If you have kids, you know what a letdown Christmas can be. You spend month after long month shopping for the perfect gifts that are sure to put smiles on the faces of your little ones. Yet you know that by the time dinner guests begin to arrive, your kids will have left off playing with their new toys and will be either parked in front of the TV or sitting on the couch with their faces buried in their smartphones.
We live in a day and age when children are easily bored. There may not be much we can do about that, short of limiting the amount of fast-paced activity they are supposed to do while young, but there are things we can do to make the problem less severe. Below are three simple ways you can make Christmas last longer this year.
1. The ‘In and Out’ Rule
You could make the case that boredom sets in partially due to familiarity and volume. In other words, your kids may have so much stuff and so much free time to enjoy it that they become overly familiar with their things too quickly. The subsequent lack of excitement and challenge eventually becomes boredom. Many new parents combat this sort of boredom through the ‘in and out’ rule.
What is this rule? It is a rule that states before anything new can come into the house, something old must be removed. If your child has been looking forward to the brand-new video game that is all the rage right now, he or she must be get rid of an older game that is no longer used. The in and out rule not only gives them more appreciation for what they have, but it also works to prevent clutter in the home.
2. Store and Rotate Positions of Possessions
Our next helpful tip is to begin the practice of storing and rotating possessions. For example, let’s assume one of your children has a mountain of toys, books, and games stuffed in the corner of the bedroom. You are absolutely positive that the things at the bottom of the pile have not seen daylight since the Clinton administration, but you’re not necessarily sure.
The solution is to divide all of those possessions into three or four sets, leaving one set out for the youngster to play with while storing the remainder. A few months from now you can pull out one of the stored sets while putting the current set into storage. You can rotate three or four times a year to keep things fresh for Junior.
3. Get the Kids Involved in Gift Giving
There are times when kids are not impressed with Christmas gifts because they do not truly appreciate what they have been given. Some parents have found that they can change this dynamic by getting the kids involved in giving their own gifts. You might have your kids spend some of their allowance or babysitting money to buy thoughtful gifts for other members of the family. As an alternative, you can have your kids make the gifts they are going to give.
When they invest either their own money or their time and effort in the gift giving process, they hope the recipients of those gifts appreciate them. Likewise, they are more likely to be appreciative of what they receive as well.
It is a rare and special family that can truly celebrate Christmas year-round. Even if you cannot, your holiday shouldn’t be over before the ham is out of the oven. You can make Christmas last longer this year with a little creativity and a commitment to do things differently.