What do Christmas, under eye bags and copious amounts of coffee have in common? Christmas day exhaustion.
The thought of all that driving here, there and everywhere to visit numerous houses has me curling into the foetal position thinking about it, not forgetting to mention throwing kids into the mix.
My two year old son doesn’t travel well at the best of times so I don’t know how I’ll get him to have a decent nap between being dragged from lunch to afternoon tea to dinner as well as being man-handled and pestered to play.
I know I am not the only one feeling anxious about tomorrow so here’s a few tips to help make the day more enjoyable for all involved;
1. Write a plan of the day ahead including where you have to be, what time you need to be there and things you need to take.
2. Pre-pack bags and the car on Christmas eve and put your house/car keys on the bedside table so they’re easy to find amid the chaos of leaving the house with kids in the morning.
3. I know it’s as difficult as getting your kids to behave in a posh restaurant but try going to bed early, and don’t take your
distraction phone to bed! A good night of sleep will put you in a better mood for the enormity of Christmas day.
4. Keep the kids somewhat amused in the back seat by putting a movie on an IPad or a portable DVD player if you have one.
5. Let the kids pick one of their new Christmas toys to play with for the day.
6. For something different, put a few balloons or bubble wrap in the car to play with, it’s equally relaxing, fun and not just for the kids! And nowhere near as distracting as “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”
7. As Australia is in for a scorching Christmas day, keep a bag of spare swim gear, towels and clothes in the boot of the car so you’re prepared for whatever the day throws at you.
8. So simple yet so effective! Plan a picnic in-between family visits and let the kids expel any pent up energy. Fifteen minutes on a playground or grassy oval will make a world of difference and is essential if little ones are highly wired, touched out from hugs with too many distant relatives or over-sensitized from the barrage of new toys.
9. Play simple car games between visits (punch buggy, eye spy, rock paper scissors, team storytelling, the banana game – first to spot a yellow car in 10-30 seconds wins).
10. Fill your car with travel treat bags. Things like dried fruit, water bottles, crackers or plain popcorn are not too filling and complimentary to all the crap food that will be consumed during the day.
11. If all else fails wear ear plugs and get someone else to drive!
For those who don’t know, this is what it feels like to leave the house when you have kids; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFQfylQ2Jgg
Is there anything you would add to the list? Comment below!