I’ve started early with my Christmas to-do list…
Preparation is the key to a stress-free Christmas, and for me that means writing lists for everything. I write them and then action them as early as possible so I can start ticking things off in good time. Food lists, present lists, activity lists, even movie lists, we don’t want to miss any!
This is a great way to fill a few hours and get close to nature even when it’s freezing outside. Our local garden centres have huge Christmas displays that take a long time to walk around. The centre where we took these photos had a Gruffalo trail and an entire room full of fake snow which the kids thought was brilliant. They called it ‘Christmas Land’. There’s nearly always a café too so you can stop for tea and cake after walking around the displays. After cake comes the all important Christmas tree selection.
I wasn’t always a huge fan of wrapping presents, I used to leave it until Christmas Eve to start, when I would be end up spending my entire evening doing it whilst wishing I was having festive fun! Now, by starting as early as possible it means I can do a few at a time. As I’m at my most productive in the morning I get my other half to take the children to the park so I can spend a few hours getting it all done. Time to myself is rare, so these days I actually find the big wrap rather enjoyable. Wrapping whilst having what I want on the TV and drinking a cup of tea before it gets cold is a luxury!
There are so many crafting activities that are simple and fun, even for those who don’t see themselves as ‘crafters’. It’s also a great way to spend time with my children when the weather keeps us indoors. A great festive crafting activity is making reindeer food to sprinkle outside on Christmas Eve. This is one of my little girl’s favourite Christmas activities and it’s so easy. You just put some oats, cake sprinkles and glitter on the table and let them mix it up in a big bowl. Learn how we make our reindeer food.
Why not add some handmade touches to your Christmas presents this year? If you’re buying someone a mug, present it with some DIY tea bags. You can fill them with your loved ones favourite leaves, herbs or spices. Follow the tutorial on Lets Do Something Crafty.
This one is so important because it’s so easy to feel stressed out by Christmas, but the most important thing is to enjoy the break with my family. So I prioritise enjoying long mornings in bed, spending all day in our pyjamas and watching lots of Christmas movies, because the festive period is the best time to hibernate with loved ones!
It’s important for my little ones to remember those who won’t be enjoying the Christmas period for whatever reason, and to do something to help them. Ideas include leaving a box of food with your local food bank, or getting the children to help fill a shoebox with presents for children less fortunate.