As a working mother of two children, (ages 8 and 5) I never thought I would relinquish certain Christmas traditions from my 20’s and early 30’s. Instead of my perfectly decorated tree with white lights along with my perfectly arranged glass ornaments and ribbons, I now let my “little people” do the decorating. My husband still puts the tree in the stand, and I put the (now multi-colored) lights on – but they put the ornaments up and have a great time doing so. And each day, the decorations get moved around, but that’s now part of the fun.
Then there is the gingerbread house – one of my favorite Christmas activities! I have retired my gingerbread house cookie cutters and moved to purchasing a pre-made kit. The kit really helps to keep this holiday activity stress free (Costco and Target have great ones each year). Then if there is extra time, I’ll make a small batch of gingerbread cookie dough so we can add “accessories” to the house (my favorite recipe can be found here). Each year, our gingerbread house becomes my favorite Christmas decoration.
Here are a few more tips to keep this holiday activity stress free:
- Build the house one day and decorate the next – this allows the structure to set so little hands can push the candy on as hard as they want and the roof won’t collapse
- Put the candy into separate bowls – those for decorating and those for eating (this helps to control how much sugar your little people get)
- Make “having fun” the main rule for the activity
Photo and blog content: Wendy Froehlich