Do you hear the panic in my voice? I am not ready, not ready, not ready for Christmas!! I think there should be two full weeks left until it’s actually Christmas.
Anyone else agree?
Can we vote on it?
Panic aside, I am thoroughly enjoying the season. We have Christmas lights up on the house. My Advent Calendars have been an overwhelming success. We hosted a Christmas brunch, had a huge birthday slumber party, attended a mother/daughter craft gala, and tomorrow we’re decorating cookies with friends.
So really, the only area in which I am unprepared for Christmas, is in terms of actual presents.
Now it’s my children who are panicking!
Don’t fret little ones, Amazon.com ships in two days. They might make it here by Christmas.
In spite of my lack of credentials in this area, my Works for Me Wednesday tip relates entirely to Christmas presents. It’s one of my ‘bestest’ ideas ever. You will love this. It truly is an awesome way of handling gifts. If you have a family with more than one child, this tip will quickly become a favorite.
At the beginning of the season (or in my case, the week before Christmas when I’m finally ready to wrap presents) in the cover of darkness and in total secrecy, I assign each member of the family a secret reindeer name.
All of the presents are labeled to follow this code. The kids know (on pain of death or, even worse, the loss of all their presents) not to sneak a peak at my Reindeer Code List.
It works something like this, suppose that Joshua is Dasher, Rachel Dancer, Daniel is Rudolph, etc, any present for Joshua that goes under the tree is thus labeled, To: Dasher.
This practice has transformed the way the kids view the presents under the tree. They no longer compare and contrast their “piles” or root around, looking for their own gifts. Instead they plot and scheme, trying to decipher which child corresponds to which reindeer.
On Christmas morning the names are revealed. It’s quite the celebration as the anticipation and eagerness have been building throughout the season.
This is not my tree.
In the last two years, we’ve had to expand our collection of names. There are only so many reindeer, after all, and with five children (plus Mom and Dad) you run through the list pretty fast (even counting Olive). We’ve recruited various Christmas movie characters – Frosty, Snowden, Elf; Mr. Incredible even made an appearance.
For some reason the silliness of using aliases got to us one year. Or maybe it was the fact that we were wrapping presents at 2 in the morning, either way, one of us got the notion to sign the gift tag, From: Cinderella.
At that point a new tradition was born! From then on all the presents were given from characters from movies, books, or songs.
Love: The High King Peter
The Pevensey kids from the Chronicles of Narnia have shown considerable generosity to our family. The entire Peanuts crew has also made an appearance. The boys routinely receive presents from various Disney Princesses and the little ones have been known to accept gifts from the Redwall characters. I try to be sneaky (don’t read this, kids) and throw them off the trail this way.
I’d love to hear any other tips you have for keeping the joy and wonder alive for children during the holidays. Share some of your favorite memories or creative suggestions!
Head over to Rocks in My Dryer for additional ideas.