Get your kids involved in your Christmas Decorating without losing your sanity.
Find out how a game can help you manage such a task.
Christmas decorating with kids can be a bit tricky. If you happen to be anything like me you look forward to decorating for Christmas. I usually like things to sort of be – just so. When you have kids, that isn’t always the case. See, our kids enjoy decorating for Christmas as much as I do. You cannot have perfection when the kids are involved. They don’t know how to do perfection at this point. They are too young. Plus, is anyone else’s perfection the same as ours? No! Not usually.
I knew there had to be a simple compromise when it came to my Christmas decorating and our children’s need to decorate. If I didn’t allow them to do any decorating then I feared they would grow up without precious memories of Christmas time. The memories they would have would be those of their Mom never allowing them to touch any of her precious decorations. Not a good memory to have, I imagine.
This might be a good time to mention that I have a slight Christmas Tree obsession. I have scaled back some and don’t have as many trees as I once did, but still do have a few. I like for my trees to all have different themes. Yes, go ahead – you can call me weird! I’m guessing this is where my kids probably get it from.
We are so blessed to be able to have a homeschool room. Because we have a homeschool room, we have a homeschool room Christmas tree. Seems normal, right? The kids also have a small tree in their rooms.
Well, this is where allowing the kids to decorate comes in. We have ornaments that they have the freedom to use. We DO NOT have assigned ornaments for each child. They do have a few that are strictly their own ornaments but ultimately they have to share the ornaments with each other. I know what you are thinking. How in the world do you divide ornaments among kids without fighting?
“He took the one that I wanted!”
“She got that one last year!”
“He always gets that one!”
Every year we play a game in order to pick ornaments. This way the ornaments are exciting and new for each of them every year. This works out great and they look forward to this every year. As a matter of fact, they beg us to do this as soon as they see the Christmas decorations come out. The best part about this for Mom is, they usually don’t bug me too much about the areas of the house that I truly enjoy decorating with our nicer and more fragile things.
Here is the Ornament Game and How We Play It.
You will need:
ornaments for your child(ren)
Blank sheets of paper – you will need to write numbers 1-6 on these sheets of paper
Dice or strips of folded paper with the numbers 1-6 on them and a hat/bowl (to draw numbers)
Extras: garland, beads, bows, etc.
To Play The Game:
Write the numbers 1-6 on separate sheets of paper. Place the numbered sheets of paper on a table or the floor and divide the ornaments up by placing the ornaments around the numbered papers – creating groups. Each child will roll the dice (I use a box for them to roll the dice in so that the dice doesn’t go everywhere and we aren’t spending three hours playing this game – a little sanity saver for the Mom) or draw numbers from a hat or bowl. Whichever you have on hand. Each child takes turns in order and they are allowed to pick an ornament from the number pile that matches what they rolled or picked. Depending on what tree your child is allowed to decorate, they go place the ornament they just picked on their tree. They come back and continue this until all the ornaments have been picked.
It takes a little time to do this but it is so worth it to see their excitement.
I get a kick out of what their trees look like every year. When they are super little their tree is usually decorated on one side. About to tip over.
As they get older they start to actually have a strategy or a pattern of their ornaments.
Don’t forget to take a picture of each child by the tree they decorated and save it to a special “tree” photo album or scrapbook every year. They will love to see how their tree’s change every year. I always get amazed that they can remember some of the ornaments they had from the previous year. I can’t remember what I did 5 minutes ago and they can remember 365 days ago.
Making these memories are so important because when they do grow up and start to have the weight of the world on their shoulders they will be just like us and not be able to remember the little things that once seemed so important. Like what ornament they had last year! Letting them enjoy being a child as long as they can.
*Thrifty Tip: I keep our Christmas Decor budget in check by buying used pre-lit Christmas trees at yard sales and even thrift stores. I never spend more than $5 on a small tree. This affords us the ability to be able to give each child their own Christmas tree to decorate. Christmas trees are becoming increasingly more expensive every year. You do not have to pay full price to create memories.
**We also buy cute ornaments at yard sales and thrift stores. Often times for just a quarter a piece. This is a far cry from the $9.99 to $19.99 that most stores get for ornaments. Don’t pass up that beaded garland or cute ribbon if it’s a good price either. Even if you wouldn’t put them on your family tree – they can always serve as the “extras” for your children’s trees.
So, if you enjoy decorating for Christmas and your children show an interest in doing so, provide them with some goodies of their own to decorate. Build memories together. It’s worth it – I promise!
From the Our Thrifty Home family to yours… Have a Blessed Christmas Season.