This week is all about getting rid of your stuff to make room for all the new stuff that will bombard you through December! I even share some tips on what to do with the stuff once you have decided to get rid of it! Use this week to pull out your calendar and update it for the upcoming weeks of holiday fun. I also have some ideas for how to track and countdown the days as they pass on by!
Set aside some time this week to try to help your kids declutter their toys and clothes! They will be getting so many new fun things and you might as well help them make some room. Give them a challenge of filling a stocking to have your stocking filled! Have them take their stockings up to their rooms and tell them to stuff it as much as they can with things they no longer want. It will also be helpful to declutter some spaces in the rest of the house. Focus on making space for your Christmas decorations (if you haven’t already set them up)! Pick a spot for the Christmas tree or clear some space by the fire place to show off the stockings. Even try to make some space in the freezer for your freezer meals and baked goods! It may also be helpful, especially if you have kids under 5, to set up a space in the garage for all the recycling that will come from the gifts! There’s always a ton of cardboard and plastic from new toys! Another great thing to do while you are decluttering spaces in the house, is to think about a good gift hiding spot! If your kids are sneaky, try hiding stuff in plain sight! Has there been a bin in the front hall for weeks already? Use it to hide a few items. Is there a closet they never bother going into because it’s always the same junk – empty it and hide stocking stuffers in there! Keep old amazon boxes or shoe boxes – use them to hide more stuff!
After having your kids fill their stockings with toys, why not go with them to a donation centre. Find somewhere where someone is ready to receive the used toys from your kids. Let them experience the satisfaction of giving their toys to someone who appreciates them. You could even set up your own used toy drive! Set up a table outside on a Saturday afternoon, make a big ‘free’ sign and let your kids enjoy giving away their stuff. If your kids are just not into giving it all away, have them sell it. They could make a bit of money that they could then donate half, or use some of it to buy a gift for a sibling! They could even use the money to buy a new gift for a toy drive! Try to encourage them to think of others at this time of year.
Time to pull out the calendar! If you haven’t already started looking up local events, then it’s time to start now. Look for your town’s tree lighting ceremony, look for events at your local library, even look for a ‘one of a kind’ show or craft show. Look up dates and times of Santa parades, or visit with Santa experiences. Include your kids in the holiday events planning. Do they have a special interest? Like in music? Maybe look up a holiday play to see, or go the cinema! You can also plan some holiday things to do as a family that don’t cost anything! Plan a day to go for a winter walk/outdoor walk, plan to have some egg nog by the fire, or watch a Christmas movie at home with some popcorn. You could even check out your local arena for possible free skate times. Whatever events you decide to do, make sure you put them on the calendar! Even if it’s just a winter walk! It’s so easy for time to pass us by, or for a Sunday afternoon become a bit of nothing time. Enjoy the time but also make some of these days all about enjoying the family together!
What kind of advent planner are you? The chocolate advent? Toys? Drinks? There are so many different advent calendars available now! I remember when it was only the cheap chocolate ones. You tore open that little cardboard window to see a chocolate in a different holiday shape, then ate it – but it wasn’t even super tasty! Now it’s limitless it seems! If you can’t find a specific themed advent calendar you could always personalize one instead! Last year, I wrote some clues for the kids on where to find whatever the advent item of the day was. The kids had a great time with it! I included a wide variety of items including books, notepads, pens, items they needed for school, fidget things, even some slime recipes! If you don’t want to get into all the advent stuff, you could always just use your elf on the shelf as the daily counter! Start looking up ideas now, or jotting down some ideas for those nights when you don’t have time to think about it! You could also look up some ideas of what to say if the elf doesn’t move, or it falls! Best to be prepared for those unplanned moments of wonder!
Here is your challenge recap:
Decluttering – go through kid toys and clothing, get rid of at least a stocking full! (Each family member should be able to do it!!)
Donations – take your kids on a donate run, or have them give away or sell their stuff! If they are selling their stuff, have them donate some of the money earned.
Events – sit down with the internet and your calendar. Make a family night of it, have everyone participate!
Advents – plan out how you will track the days ticking by until the big man himself arrives!
More great ideas next week so stay tuned to keep your Christmas stress free this year!