Even if you are in a personal competition with your next door neighbor to have the most extravagant Christmas display, including your children in the decorating festivities should be part of your annual tradition. No, you should not have your toddler climbing ladders and stringing icicle lights along the second-story gutters, but there are some fun and simple things you can do to include all your children in the Christmas decorating tradition at your home.
Make Some Homemade Ornaments
Many adults have fond memories of the Christmas holiday that do not even involve gifts. Seeing the holiday light displays or telling Santa your Christmas gift wish list along with massive amounts of sugary treats the holiday brings are part of the many memories of Christmas. Making homemade, personalized ornaments for the Christmas tree used to be a very popular tradition for young children to participate in. Modeling dough ornaments is another fun idea. Just make a hole in the ornament to hold a piece of string before you leave the masterpiece sculpture to air-dry. There are also modeling clay compounds that can be heat-dried in an oven, but the traditional wheat paste modeling dough is non-toxic. You can even make your own modeling dough.
Encourage Your Children to Decorate Their Bedrooms
You probably have the family Christmas tree set up in the living room, but you can get smaller artificial trees for your children to custom decorate to their heart’s content in their own rooms. Encourage them to pick a theme or style for their very own Christmas tree decorating ideas, and help them pick out ornaments, garland, tinsel and other things to decorate with. Use discretion with trees that have lights powered by household current. There are LED Christmas light strings available that operate on batteries, and LED lights use so little electricity that you can get many hours of light from a single set of batteries. Dollar store decorations are inexpensive and can bring out some holiday decorating creativity in the youngest children. Plus, you can get the kids to put those decorations that do not fit your home decorating style in their bedrooms our of sight of Christmas guests.
Pick a New Inflatable for the Yard
Those parachute fabric decorations with built in blowers that inflate into Christmas characters or scenes are very popular. Some inflatables are even animated. Inflatables get more elaborate each year, and Christmas movie character licensing even has inflatables of the Charlie Brown characters, the Grinch characters and Olaf from “Frozen.” Take your children to the holiday decoration department of your favorite store and pick out a new inflatable for the yard. Even the little ones can help a little in setting it up. Just encourage them to do the tasks that they can, and then you do the rest. The big reveal of the new inflatable in operation should be at night when it can be enjoyed in all its lit up brilliance.
Hang the Unbreakable Ornaments First
As soon as you bring in the live tree or drag out the box that the artificial tree is in, the kids will be ready to start hanging ornaments. You probably can trust your older children with some of those heirloom ornaments that have been in the family for generations, but the little ones are just too clumsy. Have a good amount of unbreakable ornaments ready to hang on your tree, and let the little one decorate as high as they can reach. Encourage the symmetrical placement of your choice, but let them have fun according to their own individual abilities. You can always go back and rearrange things after they lose interest and run off to play. This is when you can also hang those breakable ornaments, or pass it off to someone even less clumsy than yourself.
In every little thing you do for Christmas, take some time to involve your little ones. Part of the experience of wonder is making the holiday what you want it to be. Older children should help make the experience of their younger siblings more enjoyable as the adults do for them. This helps in passing the traditions on to the next generation. The value of the traditions are received in the joy that they bring to young and old alike.