A Jolly Holly Christmas!
Christmas should be a time of good cheer, festive family get together’s, the giving and receiving of thoughtful gifts and delicious food, however we are all realistic enough to know that this is not always the case!
As the big Ho Ho Ho gets nearer, the pressure can start to mount:
- Have you remembered to write all the Christmas cards?
- What about a present for the baby-sitter, dog walker, awkward colleague?!
- Do you have enough wrapping paper and Sellotape; where did you last spot the scissors?!
- If you are hosting Christmas Lunch, do you have any vegetarians to cater for?
- Where are the spare bulbs for the fairy lights?!
Sometimes even the experts need a little help staying ‘jolly holly, so we’ve put together a few Top Tips to try and stop the stress before it gets too much
Write a To Do List – this doesn’t work for everyone, but if you are a ‘List Person’, take the time to write your list, add to it as you think of new things and then feel a sense of achievement when you tick something off.
Take a break from the family – it is absolutely OK to take a ‘time out’ from your family and spend a few minutes by yourself. Whether it is your immediate family or a distance relative, there are going to be points during the festive period when leaving the room is most definitely going to be good for your well-being!
Spend time ‘unplugged’ – lots of presents are going to be electronic, battery operated, make noises or have flashing lights; if all of your family are using them at the same time, they could drive you all to distraction. You also spend precious time not truly being together. Allocate some ‘turn off’ time and go for a walk, play a board game or crash out round a Christmas movie with a selection box – just make sure you do something together!
Make time for exercise – for many, the festive season is a time of excessive eating and drinking and even the strictest of exercisers may take some time off! This is OK, but remember that even going for a walk with your family counts as exercise as well as spending time together! Exercising will lift your mood, make you feel better and burn off a few turkey calories!
Avoid excessive alcohol – most de-stressing articles will tell you to avoid alcohol altogether, but let’s be realistic, it is Christmas and the odd over-indulgence is going to happen! Try not to do over do the alcohol as it can hinder sleep, dehydrate you and make you more prone to stressful situations. If you do partake, drink water steadily throughout the day as this will go some way to helping the situation.
Know when to stop – perfection is over-rated! The Christmas holiday is about everyone and that includes you! There will always be some last-minute hiccups on Christmas Eve and someone is bound to want something you don’t have for Christmas lunch, but take a deep breath and remember to enjoy yourself! One of the team heard a saying that ‘what the Grinch cannot take is what Christmas is about’.
There is always that difficult few days between school breaking up and Father Christmas’s arrival where it can be difficult to keep your children entertained. Don’t despair as MyLiferaft can help! We’ve put together a list of activities for all ages and abilities that will keep you and children happy!
- Make a Christmas wreath – you may be able to use a few bits from the garden or collect twigs, cones and foliage on a walk
- If you are into baking, then baking some Christmas biscuits and then letting the children go mad decorating them is brilliant, albeit a little messy, but at least you have a treat for afternoon tea!
- Snuggle up with your favourite Christmas movie – and don’t forget the snacks!
- If you love crafts, then making Christmas bunting to hang round the house and in the children’s bedrooms could while away a few hours!
- Make some paper snow-flakes to put on the windows
To see more ideas and suggestions for school holiday activities, see our Resources. We would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a festive activity that you would like to share with the rest of the MyLiferaft community!
A Sensory Christmas
If you have a child with disability, sometimes Christmas can be over-whelming. Below are a few websites that that the team here have used for ideas and tips on activities, presents and going out that will be fun for ALL your family.
Have fun! Christmas is a time for family, friends, laughter and love, too much food and raiding the chocolates and mince pies! If you recognise some of the things from our list above in advance, you will hopefully be prepared for them and manage to keep hold of your ‘ho ho ho’! If things don’t go to plan, try not to worry about them – you could actually be making a fun memory you can talk about in years to come: “Remember that time that Mum set fire to the sprouts!
Lots of love & festive wishes from Nicola and the MyLiferaft team.
MyLiferaft supports your care and well-being online. To find out how we could help you and those that you care for or that care for you, see www.myliferaft.com