Lean into the spirit of Christmas
Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, it’s often hard to ignore as we start seeing decorations in shops and festive television ads as early as October. Christmas isn’t just about buying presents and spending money, it can be a great time to create memories with your little one and focus on the concepts of celebrating, sharing joy and giving.
Rather than buying cards, try making them with your child. It can be as simple as your child drawing on paper or cardboard. If you want to get adventurous, make hand or foot prints using paint. It might get messy, but these cards will be prized by the people who receive them. Talk to your child about what you are doing, point out the different colours or get them to describe what they have drawn. When addressing the card, you can talk about how this lets the post office know where the card needs to go. You might even take a walk together and look at the number on your letterbox or the street sign where you live.
If your child loves music, listen to Christmas carols. There may be unusual words in the lyrics, so take the time to explain what they mean. This is a great way of expanding your child’s vocabulary. Try dancing around to the carols, you could even try making up your own words.
Rather than buying presents for friends and neighbours, try making gifts instead. Children love spending time in the kitchen with you - visit your local library and borrow some Christmas cookbooks. Even very young children can help you roll out dough for Christmas biscuits or stir in some eggs or sugar. Cooking is the ideal time to talk about measurements. Get them to help you count how many cups of flour you need, or point out the numbers on a measuring jug. You never know, Christmas cooking may become a special family tradition.
Involve your child in the giving of these gifts, they’ll beam with pride as they share these precious handmade treasures with the important people in their lives.
Christmas stories to share with your little one
- Deck the Sheds with Bits of Wattle by Colin Buchanan and Greg Champion
- Rudie Nudie Christmas by Emma Quay
- Macca’s Christmas Crackers by Matt Cosgrove
- All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth by Don Gardner
- Mog's Christmas by Judith Kerr
- That Christmas Feeling by Lili Wilkinson
Ask the friendly staff at your local library for more suggestions.