I was speaking to a friend yesterday and she was telling me how much she loves December. She likes getting cosy in winter clothes, the Christmas decorations, the gift buying, the parties and socialising, the mulled wine and other festive food and drink and it's also her birthday later in the month.
For our family, I think we share her sentiments. My son and my husband both have December birthdays so we have to be careful not to let those get overshadowed by Christmas and to enjoy separate celebrations for those. So far, this December has been a little extra fun than usual due to the snow we've had!
December is early enough that the winter hasn't yet started to feel never-ending and we're not yet tired of getting bundled up in our heavy coats and all the layers to keep warm outside. With holiday and Christmas on the horizon, people start to be more relaxed and tend to be in good spirits. There's lots to keep us occupied during the cold days and dark evenings too.
For those of you at home with your children I've come up with a list of 7 delights of December, simple things you can enjoy together this month:
1) The snow. It's early for us to get snow here but get out there! Make some snowballs, snowmen, snow angels, patterns in the snow with your footprints....Wrap up warm and you'll find it invigorating as well as fun.
2) Gift wrapping. Wrap as you go along rather than saving all the wrapping for Christmas Eve. My son loves to help wrap presents too and sometimes he's quite happy to have his own piece of wrapping paper and amuses himself wrapping random objects in our living room.
3) Boxes. We've been getting parcels of some sort almost every day this week but that's partly because of the December birthdays. However, you'll probably get a few too and the play possibilities with those are endless! Putting things in them, using them to make a pretend cupboard/cooker/robot or whatever, making a tower of boxes if you have several are just some suggestions.
4) Decorations. Let your little ones help with the decorations, putting ornaments on the tree for example. I know someone who used to let their children decorate the tree and then once they'd gone to bed she'd rearrange it all so it all looked evenly decorated and of course the children knew nothing of it :-). They love to help and it's a nice task to do together to get into the Christmas mood!
5) Cooking. Make some Christmas cookies, cupcakes, mince pies or whatever takes your fancy. My son loves to mix, he doesn't care what we're making as long as he gets to tip some ingredients into a bowl and mix them all together. Cooking can be a great indoor activity to do with your children. Older children can do more sophisticated tasks like decorating cookies with coloured icing.
6) Arts and crafts. Find some festive art ideas to do with your children and display them at home. Older ones could make Christmas cards. Even little ones can make their mark by decorating brown paper with potato printing to use as wrapping paper.
7) Christmas events & activities. Make the most of what's on offer for the festive season and take your children to see a show, make a visit to Santa's grotto, take older children ice-skating or to a Christmas market.
What other things would you suggest doing with your children this month?